Concerts: Doing the Noble Thing Badly

The ideal pops concert is played in a park, and its program is as light and harmless as a passing cloud—Gershwin, Sousa, Leroy Anderson. This follows the old axiom that serious music, like aged whisky, should be saved for cold winter nights.* But the music that Conductor Andre Kostelanetz chose to open the New York Philharmonic "Promenades" series last week had real substance—Shostakovich, Ravel, Alan Hovhaness.

Such enterprise might easily be mistaken for coming to the picnic in overcoat and vest, especially since the Philharmonic is a beginner at a game best...

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