The Pleasures of Charles Rosen

Even those of us who admire Charles Rosen as the most remarkable critic writing today must be startled by the polymathy in his new collection, Freedom and the Arts. Just to see the spectrum provided by the titles of the twenty-eight essays is to marvel: “Structural Dissonance and the Classical Sonata,” “Theodore Adorno: Criticism as Cultural Nostalgia,” “Lost Chords and the Golden Age of Pianism,” “La Fontaine: The Ethical Power of Style,” “Hofmannsthal and Radical Modernism.” To read them is to marvel further: Rosen’s communicative power is as prodigious as his versatility.

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Boccanegra’s Risorgimento July 12, 2012