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"The Symphony: A Listeners Guide," by Michael...


"The Symphony: A Listeners Guide," by Michael Steinberg (Oxford University Press, 678 pages, $35). Mr. Steinberg's collected program notes for the San Francisco Symphony, the New York Philharmonic and the Boston Symphony. Explorations and celebrations of mostly great music written with truly extraordinary clarity and gusto, jargon-free. Enduringly valuable to even the once-a-year concertgoer, and superb for the more frequent enthusiast.

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