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The U.S. had first seen Ernest Ansermet (rhymes with ah sir may) and his black, square-cut beard 32 years ago, conducting while Nijinsky danced. It was Ansermet who gave the U.S. its first taste of Stravinsky's tart Petrouchka and Debussy's heady L'Après-Midi d'un Faune,

As a young Swiss esthete among Paris' musical Young Turks, he had conducted many an uproarious premiere of their raucous and startling works—as they seemed then. Stravinsky's Les Noces, De Falla's Le Tricorne, Ravel's La Valse, Honegger's Pacific 231 (which is dedicated to Ansermet) had first come to life...

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