The Programme
A Joshua Bell Discography
Bell and Thibaudet



Little Women

Copland's America with Jonathan Sheffer and the Eos Orchestra

Don Giovanni Unmasked
with Dmitri Hvorostovsky

3 Mo' Tenors

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Great Performances'
2001-02 Season Opener celebrated
the great city of
New York,
Leonard Bernstein,
and Joshua Bell

with the TV Premiere of
West Side Story Suite

from Central Park

Yes, it's the same West Side Story we all love, only the songs are sung with a different voice. "Tonight", "Maria", Somewhere" and other tunes from Bernstein's beloved popular work are sung without words by the distinct voice of Joshua Bell's violin - and it works like magic!

Great Performances' season opener is a souvenir of an all-Bernstein summer concert held at New York City's Central Park last July 10. Bernstein's own New York Philharmonic Orchestra and guest artists violinist Joshua Bell and Broadway soprano Kristin Chenoweth performed before an enthused audience of 50,000 people in the evening glow of the city's famous skyline.

The centerpiece of the programme is West Side Story Suite, an arrangement for violin and orchestra of Bernstein's original composition. Tony Award winner William D. Brohn put together a delightful pastiche of songs and melodies from the musical, working in close collaboration with Joshua Bell who wrote his own cadenza for the piece and was as dazzling in the relaxed atmosphere of Central Park as in a formal concert hall, his ancient Stradivarius as at home with Bernstein pop-modern as with traditional classical fare.

An arrangement for violin was approved by Bernstein himself before his death in 1990; Brohn was in fact chosen by Sid Ramin, Bernstein's orchestrator for the original score. And certainly, Bernstein would have approved of how Joshua Bell - the most celebrated of today's American-born violinists, and the New York Philharmonic - with William Eddins in his conducting debut with the orchestra, elevated his Broadway musical to a genuine concert piece.

The audience at the park was also regaled, as you will be in the comfort of home, with vocal (by Kristin Chenoweth) and orchestral performances of hits from Bernstein's other well-known works: Candide and On the Town. Altogether, the event was a celebration of American virtuosity - of a composer, of a violinist, of an orchestra, and of a great city.

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