Music: Trim Symphony

Chicago music lovers got a treat last week: the first U.S. performance of Symphony No. 7 by Darius Milhaud (pronounced me-lo). Performed with clarity and spirit by Conductor Fritz Reiner and the Chicago Symphony, it turned out to be one of Milhaud's most appealing works.

On first hearing, the Seventh is not a work to seize its listeners by the ears or by viscera either. Instead, it sounds neat, trim and attractive, with an overall flavor bland enough to permit the savoring of delicate, sonic side dishes. The first movement is sunny and almost muscular, the slow movement an exurbanite pastoral, whose...

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