Music: Too Much Perfection

Robert Shaw, something of a prodigy at his profession, was nagged by doubt. Only 32, the top chorus master in the U.S., he was bossing his own 185-voice amateur Collegiate Chorale (sometimes broken down into smaller groups, e.g., the RCA Victor Chorale, the Columbia Choral) and preparing the choral parts for Toscanini's broadcasts of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, Verdi's Falstaff, Requiem. But, as he diagnosed himself, "I don't handle the orchestra as well as the singers and I want to find out why." He promised himself a two-year breather to find the answer. Chasing...

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