Music: Song Plugger

The song recital was like a new Schiaparelli showing. The people who filled Manhattan's Carnegie Chamber Hall were largely buyers of music: singers, teachers and publishers. On stage, like a mannequin modeling a new plunging neckline, brown-haired, willowy Janet Fairbank paraded the latest creations in art songs. Tucked away in the corners of the auditorium were young composers, some of whose musical stitches and designs were being shown off for the first time in public.

Most singers consider the program foolhardy that has more than two songs by living composers—but not 44-year-old Janet Fairbank....

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