Reprinted from yesterday's late editions
The recent ending of two strikes and the scheduling of Kennedy Center concerts combined Monday night to arrange events so that it fell to Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra to be the first American symphony orchestra to play in the center's fall season.
After a rousing "Star Spangled Banner," Ormandy brought back to concert platforms from which it has been too long absent the one-movement eloquence of the Symphony No. 21 by the late Soviet composer Nikolai Miaskovsky. During the years since Frederick Stock introduced this music to American audiences in Chicago in 1940, it has had few superiors in lyric appeal or formal excellence.
The quality of the symphony was beautifully laid out by the orchestra under Ormandy's enkindling direction.
From the poetic thought of the Russian symphony, Ormandy turned to a driving exposition of the familiar suite from Bartok's "Miraculous Mandarin." The playing had every ounce of the fierce brutality of the music, and, in its one short span of quiet expressiveness, just the right exquisite, haunting sound. While the suite is a fine extraction, the full score has better balance in emotional moods.
The last of Schubert's symphonies closed the evening in radiant beauty. There was a fine plasticity in the opening movement and the oboe in the andante was the keynote to a touching sequel.