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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, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 30 November 2021

Schnittke’s Path to Polystylism

Schnittke’s Path to Polystylism

(p.47) 2 Schnittke’s Path to Polystylism
Sonic Overload

Peter J. Schmelz

Oxford University Press

Chapter 3 draws on unpublished correspondence and archival documents to offer a fuller accounting of the sources and development of Alfred Schnittke’s evolving concept of polystylism in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It explores the first expressions of polystylism in his film scores for Elem Klimov and Andrey Khrzhanovsky. It also offers a close reading of Schnittke’s seminal 1971 polystylism manifesto, “Polystylistic Tendencies of Modern Music.” This analysis is based on a contextualization and comparison of all known existing sources of the essay. It considers Schnittke’s influences from the contemporary soundscape as well as the essay’s larger implications for understanding his goals for writing music, music that balanced innovation with familiar socialist realist demands for accessibility and “democratization.” It also returns to Schnittke’s Violin Sonata no. 2, “Quasi una Sonata,” further discussing it as an example of his early polystylistic practice.

Keywords:   Alfred Schnittke, polystylism, Violin Sonata no. 2, collage, allusion, quotation, film music, Elem Klimov, Andrey Khrzhanovsky, Arvo Part

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