It has seemed for some years now that the Berlin Philharmonic is the nonpareil of orchestras playing today. Whether on its innumerable recordings or in the quite limited number of concerts it has played here over the past three decades, the Berlin Philharmonic has set the kind of standard in performance that we in America used to associate with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Serge Koussevitzky, or with the Philadelphia Orchestra, under both Leopold Stokowski and, later, Eugene Ormandy.

So it was a matter of extraordinary interest when several months ago a new visit of the Berlin Philharmonic to these shores was announced. The tour wasn’t scheduled to be anything like a full traversal of the continent; it was to include only a few concerts, including appearances in Boston, New York, Chicago, and cities on the Pacific Coast. Indeed, people on the inside of the music business widely expressed...


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