Is this the fastest violin sonata ever written?

15 January 2018, 16:02

Would you like to see a piece played so fast the violinist sweats? Of course you would.

It’s always impressive to hear a piece played super-quickly, but this performance of the final movement from Saint-Saens’ first violin sonata takes the biscuit. It’s performed here by Mélodie Zhao on the piano and violinist Iskandar Widjaja, and it is utterly bonkers.

Especially in those fluttering semiquavers, it would be tempting to get lost and give up – but when you’re at the top of your game like these guys, it’s strangely effortless. Bravo, both!

The piece itself has become something of a showpiece for violinists across the generations – legendary recordings of the piece exist from the likes of Jascha Heifetz, Gil Shaham and Midori.