Music: Critic's Morning After

In the guerrilla warfare between musicians and critics, last week a truce was called for. The herald who appeared between the two armies had fought on both sides: chubby-cheeked, baldish Virgil Thomson, 48, a onetime Paris expatriate from Kansas City. He is both a critic (the New York Herald Tribune) and a composer (the Gertrude Stein opera, Four Saints in Three Acts; cinema music for The Plow That Broke the Plains). He thus admonished his fellow critics: "A dispassionate reporting of facts [is] the part of criticism that constitutes a communication. The...

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