Renée Fleming and Joshua Bell -- while not taking in the gorgeous sites around Cortona, Italy -- made appearances at the 2010 Tuscan Sun Festival, which wrapped a few days ago. The festival, in its 8th year, ran from July 30 - August 6 held in the achingly gorgeous Tuscan town of Cortona. Sting and wife Trudie also made an appearance in Cortona's Piazza Signorelli with Twin Spirits, Sting's Schumann thing, Joshua Bell doing his thang.
Smack that cut to see photos of Sting's Schumann extravaganza...
Joshua Bell welcomes you into his sprawling Manhattan townhouse, but only if you promise not to sit on the Eames lounge chairs (they've just been re-upholstered by Poltrona Frau) or touch the leather walls (they've just been upholstered by Bill Amberg).
Everyone's officially invited to vicariously hang out in Bell's house and eavesdrop on one of his infamous musical parties, where luminaries of the art, music, and literary world gather to jam. The new CD dropped yesterday -- Bell's "At Home with Friends" -- which was inspired by these parties and is full of vocal/instrumental duets that the American violinist recorded with friends in an informal, intimate setting, blurring the lines between classical lite, bluegrass, and broadway.
Tracks include duets with Nathan Gunn, Josh Groban, Sting, Regina Spektor, Marvin Hamlish and Kristin Chenoweth (and Rachmaninoff raised from the dead to duet Grieg's Sonata #3), Impressive, 'tho we'll defer to our Kathleen Ferrier and Friends with the coolness of Bruno Walter & John Barbirolli.