Concerto Soloist


City Hall: SABC Symphony Concert 
Mony played brilliantly difficult Stravinsky work
If Walter Mony needed to give any proof that he is a first rate violinist, he gave it in the Stravinsky Concerto last night. Even overseas there are not many chances of hearing this work. It needs virtuoso resources, and it does not altogether bring virtuoso rewards. The initial dissonant screech is happily only an introduction and not indication of the musical manipulations that follow. Yet the rather forbidding contrivances of the 30 year old work still sound avant-garde. There are moments in the polytonal experimentation of the Toccata (first movement) and Capriccio (last movement) where Stravinsky gives reminders that he is Russian - and the violinist did not let a single one of these moments slip. In the second aria which is the lyrical oasis amid all the thrusting rhetoric, Mony made the music sound so singable that one almost came to believe the work lovable. Throughout, he combined a flexibility of technique that dazzled with such things as saltando bowing, and a stability of power that kept the utterance lucid. The orchestra is a major partner in the whole concern.


The exercise requires a soloist of more than average capability and Walter Mony proved himself to be in that class. His confident bowing and agile fingering produced the most glorious sounds. But the general absence of melodic line, except spasmodically in the second and third Aria movements, merely relegated his accomplishments to those of an exhibitionist.

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