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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: 27 January 2022

Ghosts and Shadow Sounds

Ghosts and Shadow Sounds

(p.254) 8 Ghosts and Shadow Sounds
Sonic Overload

Peter J. Schmelz

Oxford University Press

Chapter 9 begins studying Alfred Schnittke’s lengthy retreat from polystylism by looking at several of his key compositions from the 1980s, among them his Piano Sonata no. 2, Violin Concerto no. 4, String Trio, and Viola Concerto. In these works, polystylism began to fade as Schnittke emphasized the grotesque, artificial nature of his quotations. He also began speaking more about what he called “shadow sounds,” which soon took precedence in his aesthetic schema, largely replacing polystylism. Yet by the end of the 1980s, as polystylism dissipated, it remained a central category for critics and listeners. Schnittke himself became more unrooted; he emigrated from the USSR to Germany but continued to express a deep ambivalence about his true home.

Keywords:   Alfred Schnittke, Valentin Silvestrov, polystylism, Piano Sonata no. 2, Violin Concerto no. 4, String Trio, Viola Concerto, shadow sounds

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