Music: Shostakovich Premiere

After 73 minutes of nonstop conducting, Arturo Toscanini looked as if he had just come through the siege of Leningrad. The audience jumped up and cheered, as if it had just heard news of a Nazi defeat. Thousands of radio listeners, who in many sections had fought a losing battle with static, sighed and turned their dials.

The great event had happened at last. In Manhattan last week Conductor Toscanini led the NBC Symphony Orchestra in the first U.S. performance of Dmitri Shostakovich's long-heralded Seventh Symphony, composed during the Nazi siege of...

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