Music: Counterpurge

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Five years ago Nazis purged Amsterdam's world-famed Concertgebouw Orchestra of 18 Jewish members, packed them off to a Czechoslovakian concentration camp. Last week 15 of the 18 Jewish musicians were back in their chairs for the symphony's first concert since the liberation.

By way of a prelude, Amsterdamers had done a little Dutch-cleansing of their own, kicking out five Dutch collaborationists. They had also removed the blue paint which the Germans had smeared over the names of "non-Aryan" composers on the concert-hall frieze; now the names of Mendelssohn and Mahler were again visible.

Canadian soldiers on leave joined the Dutch in singing Wilhelmus, the national anthem which the Germans banned in 1940, then listened to Beethoven, Debussy and Tschaikovsky conducted by 44-year-old stocky, handsome Alexander Van Beinum, formerly an assistant conductor.

Conspicuously missing was Dr. Willem Mengelberg, who during 43 years as the Concertgebouw's director was the undisputed lord of Dutch music. The Netherlands Honor Council of Music had sacked him for joining the Nazi Culture Chamber, making guest appearances with German orchestras.