Slow down everyone, says star violinist

Slow down everyone, says star violinist


norman lebrecht

October 26, 2017

Post from Lisa Batiashvili:

A break, a really needed one…after 11 wonderful weeks spent off-stage, time has transformed itself to another dimension. Suddenly there is time for thinking and reading, time for a quiet breakfast and cooking, for going to concerts with a clear head, and also of course time to spend with my dearest friends.

What can rival mornings when I see my son wake up with a smile or watch my daughter become a beautiful teenager? Sometimes it does not matter what time it is at all…

How is it we live so fast that we never have the time for the many things that are essential to us? Being a musician is the greatest gift, but being on the road for the whole year would be challenging. The moment when I have had enough TIME to embrace ‘real life’, I start missing one thing that has never left me: MUSIC.

And now-heading off to Georgia for a very special and personal musical project. By the way in Georgia time goes much slower and is perceived very differently.


Photo credit @Sammy Hart/DG


  • PhilOrchFan says:

    It’s nice that she has the luxury to still have a roof over her family’s heads after taking a few months off. Some of us don’t have that choice.

    • J. says:

      She gained this “luxury” the same way we all do: working.

      • Max Grimm says:

        True, well that and marriage. Having a spouse that is a very active solo- & chamber-musician, conductor and university professor helps too 😉

        • J. says:

          He works too, great. She is not Paris Hilton. They work.

          • Max Grimm says:

            Indeed they do and indeed she isn’t (Paris Hilton ‘bekommt den Zucker gemalen in den Arsch geblasen’, as one could choose to say in German…amongst other things).
            Mrs Batiashvili is a refreshingly unassuming person, whose playing (along with her husband’s playing) I enjoy very much.

          • Bruce says:

            ‘Gets the sugar painted in the ass blown’ according to Google Translate. I suppose it makes sense to German speakers.

          • William Osborne says:

            Gemalen in this context actually means ground (as in put through a grinder.) Powdered sugar would be the complete term, I think. OTH I’ve never heard this idiomatic phrase. The comments on SD are always good for such lofty information…

      • PhilOrchFan says:

        Some of us work just as hard without ever having that luxury. I’m not saying she hasn’t earned the ability to take a little bit of time off. But it would be nice for her, or the editor, to at least acknowledge not everyone can afford to take time off.

    • Bruce says:

      Yes, as I understand, it is nice. If you wish you had that choice but don’t, maybe you should get a better job instead of complaining about what others have earned through their own hard work.

      • PhilOrchFan says:

        First of all, I have a very good job, but I am in a career where it is impractical to take an extended sabbatical. Second of all, my “complaint” is not that she or others like her have gained certain privileges via their work. Rather, it’s for her, or certainly the tone of this post, to not ignore that “slow down” isn’t a practical choice for everyone, counter to the title of this post would suggest.

        • Bruce says:

          Oh, I see. You think she wrote the headline.

          • PhilOrchFan says:

            Since the editor of this site did not include a link to her writing, it is unclear where the title of the post came from. From the editor? Maybe. Or perhaps from the context of her writing. Either way, like some others have pointed out, the “lesson” to slow down is rather patronizing.

      • Max Grimm says:

        Regarding your previous post: ” ‘Gets the sugar painted in the ass blown’ according to Google Translate. I suppose it makes sense to German speakers. “

        As William points out above, ‘gemalen’ here means ‘ground’, not ‘drawn’ or ‘painted’. You could translate it as “Paris Hilton gets ground/powdered sugar blown up her arse”.
        In less colourful terms, ‘sugar/ground sugar/powdered sugar being blown up someones rear’ can be equated to ‘someone being waited on hand and foot in an overindulgent or spoiling manner, without really having worked for it or having earned it’.

  • James Manishen says:

    What’s that great phrase the brilliant Thomas Friedman says, referring to his new must-read book “Thank You For Being Late”? I think it goes:

    “Push the pause button on a computer and it stops. Push the pause button on a human and he/she starts”

  • John says:

    Oh that’s nice. Would she have done this break at the beginning of her career?
    Or is she only talking now because she is successful enough she knows, that she can tell projects to wait a bit more time? She has a calendar full for the next year at least right?
    So no worries.
    The thing about some people is that they try to teach other people so called “enlighten” things, but only when they get disconnected from the average life style. From their high tower they talk all nice, after they have made it already.
    Very nice.

  • DESR says:

    She’s not exactly exhilarating to read, is she?

  • Art P says:

    As John’s phrase goes: ‘….disconnected from the average life-style.’ It is very important to remember what life is like for others as much as it is possible. Otherwise, one’s writings begin to seem like a masquerade – like one is trying to make everyone else envious at the same time as appearing very appreciative of life’s simple pleasures whilst complacently enjoying the total success that one’s natural genius guarantees. Vaguely reminiscent of Polly Filler of Private Eye fame (except that she doesn’t exist).

    Why do terrific musicians let themselves down by writing?