Music: The Spirit in Moscow

Moscow was reeling under the heaviest American cultural onslaught in its history. Within the space of only a few weeks, Bass Jerome Hines had launched a Russian tour from the stage of the Bolshoi, Igor Stravinsky had returned to his homeland, and George Balanchine had arrived with his New York City Ballet. Then, almost unheralded, the Robert Shaw Chorale turned up last week and outdid them all. At an opening concert at Tchaikovsky Conservatory, the 34-member choral group scored a popular triumph the likes of which Moscow had not seen since 1958, when Van Cliburn took over the town.

What made the...

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