It was the biggest musical event in Vienna since the war: after a ten-year exile, Vienna's favorite living musician had come home.
On the war-battered streets, music lovers stopped to wring the hand of 71-year-old Conductor Bruno Walter. He had come back to preside over a ceremony as symbolic as his own return: the restoration to the Vienna State Opera of a Rodin bust of another Viennese heroGustav Mahler.
When he passed by the once handsome old opera house, Walter turned his head away from the building's gaping wounds and boarded-up windows. "It was too awful," he said, "I could not enter."