Music: Again, Horowitz

At midafternoon, Pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy sounded the final chord of a recital at New York's 92nd Street Y.M. & Y.W.H.A. Holding up his watch and resolutely waving off all requests for encores, he declared, "You have been most gracious, but I must go to hear Vladimir Horowitz."

Everyone, or so it seemed, felt the same way. At 70, the unpredictable Ukrainian-born pianist was staging another "historic return"—his first New York performance in six years and the first classical recital ever presented in the eight-year-old Metropolitan Opera House. Jackie Onassis, Peter Falk and Mikhail Baryshnikov...

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