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Alfred Schnittke – The Ten Symphonies (6 CD box set, FLAC)

Alfred Schnittke - The Ten Symphonies (6 CD box set, FLAC)
Alfred Schnittke - The Ten Symphonies (6 CD box set, FLAC)

Composer: Alfred Schnittke
Audio CD
Number of Discs: 6
Format: FLAC (tracks+cue)
Label: Bis
Size: 1.54 GB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: no

Disc 1
01. Symphony No. 1, I. Senza Tempo (21:22)
02. Symphony No. 1, II. Allegretoo (14:46)
03. Symphony No. 1, III. Lento (8:59)
04. Symphony No. 1, IV. Lento (27:16)
05. Applause (4:20)
Carl-Axel Dominique – Piano/Jazz Improvisation
Ben Kallenberg – Violin/Jazz Improvisation
Åke Lännerholm – Trombone
Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Leif Segerstam, conductor

Disc 2
01. Symphony No.2, St. Florian- I. Rezitando (Kyrie) (10:31)
02. Symphony No.2, St. Florian- II. Maestoso (Gloria) (5:11)
03. Symphony No.2, St. Florian- III. Moderato (Credo) (8:50)
04. Symphony No.2, St. Florian- IV. Peasante (Crucifixus) (8:24)
05. Symphony No.2, St. Florian- [IV.] Coda- Agitato (Et resurrexit) – Maestoso (3:37)
06. Symphony No.2, St. Florian- Introduction to V. Andante (Sanctus) (3:587)
07. Symphony No.2, St. Florian- [V.] Andante (8:00)
08. Symphony No.2, St. Florian- VI. Andante (Agnus Dei) (10:48)
Mikael Bellini – Counter-tenor
Göran Eliasson – Tenor
Malena Ernman – Alto
Torkel Borelius – Bass
Mikaeli Chamber Choir, Anders Aby, chorus-master
Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Leif Segerstam, conductor

Disc 3
01. Symphony No. 3, I. Einleitung (11:54)
02. Symphony No. 3, II. Sonatensatz. Allegro (12:30)
03. Symphony No. 3, III. Scherzo. Allegretto (7:15)
04. Symphony No. 3, IV. Finale. Adagio (16:55)
Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Eri Klas, conductor

05. Symphony No. 7, I. Andante (5:00)
06. Symphony No. 7, II. Largo (2:31)
07. Symphony No. 7, III. Allegro (13:57)
BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Tadaaki Otaka, conductor

Disc 4
01. Symphony No. 4, I. Andante Poco Pesante (9:00)
02. Symphony No. 4, II. Cadenza (4:33)
03. Symphony No. 4, III. Moderato (4:39)
04. Symphony No. 4, IV. Molto Pesante. Moderato (11:39)
05. Symphony No. 4, V. Vivo (1:15)
06. Symphony No. 4, VI. Moderato. Andante Poco Pesante (5:02)
07. Symphony No. 4, VII. Coro (5:05)
Stefan Parkman – Tenor
Mikael Bellini – Couner-tenor
Lucia Negro – Piano
Academy Chamber Choir of Uppsala, Stefan Parkman, chorus-master
Stockholm Sinfonietta, Okka Kamu, conductor

08. Concerto Grosso No. 4, I. Allegro (4:39)
09. Concerto Grosso No. 4, II. Allegretto (8:38)
10. Concerto Grosso No. 4, III. Lento. Allegro (16:34)
11. Concerto Grosso No. 4, IV. Lento (9:09)
Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Neeme Järvi, conductor

Disc 5
01. Symphony No. 6, I. Allegro Moderato (13:50)
02. Symphony No. 6, II. Presto (4:07)
03. Symphony No. 6, III. Adagio (10:08)
04. Symphony No. 6, IV. Allegro Vivace (5:03)
BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Tadaaki Otaka, conductor

05. Symphony No. 8, I. Moderato (8:35)
06. Symphony No. 8, II. Allegro Moderato (4:19)
07. Symphony No. 8, III. Lento (15:59)
08. Symphony No. 8, IV. Allegro Moderato (5:07)
09. Symphony No. 8, V. Lento (1:42)
Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, Lü Jia, conductor

Disc 6
01. Symphony No. 0, I. Allegro ma non Troppo (12:58)
02. Symphony No. 0, II. Allegro Vivace (7:08)
03. Symphony No. 0, III. Andante (10:26)
04. Symphony No. 0, IV. Allegro (9:35)
Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, Owain Arwel Hughes, conductor

05. Symphony No. 9, I. Andante (18:03)
06. Symphony No. 9, II. Moderato (7:57)
07. Symphony No. 9, III. Presto (7:01)
Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, Owain Arwel Hughes, conductor

Shostakovich’s Heir (Along With Shchedrin)

This is a set that I would recommend to anyone who likes modern music that isn’t full of insufferable tone clusters, serialism or balinese gongs and temple blocks. I.e., most contemporary composers who were educated in the sycophantic Darmstadt School-inspired academic environment.

Schnittke is by no means a neo-romantic, but even when he departs the furthest from tonality, his music still maintains a connection with the musical traditions of past centuries. A good example of this is the Symphony No. 5/Concerto Grosso No. 4. The Wikipedia article on the symphony is perfectly illustrative of Schittke’s synthetic style. Others may call me a wikidiot, but I see no need to reinvent the wheel when a perfectly fine and succinct description already exists:

“Written for a very large orchestra, as the dual nature of the work’s titles suggest, the composition represents a synthesis of ideas from Schnittke’s earlier works. The first movement of the symphony is the Concerto Grosso, with solos for violin, oboe and harpsichord. However unlike the traditional form of the concerto grosso, the sheer weight of the orchestral forces remains ever present, reminding the listener of the overarching symphonic structure.

The second movement is an elaboration of a piece of juvenilia by Gustav Mahler: an unfinished piano quartet, which the teenage Mahler started in 1876. However unlike a traditional ‘theme and variations’ approach, Schnittke begins with his own worked-out realisation of Mahler’s idea, and unwinds it so that the movement concludes with the original material.

The third movement is violent and climactic, which having reached a thunderous apex then moves purposefully into an allegro which, although it has a powerful sense of forward movement breaks off suddenly and inconclusively. The fourth movement is a Mahlerian funeral march which does not dispel the unsettling atmosphere of what has gone before.”

Those who like Shostakovich will find Symphony No. 0 a very pleasant encounter. Schnittke demonstrates a firm grip of form along with the musical language of his greatest contemporary without sounding like a plagiarist – not unlike what Martinu achieved in his Symphony No. 1, which could formally have been written by a young Beethoven, but whose rhythms, harmonies and melodies are highly personal.

You can’t beat the quality of the performances, even though they’re often with lesser known conductors and orchestras. BIS’s sound mastering is as usual among the best in the business. And then there’s the price – a steal.

For afficionadoes of Shostakovich and Prokofiev who want to expand their horizons, this set is highly recommended. Schnittke leaves Gubaidulina in the dust as a composer, which once again makes me sad that he died all too young. Fortunately, we still have the equally brilliant Russian composer Rodion Shchedrin with us as an ideal complement to, and continuation of, Shostakovich’s and Schnittke’s musical heritage.

10 thoughts on “Alfred Schnittke – The Ten Symphonies (6 CD box set, FLAC)”

  1. Your highly esteemed opinion is extremely valuable for me, Amigo Rachman!
    :oops: Apart from WAM – genius, Forman’s chef-d’oeuvre is my Numero Uno Movie..
    PS I am afraid we have to ask Master Whatever to provide us with more appropriate “smiles” that those squalid sets below :mrgreen:

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