Music: Raising the Devil

Russian Composer Sergei Prokofiev, manhandled by the Manhattan critics, was in a black mood. It was 1919 and he was wandering forlornly through Central Park. Looking up at the surrounding skyscrapers, he thought "of all the wonderful orchestras in America that cared nothing about my music." He had come "too soon," he decided. "The child (America) was not old enough to appreciate new music." Out of "sheer despair" he plunged into a new opera, The Flaming Angel—a manic-depressive nightmare set to unmelodic music. Last week, like some dark specter returned to haunt the...

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