Music: Good Play

Even the elderly backstage doorman was excited, for he had heard the buzzing in the lobby during the intermission. "They're crazy about you," he told the 15-year-old lad. "Just crazy."

The doorman was right. Manhattan concertgoers, to whom child prodigies were no novelty, were wild about Ervin Laszlo. His flashing performance of Bach, Beethoven, Schumann, Chopin and Debussy might have made any of his elders envious. Second-chair critics, who attend dozens of recitals a year and stoically put up with a lot of willing but perfunctory performers, found themselves using first-chair words of praise. "One searches his memory in vain," wrote the...

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