Music: New Hat at the Met

The Metropolitan Opera last week broke out in moderate three-quarter time. It staged the U.S. premiere of a 23-year-old opera by the late great Richard Strauss, called Arabella. Completed 23 years after Der Rosenkavalier, in 1932, it proved to be a pale reflection of that bouquet, but it had some of its typical ingredients: 1) a text by Strauss's friend, Poet Hugo von Hofmannstahl, with its share of Viennese titillation and Gemütlichkeit; 2) lovely melodies for the high voices, including some, so melting that the music seemed to run across the stage and...

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