‘Fortas Chamber Music Concert: Midori in Recital: 30th Anniversary Concert’ at The Kennedy Center by Francine Schwartz

Violinist Midori celebrated thirty years in music at The Kennedy Center by performing Beethoven Sonatas and works by Webern and Crumb. She was expertly accompanied by pianist Özgür Aydin.

Midori and  Özgür Aydin. Photo courtesy of The Kennedy Center.

The duo are regular collaborators and played with formidable technique and interpretive style. Midori in particular appeared almost possessed, with a wide range of facial expressions and mimetic animation. Beethoven’s “Violin Sonata No. 2 in A major. Op. 12” was explored with passion and visible enjoyment. Beethoven’s “Violin sonata No. 6 in A major, Op. 30 No 1” and “The Kreutzer Sonata” demonstrated both the virtuosity of both headliners and their ability to accept extremely challenging technical demands.

Webern’s “Four Pieces for Violin and Piano, Op 7” was the most recent pieced played. Webern, a devotee of Schoenberg, composed the short and intense pieces, each less than a minute.

The Crumb,”Four Nocturnes,” astonished even those of us in the audience who had recognized the piece, as the two used the piano strings, the metal beams of the piano and the wood of the violin as percussive targets, with Aydin opening up the piano to pluck, strum, and wield a wire brush to produce various naturalistic and otherworldly sounds and unusual harmonics.

There were exceptional program notes, primarily written by Midori herself, but also incorporating George Crumb’s own comments and intentions for the scholarly listener.

Running Time: Approximately 100 minutes with one intermission.

Fortas Chamber Music Concert: Midori in Recital: 30th Anniversary Concert played for one night only on November 1, 2012 at The Kennedy Center in The Terrace Theater – 2700 F Street NW, in Washington, DC.



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