Music: Next to Godliness

The great and gloomy Dane, Soren Kierkegaard, has turned up in many strange guises. The philosophy of the once-obscure 19th century theologian has been abused to label everything from "existentialist" hairdos to literature, and his troubled probings of Man, God and Infinity have inspired a modern philosophical fad as well as the "crisis theology" of contemporary Protestantism. Last week Kierkegaard appeared in music. His musical interpreter: U.S. Composer Samuel Barber, 44, who studied Kierkegaard for a decade, and made him the subject of his first major composition in four years.

Many contemporary composers...

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