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Thread: Schnitke

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    Senior Member Nevum's Avatar
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    Default Schnitke

    What are his best works? I have been listening to his symphonies and some of his violin works. Stunning. A yet to be recognized appropriately genius.

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    Senior Member Nevum's Avatar
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    Sorry for the typo in the title. System does not allow me to fix it.

    Schnittke....

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    Senior Member Kjetil Heggelund's Avatar
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    Ah! Schnittke I believe he was recognized as the leading Russian contemporary composer before his passing. Now it's Gubaidulina. I'm sure many here will agree that his "best" work is his piano concerto. I was raised on that piece and his Concerto Grosso no. 1. There are several Versions on youtube. Happy listening!

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    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    For reference, there is a pretty voluminous Alfred Schnittke thread in the Composers Guestbooks forum here. Lots of discussions of specific works.


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    TC's own Classical Music Project is a great resource for these types of things. The 19 Schnittke works listed are as follows:

    A Paganini
    Cello Concerto #1
    Choir Concerto
    Concerto for Piano and Strings
    Concerto Grosso #1
    Peer Gynt
    Piano Quintet
    Piano Trio
    Requiem
    Seid Nüchtern und Wachtet (Faust Cantata)
    String Quartet #2
    String Quartet #3
    String Trio
    Symphony #1
    Symphony #2 "St. Florian"
    Symphony #3
    Symphony #5 (Concerto Grosso #4)
    Symphony #7
    Viola Concerto

    I'd start with the bolded works, but you really can't go wrong with this guy!
    Last edited by Portamento; Jun-10-2018 at 21:23.

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    Senior Member Anankasmo's Avatar
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    Concerto for strings and piano
    Concerto Grosso 1
    Clowns und Kinder
    Tango in a mad house
    Declaration of love

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    Senior Member PeterFromLA's Avatar
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    That's a good list by Portamento. I'd add a few suggestions: Concerto Grosso #2, Cello Sonata #1, Septet, Violin Concerto #3, and Three Pieces in the Olden Style (the latter if only because he used the materials in so many of his other pieces, such as (K)ein Sommernachtstrum).



    Schnittke's final piece, his elliptical Variations for string quartet (1997), is also one that I enjoy: it's resigned, pensive, and yet striving. Written after a series of debilitating strokes that would eventually result in his death, it was apparently incredibly painful for him to compose.

    Last edited by PeterFromLA; Jun-11-2018 at 02:02.

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    Senior Member Enthusiast's Avatar
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    I'm not sure the best of Schnittke is in his symphonies. I find myself most impressed by many of the concertos (for piano and strings, for viola, for cello x 2, for violin #4 and maybe #3) and a fair amount of his chamber music. When I like his music I really love it!

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    Senior Member Jacck's Avatar
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    I consider Schnittke and Ligeti to be the best composers of the second half of the 20th century (take it with a grain of salt, because I have not yet explored this period that much). Schnittke was a genius. I really like his chamber music - string quartets, piano quintet, string trio, cello concertos, requiem, his symphonies and concerti grossi. He is a polystylist and a mystic and can express moods like noone else.
    He was also very versatile and composed some beautiful film music

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    Senior Member PeterFromLA's Avatar
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    Agree with Jacck about Ligeti and Schnittke, though I'd add Lutoslawski to that group.

    It was wonderful to be alive in the mid-1980s, when all three of these composers were at the top of their game, producing stellar work. It seemed like classical music had a vital and fantastic future with these men at the helm.

    By the way, my reference to Three Pieces in the Olden Style is inaccurate. I meant Suite in the Old Style

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    Schnittke is one of those modernists whose music could be, would be, enjoyed by audiences if only those people, the conductors and managers would give it a hearing. Of course, many people were turned off of Schnittke forever for the godawful cadenzas he wrote - and Gidon Kremer recorded - for the Beethoven violin concerto. Still, a fun, life-affirming, marvelous talent.

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    Senior Member EdwardBast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbhaub View Post
    Schnittke is one of those modernists whose music could be, would be, enjoyed by audiences if only those people, the conductors and managers would give it a hearing. Of course, many people were turned off of Schnittke forever for the godawful cadenzas he wrote - and Gidon Kremer recorded - for the Beethoven violin concerto. Still, a fun, life-affirming, marvelous talent.
    Yes, especially since there is so much stylistic continuity from the more challenging work of Shostakovich, Weinberg and Prokofiev.
    Last edited by EdwardBast; Jun-11-2018 at 21:44.

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