Music: Classical Records

Some of the best recordings of contemporary American music these days are being made by a conductor who is not an American and by an orchestra not resident in the U.S. Akeo Watanabe, 41-year-old conductor of the Japan Philharmonic, is his nation's most gifted interpreter of modern scores; for Composers Recordings, Inc. he has now conducted eight modern American works by composers ranging from Aaron Copland to Halsey Stevens, giving them deft and assured readings.

Conductor Watanabe is the son of a Finnish mother and a Japanese father who became a Lutheran clergyman. A...

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