Saturday night the Boston Symphony Orchestra and a chorus composed of the Glee Club and the Radcliffe Chorale gave the third performance of Beethoven's Mirza Solemnis to an enthusiastic audicure which packed Symphony Hall. Although Boston has been accused of coldnest towards choral works, the tremendone applause which greeted the performance completely justified Koussevitsky's desire to present this work in an ordinary subscription concert.
When it became known this fall that the work was to be given again, there was considerable fear that the chorus would not be able to achieve as finished a performance as it did last spring. Yet it was not until this performance that the chorus hit its peak. When Koussevitsky kissed his hand to the Radcliffe girls who successfully sang one of the most difficult works ever to be written, his beaming face acknowledged a splendid job of singing. The difficult fugues in the Gloria and Credo demanding all the resources of a chorus were done superbly, the tremendous crescendos throughout the work were breathtaking, and the total effect was to have more than one person in the audience limp form emotional exhaustion.
The soloists were conspicuously better than last year and they must be thanked for a skillful rendering of the taxing solo quartets. The uncertainty of last spring's performance was replaced by a balanced rendition although some times one had the impression that the demands of the music were beyond the capabilities of nay singer.
The performance of the Boston Symphony Orchestra as always left almost nothing to be desired. In the Benedictus the solo of the first violinist, Mr. Burgin, was especially noteworthy and the whole orchestra must be praised for an inspired performance, led by a great conductor at his best. Koussevitsky, with the help of G. W. Woodworth, conductor of the chorus has given to Boston an entirely satisfactory performance of what Beethoven called his "greatest and most successful" work.