CONDUCTOR

Classics III at the James Hay Theatre, Christchurch, New Zealand.
REFRESHING DIET FROM CSO
"A refreshingly different diet from the CSO. Jack of all trades viola/violin soloist and conductor Walter Mony conveyed charm, warmth and enjoyment. In the Overture in E major for Double Orchestra by J.C. Bach and the Concertone for Two violins and Orchestra, the sound was refined, intimate and cleanly restrained. Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings was hauntingly beautiful with balanced sinuous lines and stunning pianissimo. ……….."
Paul V. Ellis

 Christchurch Symphony, Classics III. Walter Mony conductor, violin, and viola soloist, with Oleg Kotorovich, violin. James Hay Theatre, Friday night, November 17, 2000. Reviewed by David Sell.
"This last of the three Classics concerts followed the practice of engaging a soloist/conductor. Walter Mony came to us from South Africa and chose an interesting and unusual selection of works, one of which featured two violins as soloists, and two for a viola soloist. His tone was lovely and the duo playing in the early Mozart concertone in C for two violins and orchestra was most effective………..After interval came two works for viola and orchestra. The Hummel Fantasie was presumably originally one of the many piano fantasies based on a well-known operative melody, in this case from Mozart. Mony had orchestrated it and, of course, played the viola solo. It was an effective piece, though rather overscored. The orchestra left the biggest work till last, finishing on a lush note with the Serenade for Strings by Josef Suk."

"….le doit certainement à son excellent chef Walter Mony qui à su inculquer à ses instrumentists une discipline que leur permet d'atteindre, dans leurs exécutions, à une louable precision. Et pourtant, le programme qui nous était offert comportait de redoutables difficultés, tel le Concerto de piano, No. 2 en sol mineur de Camille Saint-Saëns, ………."

"Das Finale - man kann es getrost als solches bezeichnen - bildete Rimsky-Korsakov's "Spanisches Cappricio", das dem Orchester und seinem fähigen Dirigenten Gelegenheit gab, die einzelnen Instrumente in die Vordergrund zu stellen and zur eindrucksvollen Geltung kommen zu lassen. Hier hörten wir auch zum ersten Mal die verzauberenden Klänge der Harfe, einem Instrument, das man nur allzu gern wieder und vordergründlicher erleben möchte. Vielleicht wurde gerade bei diesem Werk mit der zündenden Rhythmik, den bizarren Wendungen, den wirkungsvollen Stimmungskontrasten am wirkungsvollsten aufgezeigt, zu welchen Höhepunkten Walter Mony seine Schützlinge zu führen vermag. Das begeisterte Publikum erzwang dann schlieslich auch eine Zugabe.
Bei solchen und ähnlichen Veranstaltungen sollte man nie den Dank vergessen. Den Dank gegenüber den Ausübenden als auch denjenigen gegenüber, die mit einer solchen Veranstaltung die Gelegenheit gaben, uns über den grauen Alltag hinaus Höhepunkte zu bieten, die mehr wert sind als der Obolus einer Einstrittskarte. Denn immer sind in den abgelegenen Teilen unseres Landes derartige Veranstaltungen mit Opfern verbunden, und zwar persönlicher Art. Wir hoffen und wünschen, das Walter Mony einmal wieder den Weg in unsere entfernte Provinz finden möge, denn er hat uns mit seinen Musikern etwas geboten, was einen nachhaltigen Eindruck hinterlassen hat und ein Mehr fordert."

"The orchestra, under Walter Mony, is sounding like an orchestra, with a cohesion and unity that improves with each performance."

"He added that the orchestra played with remarkable cohesion, thanks to its conductor, Walter Mony, who had imparted a great sense of discipline to the players, which resulted in superb precision in spite of the enormous difficulties of the programme." 

"The ad hoc orchestra in the two orchestral works played with finesse under the baton of Walter Mony, who also conducted the quintet (at the request of the composer) because of its involved rhythms."

"It didn't take longer than the overture, Rossini's "L'Italiana in Algeri" to decide that Mr. Mony is a discovery. For one thing, string tone was right on pitch, and for another, there was a discipline that showed his control over the body of the players. Obviously aiming at good sound rather than big volume, he sometimes lost pace and excitement but produced a quality rarely heard from this orchestra. As partner in the concertos, he not only made the orchestral share effective but was sensitive to the needs and powers of the young soloists."
(Rand Daily Mail, Jhb. - Dora Sowden) 

"…………Walter Mony is deserving of acclaim for the excellent work which he has done with this orchestra………………..:

"…..wie etwa unsere Zürcher Orchestergesellschaft. Sein Dirigent, Mr. Walter Mony, ein versierter Könner der Musik als ausübender Dirigent, Violinist und als Lektor für verschiedene Disziplinen der Theorie an der University of the Witwatersrand, ist auch der Gründer. 1966 begann die Arbeit mit den Leuten."'

"…..um unter Leitun des enthusiastischen Dirigenten Walter Mony's zu üben. Und was der Stab Walter Mony's vermochte, das durften wir nun erleben. Um 80, meist jugendliche Musiker mit verschiedenem Lehrhintergrund, aus verschiedenen Teilen des Landes als Ganzheit zu einer solchen Höhe zu führen, war sicherlich keine leichte Aufgabe."

"……….Theatrically, "Carousel" lacks very little - plenty of tuneful melodies, movement, atmosphere and schmaltz. It is positively saturated in schmaltz, but nevertheless the musical strides through the treacle purposefully and to fine effect. Director Jimmy Bell steers a skilful path through Hammerstein's glorious goo, and Walter Mony takes the orchestra and chorus, equally skillfully and sensitively, through Rodgers score, so full of easy and lovely lyricism." 

"Walter Mony, that dynamo of a violinist who has learnt the secret of fitting 26 hours' work into a single day, has given the Johannesburg Symphony Society Orchestra a real shot in the arm by insisting (so I hear) on sectional rehearsals and considerable reshuffling among the string players. The benefit of his intensive methods was shown immediately in the Rossini "Italian in Algiers" overture, and was confirmed in all the subsequent accompaniments to the soloists………"

Return to Newspaper Reviews