By Alfred Schnittke
This compilation assembles formerly released and unpublished essays through Schnittke and supplementations them with an interview with cellist and pupil Alexander Ivashkin. The e-book is illustrated with musical examples, lots of them in Schnittke’s personal hand. In A Schnittke Reader, the composer speaks of his lifestyles, his works, different composers, performers, and a wide diversity of issues in 20th-century song. the amount is rounded out with reflections by means of a few of Schnittke’s contemporaries.
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Extra info for A Schnittke Reader (Russian Music Studies)
For example, a loud, harsh sound is a natural elemental phenomenon, something that evokes fear and alarm in the hearer. The same applies to another kind of sound that “turns you on” in some way, lifts your spirits, or simply calms you down. Furthermore a symbolic interpretation of sound is usually more noticeable in religious music or in what is connected with signals, like bells or the sound of hammers. Or the awesome mystical sounds in Buddhist music—all these are examples of the kind of symbolism that is not conventional.
Then seventy years go by and everything changes completely and we see a reappearance of what seemed to have gone out of existence long ago. IVASHKIN: Which events in the twentieth century do you see as the most important? And which event—cultural, scientific, social—has had the most influence on your work? Can such events influence art? The present century has developed new conceptions of time, space, and the theory of relativity. Are any of these reflected in your music? SCHNITTKE: I find it hard to speak of a single influence from one thing in particular, but I can mention a number of things that had a powerful influence.
When old records of it turned up in 1949, he immediately started playing them. And when he got to the GDR in 1955, he had with him a recording of the whole opera. It is curious that even before that, Mayakovsky, in his poem War and Peace, written in 1915, included written music of the Argentinian Death Tango. And there are later examples, too. Remember Bernardo Bertolucci’s famous film Last Tango in Paris, in which the tango still plays the same fateful role. It is as if this were an inevitable function of the tango at any time.
A Schnittke Reader (Russian Music Studies) by Alfred Schnittke