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Musical notes

How do you write up-lifting, start-of-an-era music? With difficulty it seems, as Kurt Masur has discovered

By Ivan Hewett   January 2000

Ending on an up-beat

Given that everything has to have a millennial theme right now (my local DIY shop boasts a “millennium screwdriver”), it is hardly surprising that concert halls and record shops have been awash with end-of-an-era pieces. What’s been lacking, surprisingly, are start-of-an-era pieces. None of the five “Millennium Messages” premiered late last year by the New York Philharmonic fulfilled conductor Kurt Masur’s hope that they would “reflect the hopes and dreams we all have as we enter the next century… unified by the basic idea that we all want to live together in peace.” The five composers…

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