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Edgar Allan Poe

Peabody Symphony plays Brahms, Kernis; Choral Arts Society sings Brahms, Leshnoff

Peabody Symphony plays Brahms, Kernis; Choral Arts Society sings Brahms, Leshnoff

Baltimore audiences got two opportunities last weekend to hear music of Brahms paired with works by contemporary American composers. Both experiences proved worthwhile.

On Friday night, the 150th anniversary of the opening of the Peabody Conservatory's Miriam A. Friedberg Concert Hall, Marin Alsop led the Peabody Symphony Orchestra in a provocative work by Aaron Jay Kernis. His Second Symphony from 1991 reflects his intense reaction to what he describes as "the absurdity and cruelty" of the Persian Gulf War.

Kernis does not mince words in his program note -- "brutality"; "hollow moralizing"; a description of 500 residents killed when their...

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