MIDORI | Sunday Times (London), October 13, 2013
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Midori's playing in these three satisfyingly aligned 20th century violin and piano sonatas is imbued not just with a keen beauty but somehow with a thoughtfulness

— Sunday Times (London), October 13, 2013

By PAUL DRIVER

Bloch, Janáček, Shostakovich (Onyx 4084) 

Midori’s playing in these three satisfyingly aligned 20th century violin and piano sonatas is imbued not just with a keen beauty but somehow with a thoughtfulness. Perhaps one is influenced by her comments cited in the booklet essay, in which she sees the works as simultaneously embodying the war-torn darkness of the times and a spiritual aspiration beyond it. Bloch’s single-span second sonata, subtitled Poème mystique (1924), is mainly on the striving side – a beautiful, rhapsodic unfolding – while brutalism is obtruded by the middle movement of Shostakovich’s 1968 sonata. Janáček’s fascinatingly inventive and searching four-movement sonata (1922) is the disc’s deeply rewarding centrepiece.