In the 12 years since winning Young Musician of the Year, Nicola Benedetti has built up an impressive career playing some of the most technically demanding concertos with some of the best orchestras in the world, so this was a rare opportunity to hear her playing solo with the Gariel Stradivarius.
With a programme that took in the familiar and a new piece written by Wynton Marsalis and playing in the round to all sides of the audience, this particular recital offered a number of new and unique challenges.
The concert began and ended with two works from Bach, starting with Partita No2 in D Minor. This piece, with its five different parts, created a number of moods, requiring both technical ability and stamina from the violinist, while telling a story and creating different moods with just four strings. Although the piece took from the platonic model of the baroque dance suite, the darker character of the closing piece gave the work a darker hue.
Sonata No 5 in G Major by Ysaye had only two sections with differing moods. The first was restful, while the second had a dance rhythm in 5/4 time.
The new work by Wynton Marsalis added in further challenges, taking equally from New York based jazz and celtic music, with fast rhythmic changes, full throated chords, violin effects to sound like traffic and trains, while maintaining both forward momentum and the complicated musical detailing within the piece.
A closing Partita No3 in E Major by Bach also provided musical challenges, the six pieces moving through various moods from the cheery Preludio to the slow jig of Louree, and the lively gigue which brings the piece to a close.
This was music that showed the range of the solo violin, and how many moods it could conjure when played in the hands of an expert musician.