Together, violinist Joshua Bell and pianist Jeremy Denk make for one of the most dynamic duos in the classical music world. The two have been recording and performing together in the classical repertoire for almost a decade, and have become equally at home thumbing through the pages of the Great American Songbook. On this episode of Song Travels, Bell and Denk perform selections from their latest project, French Impressions, an album of works by César Franck, Maurice Ravél and Camille Saint-Saëns, whose Violin Sonata in A Major — Allegro opens the show.
"This piece is very much a romantic epic, but without words," Denk says. "So the words are sort of the recurring themes and who the characters are in a way — the protagonists in a struggle. There's a feeling of good versus evil in the piece."
"Which is interesting, because it was written as a wedding present," Bell says, laughing.
Through conversation and music, host Michael Feinstein and his guests connect the dots between classical music and standards.
This program originally ran April 20, 2012.