Saturday, March 1, 2014

Roving Pittsburgher Report - PSO's Joshua Bell and Symphonie Espagnole Performance Feb. 28th 2014

Witnessing Unmatched Musicality
Review of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's
Joshua Bell and Symphonie Espagnole Performance Feb. 28th 2014

From:  Roving Pittsburgher Report and
Written By:  Hank Walshak  |  March 1, 2014

Gianandrea Noseda
(photo credit: Sussie Ahlburg 2012)
Something in me likes to watch professionals, whatever their line of work. This personal bent served me well when I witnessed Joshua Bell display his violin artistry and Maestro Gianandrea Noseda masterfully lead our Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in the Symphonie Espagnole for Violin and Orchestra, Opus 21 of Edouard Lalo.

For me, watching Joshua Bell is like viewing a professional tight-rope walker quickly skip along a 60-foot rope hundreds of feet in the air, and doing somersaults on the rope at the same time. This kind of doing the seemingly impossible happens only a few times in one’s life, and Bell’s execution was one of these rare times in my life.

To say, he performed the violin solo, would be to vastly understate his performance. He played through the Symphonie Espagnole as though the notes, the phrasing, the melodies, the movements emerged from somewhere within him, not from Lalo’s score. He played as though born into the music, moving forward to punctuate hard-hitting parts, moving back to elicit the more subdued sections of the piece.

Joshua Bell
(photo courtesy:
Lisa Marie Mazzucco)
Talk about violin prowess. From exploring sonorous tones in the lower register to parts that called on his lyricism and flexibilities to those that challenged with incredibly intricate fingerings in the upper register, Bell moved through the Symphonie Espagnole for Violin and Orchestra with the unerring grace of a male, ballet dancer interpreting the most physical demanding dances without even breaking a sweat.

A brief look, eye to eye now and then, was all Bell and Maestro Noseda as they worked in synchronistic togetherness during the performance. Just as Bell’s body moved in resonance to each symphony part, so too. Noseda physically conveyed his musical intentions to the orchestra by his deft, dance-like movements. He attacked the piece with all the agility he could muster and moved slowly from side to side to convey more lyrical intonations to the orchestra.

Watching Bell and Maestro Noseda was like seeing two, Olympic athletes move in unison as they performed feats of precision one could hardly believe. They complemented each other so nicely without ever once stealing the sunshine away from the other’s performance.

How fortunate for us in the audience to experience these two musical geniuses performing together in a not-to-be-matched rendering of Eduouard Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole for Violin and Orchestra.

Additional Performances:
Saturday, March 1st  |  8 PM  |  Heinz Hall
Sunday, March 2nd  |  2:30 PM  |  Heinz Hall

Written By: Hank Walshak
Founder and President of Walshak Communications, Inc.

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Posted By: Stephanie Curtice
Good News and Cultural Reporter,,
(c) 2014

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