Bach: Sonatas & Partitas for Solo Violin

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In the 1990s, when the youthful Midori was a star of the concerto circuit, her reputation for technical brilliance was unchallenged, though it was perhaps too early then to judge her depth of expression and creative resources fairly. If any doubts remain about Midori's artistic development and maturity, this 2015 Onyx release of Bach: Sonatas & Partitas for Solo Violin should dispel them, because Midori's performance reveals everything in her emotional range, and shows her to be a consummate artist. Bach's exposed writing is a challenge for all violinists, similar to a high-wire act without a net, and Midori's concentration is acute, so there are no missteps. But more to the point, Midori pours intense emotion into her playing, so the listener senses her rapt expression, even without seeing her, and the effect is compelling. Add to this Onyx's close-up recording, which provides an immediacy that is quite powerful, and a studio ambience that gives her playing the proper balance of crisp details and resonance, and the combination is nearly perfect.

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