The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, started in 1969, was one of the last constituent members of the Lincoln Center culturopolis to be founded. Resident at Alice Tully Hall, which was named after the munificent patron of both the hall and the Chamber Music Society, the organization is now celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary season. The festivities began in October with a “Live from Lincoln Center” telecast. The program included a newly commissioned composition, three staples of the chamber-music repertory, tributes to chamber music from a painter and two famous writers, snippets of a rehearsal, and a celebrity host—Hugh Downs—wrapping all the creative joy together.

The television program was clearly meant to serve both as a summation of the group’s past and as a foretaste of its future. It therefore deserves careful critical consideration not only as a concert but also as a diagnosis of where...


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