The last Symphony Hall concert of the Harvard Glee Club was a distinct success. For the second time Frieda Hempel was the assisting artist. Her selections, with the exception of an aria from "Der Freischutz", were purely romantic--full of sentiment, even sentimentality. Yet as sung by Miss Hempel these songs were ever a delight; especially so her rendering of the Swiss "Canari Jaloux", and a "Lullaby" by Humperdinck.
The Glee Club started the program with the 130th Psalm in memory of John Henry Berry '25, a member of the club who has just recently died. After a severe yet impressive beginning in the two pieces of old church music, the concert took on a distinctly modern tone--a radical change from Dr. Davison's usual course. Mr. Converse's "Laudate Dominum" was particularly striking in its vigor and tone, filled out as it was by trombones and horns. As for the "Deux Choeurs" by J. Guy Ropartz, they were remarkable only because they were dedicated to the Harvard Glee Club.
Example of Impressionistic Music
Gustav Holst's "Dirge of Two Veterans", the words of which were written by Walt Whitman, was the most noteworthy number of the evening. Dr. Davison's inclusion of brasses and drums in this piece was a stroke of genius. As an example of impressionistic music, it is not to be matched in the field of choral singing.
After Miss Hempel's second group of songs, the Glee Club sang "The House among the Trees" by Edward Ballantine of the Music Department. With words by J. L. McLane '22, Mr. Ballantine has achieved a distinct success in this extremely melodious dream-song.
The Glee Club then turned to the realm of folk-song and in the Scotch and Irish ballads they sang with a fire and lilt which delighted the audience. The Bach finale, despite the too liberal use of brasses and organ, was a veritable burst of glory.
This concert has not only added to the high standard of the Glee Club's work, but its memory should bring many expectantly to Symphony Hall next year for its annual series.