Mozart's C Minor Mass was performed on the highest level last night in the Kennedy Center. Norman Scribner led his Choral Arts Society, with an outstanding aray of soloists and orchestral forces. The great work came out marked with an admirable mixture of strength and pentence, achieved through remarkable musical endeavor
The chorus, which has been unusually busy in recent weeks, sang with superb, fluent tone throughout, always at ease, always in complete command of every phrase. It must be said that there were a great many more voices than are needed for the Mozart, and the orchestra was drowned out in the larger moments. But the grand episodes were of welcome power.
Phyllis Bryn-Julson, who had contributed singing singing of extraordinary luster in Luigu Dallapiccola's "Tre Laudi," crowned the Mozart with her ineffable traversal of "Et incarnaus est." This was a model of musical and vocal art. Her excellent companions were soprano Susan Wyner, Gene Tucker, Mary Richardson, Thomas Beveridge, John Stephens, a bass from whom we should hear more.
The evening spread opened with Vivaldi's "Beatus Vir," a happy, straightforward baroque romp, complete with duets. The 13 instruments in Dallapiccola's radiant music provided one of the exquisite insembles heard in many seasons.