One Friday afternoon, years ago, the Boston Symphony Orchestra—Dr. Muck at the wheel—played Chabrier's rhapsody, Espana—brilliant, flaming. The audience roared approbation, kept on roaring. Dr. Muck looked worried. He turned back the page of the score, looked at the audience, look at the orchestra. Plainly they wanted the piece again. Plainly he wanted to give it to them. But precedent — sacred precedent — forbade repetition. Dr. Muck's courage failed him. After all, Boston was Boston. He went on to the next number.

The other day Serge...

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