Music: No Comment

On nights of important debuts, nervous musicians often whisper backstage prayers that the critics, somehow, will fall deaf by curtain time. Last week the critics fell mute instead. New York's newspaper strike (see PRESS) left them effectively silenced, but to the artists who made their debuts, the quiet from critics' row seemed even gloomier than the usual whisper of mighty pencils.

In recital halls, young musicians, faceless behind their cellos, remained nameless, too, with no reviews to account for their work. Even debuts at the Metropolitan Opera or at Carnegie Hall seemed curiously...