Vancouver Symphony

Magnificent Midori

Dates 18 and 20 February, 8pm Venue Orpheum Theatre

Enesco Rumanian Rhapsody No. 1 Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26  Dvorak Symphony No. 7 in D minor, Op. 70

Conductor Yannick Nezet-Seguin Violinist Midori 

Reviewer Patricia Fleming


I eagerly attended the second performance of this concert as one of the world's top violinists, Midori, was soloist and the young, and renowned, Montreal-born Yannick Nezet-Seguin, would be the evening's conductor.

Maestro. Yannick Nezet-Seguin is known for his great musicality and and extraordinary conducting skills. A pupil of the legendary Italian conductor Carlo Maria Giulini among others, he is one of Canada's foremost conductors.

Midori is a very giving, selfless musical figure, continually spawning successful outreach programmes, and working with young violinists in master classes throughout the world, plus she founded "Midori & Friends" in 1992, a non-profit organization in New York, which brings music education programmes s to thousands of underprivileged children.

What a fast-paced and energetic opening to the evening it was. Maestro. Nezet-Seguin, is a wonderfully flamboyant and energetic conductor. Very expressive and passionate and I was enthralled. I am not very familiar with George Enesco's work, but kept thinking throughout this spirited and lusty performance of his Rumanian Rhapsody, what a great film score this would be (a speeding train? or Hitchcock pursuit?) -- someone being chased perhaps. I enjoyed the energetic pace and loved Maestro. Nezet-Seguin's fiery command of the piece.

Midori, looking very serene and demure, but with a very physical and commanding presence in that the violin appeared to be a total extension of her arm (such is her rapport with the instrument) gave an interpretation that was beautiful, lush, and sweet. The coupling of Maestro Nezet-Seguin and Midori was very well suited to the Bruch Concerto No. 1 in G minor: his passionate temperament and her beautiful rendition made wonderful music together.

The final piece, Dvorak's Seventh Symphony in D minor was a very spirited and emotionally powerful rendition full of passion and with a ferocious ending (I thought the Maestro might toss the baton in the air) as he conducted with such gusto. This was an inspired musical evening.

© 2006 Patricia Fleming