Page 6, 11th December 1959

11th December 1959
Page 6
Page 6, 11th December 1959 — Music: SOLOIST ON THE ROSTRUM

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known throughout the country as a pianist, last week made his debut as a conductor at the Royal Festival Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He is yet another of the many soloists who has taken to playing concertos as well as conducting the remainder of the programme—not exactly a " fair " procedure in these days of too little work for too many artists unless it justifies itself by its excellence.

This, however. was only apparent in Beethoven's first piano concerto. In Weber's " Oberon " overture Mozart's " Haffner " symphony. Mr. Foldes' clear. precise beat resulted in firm rhythm and neat ness of ensemble the effect of which was calculated rather than spontaneous in feeling or searching in interpretation.

But the concerto had a uniformity and an intimate chamber music quality which it would be hard to better with a conductor on the rostrum. Although there is an element of the comic with the soloist appearing to "scramble" in order to get his own and an orchestral entry in in time, Mr. Foldes' playing is quite superb.

One hopes Mr. Foldes will stick to the piano, for it seems that his qualities as a conductor can never match the brilliance of his playing.

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