Music: Salzburg's Trial

At the Salzburg Festival, famed mainly for its glittering performances of Mozart and Richard Strauss, the season's big news was the world premiere last week of a modern, gloomy opera, The Trial. The music was by Gottfried von Einem, who, at 35, is regarded as Austria's outstanding postwar composer. The libretto was taken from Franz Kafka's novel.

Everything pointed to success. Kafka's nightmarish book, first published in 1925, is enjoying a vogue among intellectuals; it tells about a kind of tragic Sad Sack—an ordinary man named Joseph K. who is arrested, tried by...

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