Written between 1938 and 1946 against the bleak backdrop of Stalin’s Russia and the horrors of the Second World War, Prokofiev’s First Violin Sonata is a dark, brooding work, laced with scalic violin passages the composer described as “wind passing through a graveyard.”

Lorenza Borrani, Australian Chamber Orchestra Lorenza Borrani and the Australian Chamber Orchestra. Photo © Christie Brewster

In the hands of Italian violinist Loranza Borrani, leading the Australian Chamber Orchestra on its Beethoven & Prokofievtour, these passages had a spider web delicacy in chilling contrast to the fiery menace of her robust, edgy timbre that cut across the ACO’s lower strings in the opening movement.

Borrani was last here in 2016, when she led the orchestra in a performance of Schnittke, Schubert and Beethoven, and there is an obvious rapport between the Principal Leader of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the musicians of the ACO, who brought out the tenebrous menace she captures in her string arrangement of Prokofiev’s Op. 80 Sonata for Violin and Piano. Borrani brought a yearning melancholy to the lyrical moments that emerge from the grittier energy of the Allegro Brusco, while her sinuous lines in...

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