His repertoire is diverse and exciting and he has recorded Gershwin to Tchaikovsky, Beethoven to Bernstein, but Joshua Bell's latest album, due for release in the UK on 2 November 2009, explores a new range of repertoire.
For Bell 'At Home With Friends' fulfils his lifelong dream as a musician. This recording is not a selection of virtuosi concerti greats but a collection of duets of all genres with great musicians including Sting, Kristin Chenoweth, Josh Groban and even a performance with Rachmaninov thanks to the wonders of modern digital technology.
The choice of music is as eclectic as the artists, ranging from classical to pop, bluegrass to Broadway.
The original concept for this album was inspired by musical soires, where, among others, musicians, actors and literary figures could come together for an informal evening of music. Having been brought up with this tradition, Bell is eager to encourage informal music-making, to the extent of designing his Manhattan home to accommodate such events. At Home With Friends is an album which is influenced and inspired by such events.
Released just in time for Christmas, Bell has chosen a selection of tracks which are perfect for the holiday season. Highlights include the jazz influenced 'I Loves You Porgy' and 'My Funny Valentine', the classic 'Cinema Paradiso' and the ever-popular 'Eleanor Rigby' as well as two seasonal favourites 'White Christmas' and 'O Holy Night'.