There should have been no surprises in her concert with this orchestra. It was always going to be capacity attendance. But I realised, from close observation (snooping) her massive drawing power. Every generation sat in that hall. At the far end I could see ranks of kids from the Big Noise project. In the row in front of me, three generations of one family – a mum, three youngsters and a gran – sat in spellbound silence as Benedetti delivered. You could have heard the proverbial pin drop as she prepared to play. I was awestruck by the influence of the young violinist.
There should have been no surprises in the music either. The concertos she played, Vivaldi's Il Grosso Mogul and the ultimate warhorse, the Four Seasons, have been available on her Decca CD, Italia, with the SCO and Christian Curnyn, for some time. And we know the study and training Benedetti put herself through to re-learn playing the violin and this music in a style appropriate to the period.
To hear it live on Friday, with that sensational speed, clarity, articulation, depth, humanity and unerring sense of idiom and style, was to hear it fresh, exuberant, and newly minted.
It was a collective triumph: it could only have happened in this way, at that moment, with Curnyn and the mind-blowing SCO unanimous in their thought and execution. As for this breathtaking artist: she has consistently gone from strength to strength; but on Friday she comprehensively revivified the most familiar music in the world; what she achieved was genuinely astonishing, and priceless.
Sponsored by Virgin Money.