In the evening we gorged on a musical feast. The Saint-Petersbourg Philharmonic Orchestra, under the skillful baton of Youri Termirkanov, played Lyadov, Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky. The Tchaikovsky in question was his concerto for violin and orchestra (opus 35), played by the extraordinary Julia Fischer. It was a memorable performance. She has a lot of physical presence and, when the occasion calls for it, is energetic in her bowing, but it’s all so very lyrical and fluid, and she proved in her encore, Bach’s Sarabande, that she can play as sweetly and as gently and as romantically as the best. Behind all of that lies brilliant technique and I was interested to learn that she also plays the piano to concert standard and that whenever she learns a violin part she learns it first on the piano.