You can just about hear Joshua Bell play Summer from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons amid the audience racket of Dancing With the Stars, but you see very little of him amid the rather dull floor show – and what you hear sounds pretty horrible.
Any argument that this appearance is nobly intended to draw new audiences to classical music stops, precisely, here:
As one who respects Bell’s artistry and his thoughtful approach to the role of a soloist in the 21st century, I am inclined to believe that what you see above is a serious misjudgement. It may, on the other hand, be part of a greater plan.
Mark Swed, in a critical review of his LA performance last week with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, notes the list of his achievements: ‘ Bell’s bio in the program book notes that “millions of people” are likely to know him from his appearances on “The Tonight Show,” “Tavis Smiley,” “Charlie Rose” or “CBS Sunday Morning,” “Sesame Street” and a People magazine spread of the 50 most beautiful people. ‘
Maybe Dancing is part of a greater plan after all