Anniversary Edition (2CD)
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For the 85th anniversary of Alfred Schnittke, Firma Melodiya releases an album with recordings that have not previously been released on modern platforms. The collection presents Schnittke’s works in various genres. The Dedication to Stravinsky, Prokofiev and Shostakovich for piano six hands, the Second Sonata for violin, the piano and violin concertos, and Symphony No. 5 are performed by outstanding musicians – Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Viktoria Postnikova, Alexander Bakhchiyev, Liana Isakadze, Vladimir Skanavi, Eliso Virsaladze, The Borodin Quartet, Vladimir Krainev, Gidon Kremer, Dmitri Kitayenko, the symphony orchestras of the Ministry of Culture, the Moscow Conservatory, and the Moscow State Philharmonic Society. A greater part of the album features live recordings made between 1977 and 1990. The recording of the Moscow premiere of Concerto Grosso No. 4 / Symphony No. 5 with opening remarks from Gennady Rozhdestvensky made at the composer's recital is of particular interest. The atmosphere of the live performances brings us back to the time when almost each of Schnittke’s new works aroused keen curiosity and long discussions. “To grow a pearl in a shell lying on the bottom of the ocean, you need just a grain of sand, a wrong and foreign matter. Just like in art, when something truly great is often born “against the rules”, said Alfred Schnittke. It seems that his life was made of “wrongs.” He became the recognized leader of the post-war vanguard of Soviet music, when the rigid framework of “socialist realism” restricted creative freedom to the max. His music could cause bewilderment, rejection, and even rage, but it never left anybody unmoved.
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