We ought to be happy. Several weeks ago, the New York Philharmonic finally found a music director of acceptable, and even high, musical credentials. In enlisting Kurt Masur for what has been variously described as ten or eighteen weeks annually, the Philharmonic was not so much making an artistic choice as splitting its musical ticket. It has an agreement with the always-salable Leonard Bernstein to head the orchestra for several weeks in each of the coming seasons. Furthermore, the Philharmonic will be relying on the perennial guest conductor Erich Leinsdorf, and perhaps also on Sir Colin Davis, for several weeks each season as well.

It is not clear what this all adds up to. In Kurt Masur, the Philharmonic has chosen a first-class representative of the German musical tradition playing German masterpieces. It cannot be overlooked, after all, that Masur has for many years now been the director of the orchestra of the Leipzig...

 
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