Album: Saint-Saëns / Franck / Ravel, French Impressions – Joshua Bell / Jeremy Denk (Sony)

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The Independent Culture

Not one of the works here is Impressionistic.

Moreover, César Franck was Belgian. The Frenchness is instead that of a school of violin playing, the impressions those of two American performers. With Bell, you expect a clear, full sound and immaculate technique. What is more surprising is the fluidity he reveals in Saint-Saëns' Sonata No 1 and Ravel's Sonata for Violin and Piano. Jeremy Denk's understated pianism has had a wonderful effect on Bell, loosening him up.