Par 1 The discovery of the pianist Maryla Jonas is one of those things that happen only in the pages of fiction: persecution in the days of Nazi ascendancy, escape from Europe, months of hiding in South America, abandonment of the piano. Artur Rubinstein by subtle encouragement induced her to resume her work at the keyboard. Her New York recital was almost ignored. A single reviewer proclaimed her the greatest woman pianist since Carreno and others listened.
Par 2 A sampling of her pianism is offered by Columbia in the form of an all-Chopin album—three mazurkas, two nocturnes, two waltzes and the B flat Polonaise. [NN: This is the collection labelled "M626"; see the discography elsewhere on this site.] These are certainly not very showy pages but from the standpoint of poetry she could not have elected a more challenging task.
Par 3 Paderewski declared the mazurkas to be the most elusive of Chopin's compositions. This one-time pupil of the great Pole has captured their very essence. The nocturnes she plays are the two posthumous ones, in E minor and C sharp minor, both of which sound in her hands more important than they are. The G flat waltz is the only scintillant bit in this brief recital and the Polonaise has suggestions of fire.
Par 4 Miss Jonas proves herself an artist of tonal finesse, vision and sensitiveness.