PIERIAN'S WORK MERITORIOUS
REVIEWER PRAISED SELECTION OF BORODIN'S SYMPHONY AND ARTISTIC SKILL.
The Pierian Sodality gave its one hundred and seventh annual concert in Sanders Theatre last evening with a program of unusual interest including Borodin's First Symphony, Beethoven's Overture to Coriolanus, Handel's Concerto Grosso No. 20 and the Hungarian March from Berlioz' "Damnation of Faust." The choice of Borodin's Symphony was felicitous both from the historical standpoint and that of intrinsic merit. Would that more conductors of symphony orchestras might follow Mr. Hewitt's example. For Borodin's Symphony, the second to be composed in Russia, is a notable instance of independence, individuality and resource despite the obvious obligations to Schumann. Written in a difficult if effective orchestral style, its performance was notable for spirit, sympathy and just appreciation of its contests. While Beethoven's Overture presents difficulties of a different order, its classic style is more easily assimilable. Here again the orchestra played with a rhythmic incesiveness and excellent ensemble. Handel's Concerto imposes a difficult task even upon well disciplined strings, and that the Pierian succeeded in giving so substantial a proportion of the qualities of this rather casual music redounds to its credit. While some of the tempi might be open to credit, the interpretation was none the less eminently Handelian.
While again some exception might be taken to the tempo of the Hungarian march, its performance attained a genuine climax of brilliance, verve and picturesque effect.
On the whole, the Pierian Sodality and Mr. Hewitt are warmly to be congratulated upon maintaining the high standards of recent years both as regards the substance of the program and the able manner in which it was presented. That the Sodality can maintain such standards in face of the inevitable fluctuation in material from year to year speaks highly for the genuine spirit of artistic striving which actuates its efforts, and in the results obtained amply justifies its choice of its present leader. That Mr. Hewitt has shown indisputable talent, perseverance and patience is obvious.