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Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Alfred Garrievich Schnittke (1934-1998): Polystylist; Shostakovich's Heir?


From BBC Radio 3, iPlayer

"Donald Macleod explores the strange, brilliant and occasionally nightmarish world of the Soviet composer Alfred Schnittke. Today - the composer's role as heir to Shostakovich. The music of Alfred Schnittke (1934-1998) is like being lost in a hall of mirrors. Staring back at you is the whole of music history - from Bach to modern pop via tangos, Soviet work songs, Gregorian chant and Viennese waltzes - refracted and distorted, and woven together to create a uniquely personal style. Thrilling, grotesque, occasionally nightmarish - Schnittke creates a world where everything has a hidden meaning. Beethoven's Fifth suddenly springs terrifyingly out of the darkness in the midst of an otherwise chaotic symphony. Or a cheap Russian pop song appears inexplicably amidst a Baroque chorale. Schnittke's world of suppressed meanings perfectly captured life under the cosh of Soviet Communism. Donald Macleod unpicks the strands of a musician often seen as the heir to Shostakovich - and perhaps the last truly great composer of the 20th century".

All episodes of Schnittke, Composer of the Week

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