Music: Palindrome Opera

In the 15th Century cocky composers sometimes showed off by writing compositions that could be played backwards as well as forwards. These compositions, called cancrizans or "crab style" (because of a mistaken idea that crabs walk backwards) were as difficult to construct as crossword puzzles. But they were not worth listening to.

Since that time most composers have been content to compose in one direction. Not so the famed, self-exiled German modernist, Paul Hindemith. Twelve years ago, before Nazi censors decided he was a Kulturbolschewist, sad-eyed Composer Hindemith dished up a whole opera...

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