The Rhodesian Academy of Music Presentation concert at the Bulawayo Small City Hall last night generated two strong impressions. It was apparent, firstly, that the academy maintains a high standard of tuition in a number of instruments. There was a consistent worthiness of performance last night which bettered most previous concerts of this type.
This makes it doubly difficult to isolate performers for individual mention, but I especially enjoyed performances by Michel Robb and Carol Owen (violin), Jenny Laing (piano), David Chandler (clarinet) and Roella Heighway (guitar).
Performances by the seeming hordes of talented Jackson, Beaty and Wrigley (only two!) children were also of interest.
The second main impression the concert left is that it is a re-current and difficult problem to find suitable music for young players, especially those whose technique is advanced enough to make them wish to tackle music likely to be outside their emotional range.
Rosemary Walker, for example, is not only an accomplished young pianist, but she won a remarkable number of distinctions and wards in violin playing and musical theory as well.
I could not help feeling, though, that the movement from Beethoven’s C minor Sonata Op. 10 was a bad choice for her performance. To interpret his effectively, the pianist requires not only a knowledge of the historical and personal pressure which impelled Beethoven to stamp his foot on the elegance of the 18th century and to give an ironic, urgently assertive twist to his Mozartian illusions, but must feel their emotional veracity.
Rosemary dealt very adequately with the notes, but the sense of the music eluded her. Jimmy Visser’s Chopin, whist certainly far from callow, also fell short of a proper identification with the music’s psychological complexity.