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Spellbinding Sibelius; St Louis Symphony Orchestra Symphony Hall.

Midori's account of the Sibelius Violin concerto Opus 47 with Hans Vonk conducting the mighty St Louis Symphony Orchestra was one of those memorable occasions to witness sheer artistic genius. From the outset, Midori's dignified and poised presence indic ated the manner in which the complexity of the music would unfold. The Concerto, one of the most taxing in the repertoire, received an eloquent and spellbinding reading with Midori's technical strength shining through to support the virtuosity of the wor k. Her consistent and beautifully weighted tone, with wide dynamics, perfectly graduated with innate musicality, resulted in a mature, emotionally charged performance of immense beauty.

Opening the evening with Barber's Adagio for Strings the fulsome forces of the SLSO produced an immense breadth of tone. Whilst totally skilled in execution, it did not shimmer as a performance of smaller proportions might. The real strengths of Hans Von k and the SLSO were exemplified by a full blooded performance of Beethoven's Symphony No 3 in E Flat (Eroica) , arresting opening chords and a firm first subject immediately grasping the attention. Throughout, the quality of the wind and brass was superb , complemented by rich and vibrant string tone. The exquisitely phrased second movement reached romantic proportions, portraying expressively Beethoven's symphonic development. The well paced Scherzo was exactly right, again with superb tone and the conc luding set of balletic variations produced a delightful variety of timbre with moments of endearing sensitivity.

Aprella Fitch
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Oct 5, 1998
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