Composers: Notes from a Master

He began his career as a talented prankster. In his famous opera Neues vom Tage (News of the Day), he reversed all the conventional numbers; a hate duet replaced a love duet and a divorce ensemble took the place of a wedding march. He also wrote a one-act opera, Das Nusch-Nuschi, designed it for performance by Burmese marionettes, and worked in a parody of Tristan that outraged loyal Wagnerians. Since those high old days of the 1920s, Paul Hindemith has turned more serious, and his enormous output (including such masterpieces as the...

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