Music: The Idiom Is Advanced

Roger Sessions, a serious, shiny-pated New Englander of 53 who teaches at the University of California, is ranked by other U.S. composers as one of the most serious and most original of them all. But his music is seldom heard. And when it is, few concertgoers have liked it. Critics generally call it "cerebral" and "difficult."

Sessions thinks he knows why: "insufficient familiarity." Last week Carnegie Hall concertgoers got their first big, but apparently still insufficient, earful of Sessions' music. The New York Philharmonic-Symphony played his Symphony No. 2, first performed in San Francisco three years ago (TIME, Jan. 27, 1947).

A few...

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