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Sonic OverloadAlfred Schnittke, Valentin Silvestrov, and Polystylism in the Late USSR$
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Peter J. Schmelz

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780197541258

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780197541258.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 17 May 2022

The Collage Wave Breaks

The Collage Wave Breaks

Late Thinking, Idiots, and a Final Waltz

(p.293) 9 The Collage Wave Breaks
Sonic Overload

Peter J. Schmelz

Oxford University Press

As Chapter 9 shows, Schnittke’s final move away from polystylism to a more introspective, personal style can be heard most audibly in his opera Life with an Idiot and in his Sixth and Seventh Symphonies. These works show the collapse of Schnittke’s previously ecumenical—or apparently ecumenical—musical Weltanschauung. For many, they also bore witness to his declining health and the collapse and fall of the Soviet Union. This chapter explores the musical changes of the final period of his life, including his growing fame worldwide. Chief among these changes is the apparent paradox offered by Schnittke’s retreat from the multiplicity of polystylism even as the Soviet Union during glasnost witnessed an explosion of divergent voices.

Keywords:   Alfred Schnittke, Valentin Silvestrov, polystylism, Life with an Idiot, Victor Erofeyev, Symphony no. 6, Symphony no. 7, Symphony no. 9

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