Music: When Stars Play Together

For sheer size and weight, no other musical" marathon can touch the Edinburgh Festival. Last week Scotland's grimy, granite capital was midway through its annual three-week encirclement of culture, with more performers scheduled than one conductor could shake a stick at: five symphony orchestras (from Berlin, London, Scotland, Wales and New York City), two choirs, eight chamber ensembles, 15 name soloists, and an opera company (Glyndebourne). At a concert by the leaderless Italian ensemble called l Musici, one wag cracked: "Look, they've run out of conductors."

In all this sonorous wealth, there was only one attraction that had never been heard before,...

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