Giuseppe Tartini: Sonata in G minor "Devil's Trill
Niccolò Paganini: Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major op. 6
Robert Schumann: Symphony No. 2 C major op. 61
Devilishly good music
There are currently two playable violins that are said to have once belonged to the great violin virtuoso Niccolò Paganini. The American violinist Joshua Bell once played a concert on one of them a few years ago. And even if he doesn't believe in the mystical, this "gives the audience a hint of what Paganini must have sounded like". From Paganini's first violin concerto, the devilishly difficult and brilliant virtuoso gesture that made him a legend still flashes out today. It is an extremely effective piece which Joshua Bell - on this evening playing his own "Gibson ex Huberman" by Stradivari - together with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, of which he has been Music Director for many years, brings to the stage supported by a lot of percussion and with fast runs in double stops. Robert Schumann's Second Symphony, on the program after the intermission, completes the program of this brilliant concert evening. One clearly notices in the work that the composer, who was already at a low point in his health at this time, intensively dealt with the oeuvre of Johann Sebastian Bach, but also that of other composers, in his second symphony.