Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Schnittke, Alfred. Sketches. Orchestral Works.

From my collection.
Bought in 2011.
First listen: 21-4-2011.
Second listen: 22-5-2015.
Third listen: 9-5-2017.
Label: Brilliant.
Licensed by: National Music Publishers, Russian Federation.
Recording dates: January 1996.
Recording venue: Mosfilm Studios, Moscow.
Recording engineer: Vadim Ivanov & Vitaly Ivanov.
Running time: 52:10.
Relevance to me: Essential.

Works performed:

See heading.

Performed by:

Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, Andrey Chistiakov.

If you're not sure about Schnittke as a composer, this would be the disc to begin with. It's a strange mixture of music, instruments, and styles. A bit of everything, but nothing to shake your equilibrium. Might you not like the works, if will do no harm. You get a lot of literal quotes from other composers, from the likes of Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Mozart, all cleverly weaved into the structure of the music. Some strange instruments for a classical orchestra are added too, like electric guitars, ( Solo and Bass) a flexatone, a prepared piano with coins introduced between the strings, and what not! But we get an exceptionally original and colourful score as a reward, at least. In the music the writings of Gogol take an important role, and after listening carefully I find many references to different books from his hands. He paints the world of this writer scaringly original. The sheer imaginativeness of the orchestral score is amazing, and even if you do not buy anything else by this composer, this disc will serve you well, for it's a discovery every time you listen to it

The performance is actually very good as is the recording. Almost reference I would say.





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