Music: Wordless Menotti

In Philadelphia last week, famed Violinist Efrem Zimbalist, 63, came out of a three-year retirement to solo with the Philadelphia Orchestra. His reason: he wanted to play the world premiere of Gian-Carlo (The Consul) Menotti's Violin Concerto in A Minor.

It turned out to be a happy decision for everybody. The songful style that marks Menotti's operas was apparent in the concerto, and its easygoing expression was well suited to Zimbalist's delicate tone and refined phrasing. For Philadelphians it was pleasant listening; the audience gave a rousing round of applause to the violinist, the composer and Conductor Eugene Ormandy.

The concerto is Menotti's...

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