SO musical perfection does exist. Of course it is intrinsic to the unaccompanied Sonatas and Partitas of JS Bach, where miracles of completeness and integrity are enshrined within the compositions. To me it has always been the near-unimaginable on a wooden box with four strings attached, waiting for the musician with the right technical and musical ability to release the music that Bach created.
They all do it now, of course, in this era when violinists can play just about anything, at any speed they like. But, hand on heart, I have never heard such supreme playing of this music as I did by Midori, in the first of two festival recitals in which she is playing all of the Sonatas and Suites.
I am tempted to call the performance, in which she played the First and Third Sonatas, along with the mighty Second Partita (Suite) a glorious display; but "display" would be altogether the wrong word for this consummate performance, compounded of subtlety, sophistication and understated projection.
Technically, Midori is just about flawless: I do not recall hearing more translucently-played counterpoint, revealing not only the inner parts in all their blinding clarity, but their interaction and interdependency, all delivered with apparently effortless articulation.
However, above all, the greatness in this fantastic recital was the unending wealth of character Midori revealed in the music. The murmuring at the opening of the Third Sonata was like a breath of spiritual consolation at a moment of great poignancy; the playful, almost skittish quality in the finale was breathtaking.
And, just for once, the great Chaconne in the Second Partita did not sound like a dirge: it was packed with life, rhythm and momentum.