Thursday, 17 April 2014


When Julia Fischer walked on stage at the Stadthalle in Heidelberg a week or so ago, I was struck first by her air of utter authority, and secondly by a marvellously callipygous behind, sheathed in what looked like spray-on velour but was probably a far more sophisticated material. What happened next was that she started to play the violin, and my eyes pricked with the very first note.  I am no expert in music but I had no doubt that what I was hearing was performance of the very first order.  Fischer’s petite, willowy body moves with the music as in a gusty breeze; she arches backwards and lunges forwards.  She takes the bow from the strings with a flourish.  And I mention her behind because it seems to provide a perfect metaphor for her playing: both taut and sensuous.

Accompanying on the piano was Milana Chernyavaska, who must be very good.

The programme was: Sonatas by Tartini and Mendelssohn, 4 pieces by Sarasate and Ravel’s ‘Tzigane’.  I liked them all, but my wide middle brow enjoyed the Sarasate best.

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