‘Fantasy For Violin and Orchestra’ is a piece performed by Joshua Bell and is the perfect example of how a beautiful piece of music can transform a ‘nice watch-once-and-forget-about’ movie into one to sample three or four or more times. Ladies in Lavender, starring Maggie Smith and Judi Dench, is the movie in question.
It is the story of two ageing sisters who find an unconscious man, Andrea, (played by Daniel Bruhl) washed up on the shore near their home. Both sisters become entranced by Andrea and become rivals for his affection as they nurse him back to health. Andrea is a talented Polish violinist, and a visiting artist recognises his talent and encourages him to meet with her brother and play for him. Andrea leaves for London without saying goodbye to the sisters, but they do travel there to see his first public performance.
The piece that he plays in this performance is ‘Fantasy For Violin and Orchestra’ and it’s gorgeous. As it plays both sisters, who have formed very strong emotional attachments to Andrea, are moved to tears. I must admit, the first time I saw the movie I was just as weepy as they were – the yearning on Ursula’s (Judi Dench) face is mirrored in the sweeping strings and the intense magic of Joshua Bell’s beautiful musicianship.
Get it, hear it, love it.