While the audience overflowed Paine Hall last night, the Pierian Sodality and the Radcliffe Choral Society gave a varied program of works ranging all the way from Weelkes to Hindemith. Demanding so much skill from the individual players, the orchestra sounded sour at times and showed a little disorganization in its first and most difficult concert of the season. Specifically, the Concerto Grosso in B minor was not marvelous.
As a whole the concert was good. Just let Woody take those Radcliffe girls in hand and the result is astounding. Hallelulja Amen, a canon by Norris, went brilliantly, enunciation being practically as good as the Harvard Glee Club. The girls also sang acapella a madrigal by Weelkes with the skill and lightness of a few experienced singers. But Woody steals half the show when he expresses the sense of the music in his face. In the mellifluent parts of Shubert's Valsos Nobles, for instance, Woody licked his chops as if the girls were slipping him a Western over the piano . . . and did they ever respond.
The program reached its climax with full orchestra and chorus producing Hindemith's Martinslied which is all about a barnyard and the animals in it. Woody brought out its harshness with strength and vigor, but the powerful effect was gained mainly by the rhythm. The noise was marvelous. Following and in contrast to Hindemith was the chorus from A Midsummer Night's Dream by Mendelssohn which was conducted by Malcolm Holmes. Elinor Baker, one of the soloists, was the high point in this piece and she sang very well also. Two choruses from secular cantatas by Bach brought the evening to a glorious close.