Music: Invitation to the Waltz

Toscanini was tired and a little apprehensive: he had never conducted on the West Coast before. But the cause was good, a benefit for the Los Angeles Philharmonic pension fund.

The first half of the concert was brilliant: Rossini's Overture to Semiramide and Beethoven's Seventh. ("We didn't watch his baton, we watched his eyes," the concertmaster said. "They flashed for crescendo, smiled for melody, cried for the depths.") The 7,000 worshipers that jam-packed the huge Moorish Shrine Auditorium spent half the intermission praising the Allah of music and swearing that Toscanini was his...

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