14 September, 2021 – 6.05 p.m.
Dutch virtuoso Janine Jansen and Sir Antonio Pappano dazzle in this thrilling new documentary directed by BAFTA-winning filmmaker Gerry Fox as they embark on a journey to record an album on 12 of the world’s greatest Stradivari violins.
November 2020, the filmmakers follow Janine Jansen from initial research and rehearsals in Stockholm, to a hectic month in London where, accompanied on the piano by Pappano, the legendary Director of the Royal Opera, she becomes acquainted with each of the violins and selects works that fit them best.
Crafted by the legendary luthier Antonio Stradivarius, some of these violins have not been played for 200 years, while others belonged to the greatest virtuosos ever, including Fritz Kreisler, Nathan Milstein, Ida Haendel and Oscar Shumsky, all featured in the film in powerful archive.
Learning their histories, and coming to grips with their foibles, Janine then falls ill with Covid-19. Nevertheless, in a virtuoso feat of determination, she recovers to rehearse and record this astonishing album with just a day to spare before the first violin must be returned to its owner.
This is a nerve-wracking, intense, and hugely exciting film where, up close and personal, our audience sees not only what makes these the most unique stringed instruments in the world, but also the enormous humour, spark and energy that drives two of the world’s leading musicians at the top of their creative game.