Source: New York Music Daily
Wouldn’t you wash your hands after you touched a corpse? Hospital physicians at Vienna’s Algelemine Krankenhaus didn’t. From a 21st century perspective, the results were predictably catastrophic.
Ray Lustig’s grim, powerfully resonant song cycle Semmelweis, which premiered on September 11 at the National Arts Club, begins in 1848, One of Europe’s deadliest outbreaks of puerperal fever is killing one in ten new mothers at the hospital. Hungarian-born obstetrician Ignac Semmelweis is at a loss to explain it.
Semmelweis was a tragic hero in the purest sense of the word. Decades before Louis Pasteur, Semmelweis discovered the bacterial ...