Par 1 Maryla Jonas, who made her Philadelphia debut last night in a recital sponsored by the Philadelphia Forum at the Academy of Music, is a distinctive artist.
Par 2 Reports from New York about the amazing qualities of this pupil of Paderewski were in no way exaggerated. As soon as Mme Jonas had played the opening Handel "Passacaglia," one realized that here was a musician of no mean order. Immediately she established an impression of authority, of technical balance and of musicality which are not everyday experience.
Par 3 Mme Jonas followed the Handel with Wilhelm Friedrich Bach's "Capriccio," and then skipping the programmed Haydn "Variations" (for reasons not explained), played the Beethoven "Sonata No. 2, Opus 31." These pieces were all presented with a serenity and a detachment that were in the great style; an aura of nobility pervaded them. True enough, the Beethoven sounded a little dull; in fact, the only dull spot on the exacting program.
Par 4 With Mme. Jonas' first encore, the Schubert "Waltzes," it became immediately evident that here was a great interpreter of the romantic school. Nor were we, with this in mind, in any way disappointed with the superb playing of the various Chopin pieces: the second posthumous "Nocturne in C sharp minor"; the B flat Major and C Minor [line missing in my source] Minor," and the "Polonaise, Opus 44."
Par 5 We started this review by saying that Mme. Jonas was a distinctive artist; indeed she is an individualist. In an era when rigidity and adherence to what is on the printed page have been carried to extremes, this woman dares, and dares as a great and assured artist, to be herself, to indulge in a rubato which is the acme of artistic expression, to employ a pianissimo, the like of whose clarity and carrying power would be hard to duplicate. Too many musicians give one the impression they do not care for music. This is not the case with Mme. Jonas.
Par 6 The Prokofieff First Sonata, Opus 1, gave the artist a chance to display her breath-taking technique, the massive quality of her tone when she so desires.
Par 7 The audience was large and very demonstrative, realizing that it was listening to a pianist of quite extraordinary endowments.