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MUSIC AND DANCE REVIEWS : VIOLINIST MI DORI

There was a time when Dvorak’s Violin Concerto was a repertory staple; it turned up in virtually every symphonic season, as beloved and ubiquitous as Brahms and Tchaikovsky are today.

No longer. The Violin Concerto by Dvorak has gone the way of those by Goldmark and Vieuxtemps--exhumed sporadically, but largely forgotten.

It was revived, with its old glamour, Saturday night, at the final Pasadena Symphony concert of this season, played by the young Japanese violinist, Mi Dori, in her West Coast debut.

Both revival and debut proved cherishable and memorable. As conducted by music director Jorge Mester, Dvorak’s melodious, sentimental old warhorse showed its best features.

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Dori, a 14-year-old student of Dorothy DeLay at the Juilliard School, displayed more than the comprehensive technique and resplendent tone required here--she showed also firm communicative gifts, genuine artistic perspective and a quiet yet bold confidence. In response to an ovation, Dori added an encore, the E-flat Caprice of Paganini.

Mester surrounded Dvorak with solid orchestral performances. John Corigliano’s “Three Hallucinations,” a sampler/rewrite of his film score for “Altered States,” proved diverting and colorful, if unoriginal. Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony emerged rousing and ebullient--strong in contrasts and rhythmic definition, qualities Mester and his attentive ensemble seem to produce without effort.


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