Music: Le Beau Charles

It was mid-season—a time when symphony conductors take a rest and the players try to fathom the strange habits of guest conductors. With Conductor Artur Rodzinski away, the men of the New York Philharmonic-Symphony had just gotten used to fiddling and blowing in the allout way Guest Conductor Leopold Stokowski wanted. Now they had to get used to another guest conductor.

The new man, Charles Munch, France's greatest conductor, pleaded with the men in rehearsal: "Gentlemen, gentlemen! Please play lightly." When the orchestra finally caught on, Charles Munch threw the men a kiss and shouted "Bravo!" In the musicians' locker room afterward,...

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