New Faces

Lazare Saminsky
Musical Courier, Feb 1, 1943

A brilliant musician is Vivian Fine. An agile pianist, admirable coach, extraordinary reader at sight of most difficult scores, this young Chcagoan transplanted to New York is well and favorably known to our musical world. Yet very few people realize that this serene, amazingly modest girl is a splendid composer, a creator of music of fine substance and outstanding mastery. Some years ago I first saw the works of Vivian Fine. She was then a child of fifteen. I was amazed by the power and precocity of her superb musical brains capable of tackling the most intricate harmonic concepts.

Her former radicalism à outrance and cerebralism have now disappeared, leaving no trace. In her Allegro Concertante for strings [from Concertante for Piano and Orchestra) it is a delight to follow the novel diatonic flow of the charmingly gay piece with its firm polyphonic-thematic backbone.

Even more impressive are her splendid songs—the attractive Epigram, of a limpid vocal line and imaginative instrumentation; Bloom, for voice and string quartet, enchanting in its human substance and parallel weaving; luminous, lovely expressive vocal line and counter-voices of the strings. Then there is Dirge (after Shakespeare) for voice, viola, and cello, a piece beautiful in its emotional depth and a calm, clear-eyed masterly mirroring an amazingly potent, fine intellect.

Think of the stoicism of this extraordinary girl who has lived here for years without ever hearing her admirable music played or seeing it published!