With Musical Gifts from Joshua Bell and Friends, world-renowned violinist Joshua Bell recreates his family’s tradition of having friends come to his home during the holidays and joining in on songs that celebrate the warmth, beauty and magic of the season. Following the concept of his critically acclaimed album, At Home with Friends, Bell collaborates with a variety of special guests including Gloria Estefan, Alison Krauss, Kristin Chenoweth, trumpeter Chris Botti, jazz greats Chick Corea and Branford Marsalis, opera stars Plácido Domingo and Renée Fleming, Michael Feinstein, Frankie Moreno, a cappella group Straight No Chaser, and classical artists Steven Isserlis and acclaimed classical comedy duo Igudesman-Joo. Co-produced by Steven Epstein and David Lai, Musical Gifts is available from Sony Masterworks on October 15, 2013.
Musical Gifts includes repertoire representing a variety of holiday traditions. The CD also relates to Bell’s Romance of the Violin album, and its follow-up Voice of the Violin. “On both of them, I took popular classical or non-classical songs and adapted them for my instrument,” says Bell. “The idea goes back to the violinists like Jascha Heifetz, who recorded with Bing Crosby, and my hero Fritz Kreisler, who often rearranged other composers’ works so delightfully. I also love the idea of celebrating music in ways different from how it was originally written, bringing in new arrangements and creating new repertoire for my instrument,” Bell adds.
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