Last weekend, Joshua Bell brought an Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra audience to its feet--even after the first movement!--with a magnificent rendition of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto. As I mentioned in my posting on Russia's Most Beautiful Music, I consider this concerto the most beautiful music ever composed by a Russian, and maybe by any composer. The first movement is especially mesmerizing, and when the ISO completed the exciting, pulse-pounding end of that movement, the audience burst into applause. Not the proper behavior, of course, for a multi-movement symphony, but the Indianapolis crowd could be excused for several reasons.
Joshua Bell is a local boy, raised on a farm in Bloomington, just down the road. Despite his international superstar status, he regularly appears with the ISO, and when he does so, the hall is packed. As ISO President Simon Crookall said before the start of the performance, he was gratified to see such a large crowd, but observed that "we play here just about every weekend," and appealed for people to turn up more often! So there were a lot of non-regulars in the audience there to see Bell. Some of them, no doubt, were not familiar with classical music etiquette.
And who can blame them for their exuberance? The first movement--about 20 minutes long--is a masterpiece all by itself, and Bell's performance, on his Stradivarius, was exuberant, passionate, and exciting.
Bravo to the ISO, and Grazie/Spasibo/Thank You to Bell and Tchaikovsky!
An Interactive Site to Identify the Most Beautiful Musical Compositions of Each Country
Welcome music lovers! Please join the discussion, vote, and offer suggestions for what you think are the most beautiful musical compositions of each country in the world. See my initial posting for the rules of the game. Then click on the country label (on the right side) and use "Comment" to offer your thoughts, votes or suggestions about the music of that country. To suggest candidate compositions, please provide the title and composer of the piece and, if possible, a link to an audio or video sample of the music. Once a number of nominations are received for a country, I will create a "poll" for people to vote on their favorite