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The perfect balance of showmanship and lyricism—experience a program that spotlights the exuberance that virtuoso Joshua Bell brings to his dual rule as violinist and leader of the illustrious chamber orchestra Academy of St Martin in the Field. Bell performs Paganini’s Violin Concerto No. 1, a brilliant tour de force not heard here for nearly 30 years. It is showman's piece that you have to see and hear to believe, combining finger leaps of Olympian proportions, stunning left-handed pizzicato (plucking of the string), and rapid avalanches of notes with the delicacy of elegant and inspired melodies. Then, Bell leads the Academy of St Martin in the Fields in Brahms’ much-loved final symphony, a powerful catharsis featuring some of the deepest, darkest, and most moving music of the nineteenth-century.
Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major
Symphony No. 4 in E major
All sound clips are from San Francisco Symphony performances and are used with permission of the SFS Players Committee.