Cincinnati.com March 28, 2014
By JANELLE GELFAND
Midori electrifying with CSO
If you do nothing else this season, you must see Midori.
Midori…delivered an electrifying performance of Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No.1 with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra [and guest conductor Jun Märkl].
Midori crouched and swayed as she played [the] long, lyrical theme [of the first movement], altering her tone from pure and white to throbbing, as if her violin were a human voice. Her phrases were emotional and beautifully shaped, and the sound she drew on her rare violin…was remarkably warm.
[In the scherzo] the violinist dug into her strings and drove to its finish with her bow flying. The perfection of her artistry was on display in the third movement, a Passacaglia, which led into a solo cadenza played without orchestra. Here she took her time, and every note had meaning. The audience barely breathed. As she reached into the stratosphere, she knew how to make even the most difficult feats sound easy.
After so much intensity, the finale was sheer pleasure. Midori tackled the frenzied dance-like music with jaw-dropping technique and nonstop virtuosity.