Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
With daily hints of spring in the air after one of the toughest winters in history, it was good to hear Antal Dorati lead the National Symphony last night in an utterly delighting performance of "The Season" by Haydn.
The members of the Choral Arts Society sang the long work with unfailing vibrant tone full of shading. For soloists, Dorati brought forward three of the finest: Linda Zoghby, a soprano of clear, flexible sounds, shining in beauty of song; a new British tenor, Anthony Rolfe Johnson, making some of the loveliest sounds any tenor has made around here in years; and baritone Tom Krause, who has the style and technique for "The Season" in his pocket, dispensing them with elegance and virile grace.
When he set to work on his last grand oratorio, Haydn was full of good spirits, blessed with the admiration of his fellow musicians and large audiences, and outspoken in his appreciation to God for His generosity.
The results are unalloyed pleasure. A direct quote from the "Surprise" symphony accompanies Simon's first aria; oboe, flute and bassoon are showered with grand obbligato passeges all evening; pictures of Nature's changing moods are displayed for the ear as if in great exhibition at the world's finest art gallery.
Haydn's inventine ingenuity is at a rare peak, perhaps bubbling over more irresistibly in the drinking and hunting scenes in the fall than at any other time.
Dorati led the work from th harpsichord which he played with enriching ease. For a special measure of glory, there was music in the introductions to "Fall" and "Winter" that has only recently been discovered, and which has probably not been played inover 150 years. "The Season" run long, but is worth every minute. It is repeated tonight.