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Israel Orchestra Revises Explanation of Resuming Wagner Music

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The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra responded today to sharp criticism of its original explanation for resuming performances of works by Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss by revising its explanation.

In its initial explanation, published in a concert program at the beginning of the week, the orchestra management said it had decided to resume performances of the works of the two German composers “not only because of paramount demands on freedom of art but also because of a change in the attitude of our people.” Works of the two composers had been boycotted for almost three decades because they were favored by the Nazi regime.

In a correction which appeared in last night’s concert program, the public was told that the explanation should have read not that the attitudes of Israeli Jews had changed but “because opposition to Wagner has become a mere gesture.”

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