David Patrick Stearns is a classical music critic and columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer.
How often - during wildly operatic declarations of love - have you wondered what the characters were smoking?
After Mahler, Jewish composers never turned back. In earlier times, from Mendelssohn's symphonic rigor to Offenbach's comic lyricism, Jewish composers had little sense of collective identity. But the arrival of folk and ethnic music as a basis for large-scale classical works in Mahler's time allowed a ne