Similes are not that hard.
One thing is equated, figuratively rather than literally, to another. Their meta-qualities are put into a kind of ratio, if you will. The reader is asked to find the similarities between objects that are, perhaps, not usually, or only tangentially, related.
By now, the Cleveland Orchestra's vaunted refinement and virtuosity are known quantities locally after two
Still, while owning a Rolls-Royce is nice, someone with skilled hands still needs to operate the controls.
Um. Okay, that is a metaphor, and not a simile, but…well…really? Normal drivers cannot operate a Rolls? Hmm. Continue.
Music director Franz Welser-Most's
Now 36, Midori has been before the public since she was 10 and her artistry has only deepened, as was made clear in the Japanese violinist's revisionist take on Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto.
The Russian war horse is performed so often as a vehicle for surface fireworks and ego-driven solo display that one can forget the depths in the score.
Like centuries of grime removed from ancient paintings, Midori's refined poetic sensibility made one appreciate this music anew.
The sentence above insinuates that “Midori’s refined poetic sensibility” is like, in some way, “grime removed from ancient paintings”.
Midori's sensibility is...like...grime?
I don't think that's what was intended here.
Let me take a crack at that failed sentence.
“Like ancient paintings from which ancient grime has been removed, Midori’s refined poetic sensibility…”
No. That equates the ancient paintings to Midori’s poetic sensibility. Which is similarly nonsensical.
The apparent meaning is that Midori’s sensibility reveals intricacies in the score that have been obscured (by centuries of War-horse-ness) somewhat like the removal of grime from ancient paintings reveals hidden details, or whatnot.
Reader challenge! Make it make sense, dammit!