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Play on, Vedran Smailovic, cellist for the opera. Others have stopped practicing. They say, "For what? We live like rats," while for these 22 days you put on formal dress and sit outside the bakery to play Albinoni's Adagio, that series of beginnings which rises and rises out of itself. The music's dark wings must close over you to keep you safe, as shells pierce the surrounding air, brother aiming at brother. You play once for each of the 22 hungry citizens killed by mortar fire as they stood here in line for bread.

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