Music: Precision with Passion

When the musicians of the Leningrad Philharmonic take the stage they look a little like a guards regiment on parade. They march on from opposite wings in cadenced step, and at times all 106 of them sit down in a single movement. Seated, they sometimes look to the casual observer about as animated as the tenants of a wax museum. But the appearance is deceiving. The Leningrad, now on its first tour of the U.S., is one of the world's great orchestras.

Unlike most Western orchestras, the Leningrad under permanent Conductor Eugene Mravinsky seems to strive less for a blend of orchestral...

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