New Works: Pffhonk!

Like many contemporary composers, America's Lukas Foss, 44, has been experimenting lately with new sounds. At Manhattan's Carnegie Hall last week, Foss conducted the London Symphony Orchestra, with Soloist Mstislav Rostropovich, in the world premiere of his Concert (not, inexplicably, concerto) for Cello and Orchestra. There were no really new sounds in the piece—just old sounds, such as blatt, splatt and pflat.

The first movement had the cellist manfully circling around for three minutes trying to find D-flat. Soon, from loudspeakers came a cadenza recorded earlier by Rostropovich, who then played a...

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