There’s a piece he’s just recorded for the first time, and one that launched his career as a recording artist. Joshua Bell‘s new release from Sony Classical pairs two works by Max Bruch: the Scottish Fantasy, which gives the album its name, and the Violin Concerto no. 1 in G minor. He’s joined by the ensemble he’s led for seven years, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields.
There’s more information about the recording at the Sony Classical website.
He says although the Scottish Fantasy is one of his favorites, he only began playing it relatively recently. “It’s a piece I’ve loved my whole life, but actually didn’t get around to even learning it to play or perform until the last ten years or so. And finally, after about ten years of performing, I thought, ‘OK, I’m ready now to lay down my first version of it, at least.’” And with it is his second recorded version of Bruch’s Violin Concerto number 1, which was on the first recording he ever made, coincidentally with the same orchestra he now leads. He says his interpretation has changed and grown each time he plays it. “I’ve performed it hundreds of times, and with probably at least a hundred conductors over the years. And after each performance, you learn something, sometimes what not to do, sometimes what you like, and little details, things that sort of carry over to the next performance. And eventually you’re telling the story of this piece in different ways, it sort of evolves.” He says acting as both conductor and soloist when playing it has also helped to breathe a new excitement and life into the piece.