It is astounding how much the term "benefit concert" will do towards keeping away an audience from even really cod artists presenting an intelligent program. It is hard to understand how there should have been such a meagre audience at the concert of Albert Spalding and Edith Mason in behalf of the Radcliffe Endowment Fund last evening Symphony Hall.
Mr. Spalding's program indicated clearly a desire on the part of the violinist to avoid the more stercotyped show pieces that usually fill such a program. Unfortunately in doing so he fell into the error of playing some pieces of little interest or musical worth. On the whole, however, his program was far better than those which one usually encounters. Beginning with a Prelude and Aria from Bach's Suite in E Minor, his selection included an excerpt from a Sonata of Porpora, short pieces of Boulanger an Suk, two of his own compositions, a Waltz of Chopin and a Jota of Sarasate. His tone was full and mellow, incisive in staccato passages and following in legato.
Miss, Mason's voice was not sweet although it was limpid and rich. She possessed a certain emotional restraint that lent to her singling a peculiar voluptuousness. Her voice showed to best advantage in Batch's Bist du bel mir." Her rendition of Batti, batti" would, we think have been more successful had it been more animated. She sang also Dupare's "Chanson Triste", Liszt's "Comment disaient-lls?" and Rachmanlnoff's, "Flcods of Spring."
It may be said at the risk of being trite, that the audience truly compensated in appreciation for what it jacked in numbers.