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Communing with the dead through song [Commentary]
Communing with the dead through song [Commentary]

That blue-sky September day 13 years ago was so sorrowful, so beyond the reach of words, we name it only with a number: 9/11. Some may recall that out of the grief-stunned silence of those first following days, someone suggested broadcasting Mozart's Requiem again and again around the world. The beauty and discipline of the music went out over the wide-open air like a prayer in the hope that our souls could be held steady amid the aftershocks of the unspeakable assaults we had witnessed that morning. When a few months later, in January 2002, the New York Philharmonic asked John Adams to create "a work to commemorate the lives lost" on Sept. 11, 2001 — 3,342 — for...

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