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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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Silvestrov the Centaur and Polystylism in the 1970s

Silvestrov the Centaur and Polystylism in the 1970s

(p.69) 3 Silvestrov the Centaur and Polystylism in the 1970s
Sonic Overload

Peter J. Schmelz

Oxford University Press

Chapter 4 examines Valentin Silvestrov’s journey from avant-garde enfant terrible to neoromantic. It looks at Silvestrov’s goal of musical “unity” or “oneness” in the late 1960s and early 1970s as it developed as a specific inflection of polystylism, influenced by the theories of both Boris Asafyev and Yakov Druskin. This chapter also begins to distinguish Silvestrov’s polystylism from Schnittke’s. It concludes by positioning Silvestrov’s and Schnittke’s first polystylistic works against the reception of polystylism and collage by Soviet critics, composers, and audiences in the 1970s. Among the most potent examples came from an older composer: Dmitriy Shostakovich’s Symphony no. 15, which critics used as a testing ground for the viability of polystylism in the Soviet Union.

Keywords:   Alfred Schnittke, Valentin Silvestrov, Drama, polystylism, collage, Dmitriy Shostakovich, Symphony no. 15, Arvo Part

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