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The Concertgoer Ein Deutsches Requiem

By Chris Rochester

in Memorial for Professor G. Wallace Woodworth

SLOWLY treading the street's dry ground, past each small shop closed for the heat, closed for the honor of the man passing. This little, scorching town, which a day before had seemed pathetic in its wasting chivalry, a scene of immense yet circumscribed desolation irreparably wounded by the humiliation of war, now seemed still more ceaseless as the funeral cortege stepped its measured steps along the street among friends. Each face, as it aligned with the four white horses, was imperceptibly transfigured, lightly brushed with luminous gratitude that the man had passed without discomfort. The procession glided to the comforting music of the horses' regularly failing hoofs on the settled dust. The Sun Shines Bright. A film about the still, silent, unsentimental consolation of a great man's passing, and the reciprocity of smiles urging faces to a communion of regard. The garment of the people's gentle ruth was placed about him. The cortege trailed to higher ground. And the strife of the vanity of melancholy was dissolved in lucid order.

"Blessed are they that mourn,

for they shall be comforted.

They that sow in tears

shall reap in joy.

They that go forth and weep,

bearing precious seed,

shall doubtless come again with rejoicing,

bringing their sheaves to them."

The memorial concert of Brahms's Ein Deutsches Requiem with the Glee Club, Radcliffe Choral Society. University Chorus, and Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra, all groups that G. Wallace Woodworth had conducted, was splendid. The only student concert which compares with it was the University Chorus's performance last Easter of Bach's St. John Passion. The orchestra played with unprecedented unanimity, tone, and intonation; the choruses especially Mr. Ferris's Memorial Church choir, sang? with ?ear diction, precise ensemble and balance, and spiritual sympathy. But conductor James Yannatos deserves special praise for a manly, unostentatious, dramatically well-proportioned, moving yet suitably chaste reading of this Requiem of consolation for both dead and living. Baritone Thomas Beveridge sang with subtler phrasing and dynamic control than soprano Helen Boatwright, who, while possessing considerably more substantial tone, tended to substitute distracting inhalatory anguish for simpler feeling. The sorrow of her central text resides in the unadorned line, without need for such overt emotional infringement.

"And ye now therefore have sorrow;

but I will see you again,

and your heart shall rejoice,

and your joy no man taketh from you.

As one whom his mother comforteth,

so I will comfort you.

Ye see how for a little while

I labor and toil,

yet have I found much rest."

WOODY was a living vindication of Blake's belief that Beauty is Exuberance. This humane, generous, ebullient teacher and artist possessed no fugitive greatness. No man can hope to surpass G. Wallace Woodworth's inextinguishable charity and concern to bring people into loving commerce with the most capaciously communicative of the arts.

"Blessed are the dead

which die in the Lord

from henceforth:

Yea, saith the Spirit,

that they rest from their labors."

Such music was in the care of the man; now the man is in care of such music, and we are in the care of his memory.

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