Music: Atonality for Tots

The audience might well have frightened any composer out of his augmented triads: it consisted of 600 moppets between five and twelve. Children, so the theory goes, are the ideal connoisseurs of modern music, because they have no built-in esthetic prejudices, and last week Venice's prestigious International Festival of Contemporary Music paused in the midst of its strenuously avant-garde schedule to put the theory to the test. In the baroque Fenice Theater, the kids saw nine one-act Games and Fables for Children, composed on commission by a group of noted moderns.

Included in the program were German Composer Hans Werner Henze's...

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