Music: Wanted: Repetitions

"Having performed a new work once." wrote the San Francisco Chronicle's able music critic, Alfred Frankenstein, "conductors disown it for good. Hence arises an infuriating paradox: the best way to kill a modern piece is to preside over its premiere."

Such complaints, echoed by composers who get commissions for new works but not repeat performances, partly inspired the Ford Foundation last week to appropriate $315,000 for the commissioning, playing and repeat performances of new symphonic works, and the performances of ten contemporary U.S. operas (by the New York City Opera). Critic Frankenstein found the provision for symphonic performances insufficient. Briskly turning...

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