Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Schnittke, Kremer, Rostropovich|
Concerto for 3
Genres: Special Interest, Classical
The "must Have" recording of Concerto for Three and Minuet
villegem | canada | 05/30/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If 2 minutes of Music can move to tears, the Minuet, planned as an encore to the strong Concerto for Three is it. Everything Schnittke is about graces this small piece. This CD is a must have for all pieces here since as dedicatees Rostropovich, Bashmet and Kremer offer insightful interpretation."
Three powerful Schnittke works performed by three great Russ
Christopher Culver | 10/24/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This EMI disc, now sadly out of print, features three pieces by Alfred Schnittke performed by three musicians of the former Soviet Union whom the composer greatly esteemed: violinist Gidon Kremer, violist Yuri Bashmet and cellist Mstislav Rostropovic. The disc features two rather different sides of Schnittke's career.
The String Trio is from Schnittke's annus mirabilis of 1985, when his "polystylism" approach reached its full maturity. Earlier Schnittke works combined modernism and references to the music of centuries past in a brash, often zany fashion. At this point, however, Schnittke wrote a more organic summation of the whole Western tradition. In this work for the simple forces of violin, viola and cello, a melody vaguely reminiscent of the early Romantic era is subjected to an epic series of variations, from elegant classicism to brutal dissonance. The three musicians here never really vie with one another, but instead contribute to a cohesive whole as they explore common material.
The Concerto for Three for violin, viola, cello and strings (1994) was one of Schnittke's last works before his third stroke did him in almost completely. Like all of Schnittke's works from this era, this is a bleak piece with a very few voices playing extremely sparse lines; the three soloists don't even play all at once until the end. The role of the ensemble is limited throughout, and the piano appears only once, when a player comes forth from among the audience and pounds a single chord to end the piece. That's not to say there is no, drama, however. While I don't care much for the symphonies written at this time (the 6th through the 8th), which just seem horrors of laboured breathing that painfully go on and on, I find this concerto is compelling. The final movement has the players furiously sawing away at an ostinato that is one of the most memorable Schnittke moments for me. In spite of the fact that this seems one of Schnittke's most little talked about pieces, there are already at least two other recordings, one on BIS' Viola Space Japan release and another on a Quartz disc highlighting violinist Roman Mints, though I have not yet heard those.
The "Minuet" for string trio (1994) is a brief encore, a melancholy piece that looks at the Classical period through the lense of grim late Schnittke. In following the Concerto for Three it allows the string trio to return to some degree of normalcy.
If you ever see a copy of this CD for sale, snatch it up immediately. One can only hope that it will see rerelease, though Schnittke has sadly faded from view in the music world after his death, with only crowdpleasers like "(K)ein Sommernachtsdraum" getting much continued attention."