Composers: That Weil-Known Shirt Button

Beethoven had his 65-minute Ninth Symphony, Bach his two-hour B Minor Mass. But for Soviet Composer Aram Khachaturian, a three-minute piece of tuneless orchestral blooey has been enough to establish a worldwide reputation. Last week the man who wrote the Sabre Dance (1942) made his American debut, conducting the Washington National Symphony orchestra in a program of his own music. His reputation was enough to sell out the barnlike Constitution Hall (3,810 seats, plus 50 crammed onto the stage beside the orchestra) two nights in a row. The Sabre Dance was on...

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