Avatar Four Word Reviews: Voice of the Violin

Plan A for this month’s Four Word Review was Cher Lloyd, obviously. But there is no Cher Lloyd on the CD in that box. So, with some reluctance, I have had to change my plan. I couldn’t face Kavana. Not yet. So where else is there to turn? What might soothe my frayed nerves and calm me after this disconcerting change of plan? I turn back to the pile of dreadful CDs, once again growing at an alarming rate. I pass on Pete Waterman’s Motown collection. Ah yes, here we go. This guy. This guy will do nicely.

Joshua Bell’s Voice of the Violin is an album of classical and operatic music, originally written with vocal parts, where the vocal has been replaced with a violin. The violin is then played by Joshua Bell. This is not just an album I wouldn’t normally listen to – all Four Word Reviews are albums I wouldn’t normally listen to. It’s more than that: it’s a whole type of music I wouldn’t normally listen to and for which I don’t really have a frame of reference. And in the absence of any lyrics, it’s also laying bare my lack of musical knowledge. I have no way to analyse or describe this. Music without words is music I am unable to describe in any meaningful way.

It’s going to be a slow ride. Here we go.

TrackWord 1Word 2Word 3Word 4
1. Vocalise (Sergei Rachmaninoff)Waftyfloatymelancholymelody
2. Ave Maria (Franz Schubert)FatherTedholdmusic
3. Pourquoi Me Réveiller? (Jules Massenet)Sadness,sternness,solemnity.Sparse
4. Après un Rêve (Gabriel Fauré)Highpitcheddreamystuff
5. Song to the Moon (Antonín Dvorák)Unexpectedtwinklyharpbits
6. Laudate Dominum (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)QuiteniceIsuppose
7. None But the Lonely Heart (Peter Tchaikovsky)UnrecognisableYescoverversion
8. Una Furtiva Lagrima (Gaetano Donizetti)It’ssomemoreviolin
9. In Trutina (Carl Orff)Basically“AveMaria”again
10. May Breezes (Felix Mendelssohn)Almostcheerful,stillsad
11. Beau Soir (Claude Debussy)Thisone’sveryquiet
12. Estrellita (Manuel Ponce)Yeah,Imean…fine
13. Nana (Manuel de Falla)Twiddliestonesofar
14. Je Crois Entendre Encore (Georges Bizet)Veryquiet,missedit
15. Morgen! (Richard Strauss)Suddenlyasingertoo

I don’t know what to tell you about this. Someone sent me a CD full of violin-filled classical music. It was quite nice? It was fairly relaxing? I couldn’t really tell the tracks apart much? I have nothing to tell you.

Since there’s no words for me to talk about, I’m going to show you pictures instead. You can see the album cover above, all soft-focus like a love letter to his violin. But you’ve seen nothing until you’ve also seen the back, where he’s on the brink of smooching it.

Mmm, look at that tender embrace. Look at his face, eyes closed in silent and loving communion with his instrument. Look at the way his hand cradles its neck. Oh wow. He’s enjoying a Furtiva Lagrima of his very own here.

I suppose my favourite thing about this album was that it didn’t distract me from getting on with some other stuff while it was playing. Actually, no, my favourite thing is that track 12 was composed by someone called Manuel Ponce. My least favourite thing is that it went on absolutely forever and in return for all that time I spent I can’t think of anything interesting to say about it. I should have gone for Kavana.

18 comments on “Four Word Reviews: Voice of the Violin

  • I don’t think there were any bells. If there was ever an album that wasn’t working bells, it was this one.

  • That’s so misleading. When you get an album with ‘bell’ on it you expect bells, and if there’s nay bells then it’s definitely not working bells.

    I’m disappointed on your behalf.

  • It did have one Bell, but that was the guy, and he is neither metallic nor clangy. That’s the problem, you see: to be working bells, you need multiple bells.

  • He’s a bell but he doesn’t sound like a bell and he spends more time smooching his violin than actually “belling it”. What a sad sack of an album.

    In fact it’s more an al-dumb than an album. Huh.

  • He is an absolute bell. What a bell. What sort of a bell doesn’t “bell it” (?) when he makes his bell album?

    Tubular Bells. Now that was a bell album. That worked bells.

  • You know what makes me sad? The word “belly”. The fact that it exists, and means something that has nothing to do with bells, means that something with bells in can’t be described as being “a bit belly”. Such a shame.

  • Exactly like that. Yes. I mean, at least in that situation it was possible to combine two existing words to make a new one that didn’t exist, avoiding the potential trap of just calling it “toffee”. With “bell” there’s no other option. It has to be “belly”. And yet it can’t be “belly”. What a nightmare.

  • The more I look at that picture of him locking lips with the violin the more disgusted I am with the human race.

    Utter filth. This is bad as all that “porn” I keep posting on the beans.

  • You should be grateful that I didn’t post anything from inside the booklet. There’s no lyrics to publish for an instrumental album. It’s just him with his kit off giving the eyes to his violin.

  • I think that’s as far as it went. There were two pages stuck together in the middle that I had no interest in opening out.

  • No, he’d absolutely deck you. But the instrument in your hand would ensure he was in no way sexually excited while doing it. I don’t think he’d be sexually excited while decking you anyway, and the double bass would almost certainly be damaged in the fracas, so all you’d really achieve is wasting an expensive stringed instrument.

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