Works by Tchaikovsky and Brahms aren't often included in the same program, and violinist Joshua Bell has some thoughts about why that may be. "Tchaikovsky … said some negative things about Brahms," Bell says. "They are two of the greatest composers ever, but I'm not sure if there's the kind of mutual respect you might imagine, so sometimes they are not put together."
For its season-opening concerts, however, the Minnesota Orchestra will buck that trend. On Sept. 22 and 23, the Minnesota Orchestra's concerts include Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto and Brahms' Symphony No. 2. "They're such different styles in the way they approached music," Bell says, "but I think it's great."
Bell joins the Minnesota Orchestra as the soloist on the Tchaikovsky concerto. "It's just one of these pieces that audiences love," Bell says. "It's the most exciting violin concerto, I think, in the repertoire."
Although Bell estimates he has played the Tchaikovsky anywhere from 500 to 1,000 times during his career, Bell never tires of it. "Its is a piece that continues to challenge physically," he says. "[But] the fact that I know it so well and have done it so often means that I can kind of relax and really just go for it in the moment. … There's a lot of freedom in that way, and that's a nice feeling."
Listen to the live broadcast of the Minnesota Orchestra's season-opening concert, featuring soloist Joshua Bell, on Friday, Sept. 23, at 8 p.m., on Classical MPR. Brian Newhouse hosts.
SEASON OPENING: OSMO VÄNSKÄ AND JOSHUA BELLFriday, September 23, 2016, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall
Osmo Vanska, conductor
Joshua Bell, violin
TCHAIKOVSKY: Violin Concerto
BRAHMS: Symphony No. 2