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Strange Dissonance

Goethe’s “Erlkönig” is one of the most horrifying poems in all of world literature. At its center is an unspeakable tragedy, the death of a child. Also shocking is the language of the poem: it omits any description of the boy’s suffering. The very objectivity of Goethe’s language is chilling. In Schubert’s setting of “Erlkönig,” […]

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Sala São Paulo

On a Friday evening last December, my wife and I arrived at one of São Paulo’s major train stations, the Estação da Luz, during rush hour. Several metropolitan lines connect with regional transit to the suburbs there, and it was thronged with tired commuters. We elbowed our way past them and through the station’s labyrinthine […]

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Where The Flowers Are

Long before you see Fréderic Chopin’s tombstone, at the Père Lachaise graveyard in Paris, you’ll see the mountains of cards and plastic flowers. What you won’t see, surprisingly, is much red and white, the colors of the Polish flag. Considering the composer’s omnipresence in his country, with its Chopin University of Music, Chopin Airport, and […]