Music: Wozzeck In Manhattan

By the all but universal verdict of the critics who have heard it, Alban Berg's atonal opera Wozzeck is the finest opera composed in the last 40 years.* Berg, an Austrian, finished Wozzeck in 1921, and it had immediate success in Europe. Oddly enough, in the U.S., it has had only one stage production (in 1931), and only a few doughty conductors have nibbled away at concert excerpts. One reason: its 15 scenes are costly to stage. More important, although Wozzeck is now more than 25 years old, most opera impresarios fear that, musically,...

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