Roy Hemming
November 20, 1992 AT 05:00 AM EST

Music helped another monstrous ”wall” to crumble in April 1990 when the Berlin Philharmonic, Germany’s greatest orchestra, toured Israel for the first time and gave a joint concert in Tel Aviv with the Israel Philharmonic. A Bridge Across the Abyss: Israel Philharmonic Orchestra Welcomes Berliner Philhamoniker not only documents that historic union but also provides a fascinating musical experience in CD-quality sound. The 160 musicians — the Israelis in white formal wear and the Berliners in black — sit side by side to play Beethoven’s thrilling Fifth Symphony, Ravel’s dazzling La Valse, and a dedicatory psalm by the German-born Israeli composer Paul Ben-Haim. The disc also includes a brief documentary whose most moving moment shows a visit by the Berliners to an Israeli Holocaust memorial. A-

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