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Musical Gifts from Joshua Bell and Friends

4.2 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 15, 2013
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Editorial Reviews

With Musical Gifts, world-renowned violinist Joshua Bell imagines friends coming to his home during the holiday and joining in on songs that celebrate the warmth, beauty and magic of the season. Following the concept of his critically acclaimed 2009 album, At Home with Friends, Bell is paired 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 and a cappella group Straight No Chaser. "I wanted to capture the feeling and celebration of the holidays and that spirit of December," says Bell. Musical Gifts combines Bell's distinctive violin playing with fresh new takes on popular holiday songs. "I love the idea of celebrating music in ways different from how it was originally written, bringing in new arrangements and creating new repertoire."
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Digital Booklet: Musical Gifts from Joshua Bell and Friends
Digital Booklet: Musical Gifts from Joshua Bell and Friends
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 15, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: SONY MASTERWORKS
  • ASIN: B00DGPHJV4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,789 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If you think it's one of the Christmas albums that most artists make (at least once in their careers)... you'd be pleasantly surprised!

I purchased this album because I'm a fan of Joshua's music.. classical music to be exact. With that said, I did enjoy his last non-classical album performed with his friends. This album is much more beyond re-arranged christmas music. It's fun, refreshing and moving.

I'm especially fond of "Nutcracker Medley"... it's a perfect blend of violin and voice, very refreshing arragement of the classical Tschikovsky's ballet suites. "Amazing Grace" amazes me.. extremely emotional and moving. "Let It Snow" starts on a minor note which sounds refreshing and it returns to the somewhat mischievious jazzy tone as it progresses. Most of the pieces are full of little surprises.

Overall, I recommend this album. It's hard not to find Joshua's interpretation of christmas music enjoyable!

P.S.

There's quality control issue with the physical CD. When I ripped the songs the titles all came out wrong. Sony should fix this for those who prefer to keep a physical disc.
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We're invited to Joshua Bell's holiday house party where guests sing and play music and entertain one another. Being who he is, it's no surprise that Josh's friends just happen to be among the best performers in the world. You can just picture Renee Fleming standing by the piano in the living room singing about an Old Fashioned Christmas. In another part of the house, Chick Chorea and Branford Marsalis are jazzing things up. A most generous host, Bell is very good at sharing the spotlight. He drops by each performer and slides seamlessly into whatever's going on from Steven Isserlis's lovely Ave Maria (Fauré's, not the familiar Schubert), to Marsalis' truly amazing Amazing Grace, to the wild and wooly Christmas Confusion. What fun it is to identify each theme as it whips by. The fresh new arrangements have sparkly little surprises tucked in just about everywhere. One of my favorites, the Nutcracker medley, is pure delight. What? You've heard it a million times, you say? You have never heard it like this! I think Pyotr Ilyich himself would love it. The closing track, Silent Night will bring a tear to the eye, not just because the Young People's voices are so beautiful, but also because the party is over. At least for now. Musical Gifts is a new holiday classic we'll be listening to for many seasons to come. Thank you so much for inviting us, Josh.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Joshua Bell has produced some of the most memorable albums for lovers of the violin. This new offering, 'Musical Gifts from Joshua Bell and Friends' is no less memorable! This is certainly not your average holiday album. All the songs are fresh and vibrant re-interpretations of the well known, and maybe not so well know, favorites! He has combined his marvelous musical skills with a who's who of talented artists to produce an album that will surely become a holiday standard in every home. This is a 'must have' musical treat for the whole holiday season!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I found a new violinist in Joshua Bell. This is the first Christmas CD of the season for me and I am already in the Christmas mood. I love this CD and highly recommend it to everyone.
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Every year I try to get something new to play while the family decorates the tree. This breezy compilation is a good companion and makes great party background music. Love Joshua Bell, and there's enough variety that it keeps the party going.
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Another great recording by Joshua Bell! Nice variety of songs, with a nice variety of solo singing artists. Our family listens to these songs over and over again. A must have if you're a Joshua Bell fan.
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Beautiful. You won't get sick of listening to this Cd. Great way to welcome the holiday season. Something for everyone ;)
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I was sort of tired of the "usual" musical offerings at Christmas and longed for something with creativity. This fit the bill and, of course, ALL of the musicians are very talented in their own right.
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Musical Gifts from Joshua Bell and Friends
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