Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
Catholic University brought its orchestra and chorus to the Kennedy Center Monday night in its annual concert for the benefit of its music scholarship funds.
The evenings's soloists were drawn from some of the distinguished alumni and faculty of the university. During the first half of the evening, the chorus joined the orchestra, under William Noll, in the Hymn of Jesus by Gustav Holst and Vaughan Williams' "Benedicite."
The Holst calls for a large, divided chorus, plus a semi-chorus of treble voices. These, bulwarked by large orchestra and organ, offer some of the most luxuriant choral sounds of this century.
Monday night's performance, however, was generally disappointing, holding little of the dynamic shading called for, and with no suggestion of distance in the semi-chorus. Even more troublesome was Noll's failure to require of his singers the wide range of sound they could have offered had it been demanded. Even intonation suffered seriously.
Things went noticeably better in the Vaughan Williams with Carmen Balthrop in the ungrateful solo role. Post-intermission, with Robert Ricks in charge of the orchestra, things were totally different. Joseph Gatwood played the Ravel Tzigane in fine style, with admirable tone.
And in the flashy Symphonie Concertante by Joseph Jongen, organist Gunther Kaunzinger offered dazzling technique and immaculate control of every nuance. In both works, Ricks led the orchestra in subtle and effective playing.