Many Motets Fill Sanders

A rich blend of harmonies and impeccable execution distinguished the concert “Mostly Motets,” presented by the Radcliffe Choral Society and Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum. The night’s religiously inspired motet program displayed the College’s musical talents to its fullest.

The sixty-member Collegium mixed choir serenaded audiences Friday evening with a truly classic program. Most notably, the evening’s Brahms theme was very well carried in “Warum ist das Licht gegeben dem Mühseligen” and “Lass dich nur nichts nicht dauren.” The versatile talents of the chorus were displayed in the former work with an achingly beautiful rendition of the first movement followed by rounds in the second movement. Especially praiseworthy was the piece’s sensitive harmonization between the soprano and alto parts.

The ensemble’s second Brahms piece was accompanied by Elisabeth M. Remy ’95 on harp. Before the piece began, conductor Jameson Marvin remarked to the audience that an organ served as the piece’s original accompaniment, but, because of the lack of an organ on Friday night, a harp was deemed the most worthy replacement. Indeed, Remy did not disappoint with her effortless melodies, which provided a rich but not overpowering pairing with the voices of the chorus.

The Radcliffe Choral Society also acquitted themselves admirably in the night’s performance. Brahms once again proved himself worthy of the evening’s attention in the piece “Vier Gesänge, Opus 17.” The sixty chorus women were joined by Remy on harp and Deborah L. Harrison ’05 and Jonathan S. McPhie ’05 on French horn. The ethereal quality of the chorus’ vocals was supported by the solid tones of the small instrumental ensemble. Harrison and McPhie harmonized beautifully with each other as well as with the chorus.

Overall, the concert was no less than expected from our polished and talented choruses. It was a truly solid night, sensitively conducted by Marvin and showcasing the best that Harvard has to offer.


—Crimson Arts critic Mildred M. Yuan can be reached at