Alfred Schnittke

  • The Unreal World of Schnittke (youtube documentary)

    <> <> Violin sonata 1 (1st mov.) (youtube)

    <> <> Schnittke Polke

    <> <> Maria Butyrskaya skates to “Tale of Wandering (2002 Olympics)

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    (Images via German site )

    Alfred Schnittke was born on November 24, 1934 – August 3, 1998

    Schnittke was often the target of the Soviet bureaucracy. His First Symphony was effectively banned by the Composers’ Union, and after he abstained from a Composers’ Union vote in 1980, he was banned from travelling outside of the USSR. In 1985, Schnittke suffered a stroke which left him in a coma. He was declared clinically dead on several occasions, but recovered and continued to compose. In 1990, Schnittke left Russia and settled in Hamburg.

    Ninth Day Trailer a film by Volker Schlöndorff uses Schnittke for the soundtrack.

    A London festival celebrates Alfred Schnittke

    Winston Churchill once described Russia as “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma”, but his words could just as well be applied to Schnittke. As with a nest of Russian dolls, every time we seem at last to know the composer, another Schnittke is revealed underneath. There is the grand and serious Schnittke of the choral Symphony No 2. There is Schnittke the joker (try his wildly irreverent cadenzas to Beethoven’s Violin Concerto). There is the intense Cello Sonata, the desolate Symphony No 6, the scalding String Trio. And, most characteristically, there are the countless occasions when it seems that Schnittke does not want to let on who he is at all, but hides behind the musical masks of other composers.

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