Music: Triumphal Return

For 40 years, German Pianist Wiihelm Backhaus has been known as one of the world's musical giants. When he made his U.S. debut in 1912, his soulful mien and his remarkable performances created high excitement. But in the 'aos he decided "to give America a rest." Last week, just turned 70, he made a triumphal return for a single recital in Manhattan's jampacked Carnegie Hall, his first in 28 years.

Pianist Backhaus, square-jawed and bulky, played five sonatas by Beethoven with the virility and technique of a man half his age. He began with the tried & true Pathétique, swirled through the...

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