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The Harvard Glee Club is outstanding among college organizations for the originality and variety of its repertoire. The concert which the Club, together with the Radcliffe Choral Society and the brass choir of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, is preparing for Thursday of next week will increase considerably its reputation for originality.
The program includes works by Mozart, Handel, Randall Thompson, and Walter Piston, but the feature of the concert is a group of works written by Giovanni Gabrieli for the Church of St. Mark in Venice.
Most of us know of Gabrieli as a composer of brilliant contrapuntal and antiphonal works, but hardly ever do we have a chance to hear his music performed.
It helps one a great deal to understand the rich color of Gabrieli's work if one realizes that St. Mark's was the center of the wealthy and luxurious Venice of the late 16th Century. Pageantry was an essential part of the religious ceremony there, and Gabrieli's music reflects the spirit of bold display which characterized St. Mark's.
This is, in reality, old music, but it is so colorful and so full of magnificent harmonic and contrapuntal effects that its revival is by no means an act of dry musical archaeology.
Of course, Mr. Woodworth is at a disadvantage when he attempts to make the gloom of Sanders Theatre take the place of St. Mark's; but for at least one of the pieces he is using ingenious means to reproduce as far as possible the original conditions of performance.
Two concerts are scheduled for Cambridge this week. On Thursday the Boston Symphony Orchestra will play the following program at Sanders Theatre: Beethoven's Sixth Symphony, Mathis der Mahler of Hindemith, and Wagner's Prelude to Die Meistersinger. The Stradivarius Quartet will play the following evening in Fogg Art Museum. Their program has not been announced.
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