Tow-haired and apple-cheeked Hephzibah Menuhinâ€”who is fourteen and the sister of Yehudiâ€”is a very talented pianist, critics who heard her and her brother in a joint sonata recital at Town Hall agreed yesterday. It was Hephzibah’s American debut.
The recital, for the benefit of the Town Hall endowment fund, repeated a program which had been heard first at the Salle Pleyel in Paris in October and at Queen’s Hall in London last month.
The audience, which filled every cranny of the auditorium, gave the players ovation after ovation in enthusiasm at the excellence of their combined musicianship.
Three sonatas constituted the programâ€”Mozart’s A. Major, No. 42; Schumann’s D Minor, opus 12; and Beethoven’s “Kreutzer Sonata.”
Mr. and Mrs. Moshe Menuhin will not permit their daughter to appear in public again for some time to come, they have decided, in the belief that her precocious musical gifts might be endangered through too much early exploitation.
The amazing Yehudi’s abilities as a violinist were displayed anew. He was expected to shine in his part and didâ€”beautifully.
Curiosity centered chiefly on what sort of showing Hephzibah would make. She held her end up splendidly. She satisfied listeners that Yehudi’s expressions of pride in his sister might with justice have been even more exuberant.
Critical opinion was that the best performance of the two young Menuhins came in the playing of the Beethoven sonata. But there was little to choose. Their work all evening was something to marvel at, so marvelously good was it.
During the intermission the Board of Trustees of Town Hall was presented with a bronze plaque of Yehudi and Hephzibah, the product of Donovan G. Rowse, by Ernest Schelling.