Music: Wozzeck at the Met

Manhattan's Victorian, red-and-gilt Metropolitan Opera House was transformed one night last week into a nightmarish, shriekingly demented world of sight and sound. The occasion: the Met's long overdue production of Wozzeck, by the late, famed atonalist, Alban Berg. It was one of the great nights in Met history.

Based on a series of dramatic fragments by German Playwright Georg Büchner (1813-37), Wozzeck created a sensation when first performed in Berlin in 1925, was almost immediately recognized by European critics as one of the century's operatic masterpieces. But the fear that American audiences were not ready for Wozzeck's cerebral, atonal music long discouraged...

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