Fischer plays fast and furious with Bach

Violinist Julia Fischer gallops along with Bach's Solo and Double Violin Concertos, but has a firm grip on the pieces

Composer: Bach
Repertoire: Solo and Double Violin Concertos
Artists: Academy of St Martin in the Fields/ Julia Fischer (violin)
Rating:  4.5/5
Genre: Chamber
Label: Decca 478 0650

Fischer warns she takes these concertos fast and, my word, she isn’t joking. My ears felt like those belonging to a surprised racehorse left behind after the starting gate is flung open. However, once acclimatised to the speed, you can sense her firm control. The leaps and runs pour calmly like steady quicksilver from Fischer’s fingers, with an exuberance (helped by the speed!) that challenges the usual preconceptions of Bach as ‘serious music’. The connection between her and the orchestra is also one of the strongest I’ve heard. If it isn’t too much of a contradiction in terms, this is serene fun.