Alfred Garryevich Schnittke (Russian: Шнитке Альфред Гарриевич) (English24 november 1934 – HamburgAugust 3, 1998) was a Russian composer and pianist of the Volga-German nationality.


[hide]*1 Biography


Alfred Schnittke was the son of a coming from Frankfurt am Main German-Jewish father and a Volga-German mother. He was born in English, then the capital of theVolga-German Republic. He began his musical training in 1946 in Vienna, where his father worked as a journalist and translator, and put this from 1948 at the Moscow Conservatory, where he later also taught would give. From the 1970s he devoted himself fully to composition.

Schnittke's avant-garde style and was initially strongly influenced by compositional techniques imported from the West as serialism and aleatoric music. Like many of his generation in the long term, this style would be unsatisfactory if Schnittke will experience. In response, therefore, in the early 1970s he developed a new style, which was called polystylisme by himself. This style, which was influenced by the work of composers such as Charles Ivesand Luciano Berio , Bernd Alois Zimmermann, but also, for example, Gustav Mahler, is characterized by whether or not on parodical way combining different musical styles from several musical epochs; Some see in this a musical expression of the Postmodernism.

The Schnittke was made difficult. Although the Soviet Government in the 1960s and 1970s was less severe against artists than had been the case under Stalin , were as "avant-garde" or "Western" known to work anyway with due suspicion. Performances of his work were therefore often thwarted, and in practice was Schnittke forced writing film music in his living. Established In 1990, Schnittke himself with his family inHamburg.

Starting from 1985 struggled Schnittke with a very weak health; he survived three heart attacks and heavy was clinically dead on several occasions. Nevertheless remained its productivity large until his death in 1998.

Thanks to the efforts of the violinist Gidon Kremer 's Schnittke has become one of the most performed composers of the second half of the twentieth century. His big body of work includes symphoniesConcerti(piano, violin, Viola, cello), concerti grossi, other orchestral works, Chamber music (including a very successful piano Quintet), Ballets, choral works (including a Requiem) and operas (including Life with an Idiot, that in 1992 was premiered in Amsterdam ).


for Orchestra[Edit]Edit


  • Symphony No. 0
  • Symphony No. 1 (1969-72)
  • Symphony No. 2 "St. Florian" (1979)
  • Symphony No. 3 (1981)
  • Symphony No. 4 (1984)
  • Symphony No. 5 [Concerto Grosso No.4] (1988)
  • Symphony No. 6 (1992)
  • Symphony No. 7 (1993)
  • Symphony No. 8 (1994)
  • Symphony No. 9 (unfinished)

Other orchestral works[Edit]Edit

  • Pianissimo (1968)
  • In memoriam... (1977-78) (orchestral version of the Piano Quintet)
  • Passacaglia (1979-80)
  • Gogol Suite [Suite from ' The Census List '] (1980)
  • Ritual (1984-85)
  • (K) ein Sommernachtstraum (1985)
  • Symphonic prelude (1994)
  • For Liverpool (1994)


Concerti Grossi[Edit]Edit

  • Concerto Grosso No. 1, for two violins, harpsichord, piano and strings (1976-77)
  • Concerto Grosso No. 2, for violin, cello and Orchestra (1981-82)
  • Concerto Grosso No. 3, for two violins, harpsichord and strings (1985)
  • Concerto Grosso No. 4 for violin, Oboe, harpsichord and Orchestra (1988)
  • Concerto Grosso No. 5, for violin, piano and Orchestra (1991)
  • Concerto Grosso No. 6, for piano, violin and strings (1993)

Violin Concertos[Edit]Edit

  • Concert No. 1 for violin and Orchestra (1957, Rev. 1963)
  • Concert No. 2 for violin and Chamber Orchestra (1966)
  • Concert No. 3 for violin and Chamber Orchestra (1978)
  • Concert No. 4 for violin and Orchestra (1984)

Piano Concerts[Edit]Edit

Cello Concerts[Edit]Edit

  • Concert No. 1 for cello and Orchestra (1986)
  • Concert No. 2 for cello and Orchestra (1990)

Other instruments[Edit]Edit

  • Double Concerto for oboe, harp and strings (1971)
  • Concerto for Viola and Orchestra (1985)
  • Monologue for Viola and strings (1989)
  • Triple Concerto for violin, Viola, cello and strings (1994)

Choral Music[Edit]Edit

  • Voices from the nature (1972)
  • Requiem (1972-75)
  • Minnesang, for 52 voices (1981)
  • Seid Nüchtern und Wachet... [Faust Cantata] (1983)
  • Three sacred hymns (1983-84)
  • Concerto for mixed chorus (1984-85)
  • Psalms (1988)


Chamber Music[Edit]Edit

  • Sonata nr. 1 for violin and piano (1963; orchestrated in 1968)
  • Dialogue for cello and 7 instruments (1965)
  • String Quartet nr. 1 (1966)
  • Serenade for violin, clarinet, bass, piano and percussion (1968)
  • Sonata nr. Sonata No. 2 for violin and piano "Quasi una Sonata" (1968; georkesteerd in 1987)
  • Canon in memoriam Igor Stravinsky, for String Quartet (1971)
  • Suite ' old style ', for violin and piano or harpsichord (1972)
  • Gradulationsrondo, for violin and piano (1973)
  • Hymns I-IV, for violoncello and ensemble (1974-79)
  • Prelude in memoriam Dmitri Shostakovich, for two violins (1975)
  • Quintet for piano and strings (1972-76)
  • "Stille Nacht", arr. for violin and piano (1978)
  • Sonata for cello and piano No. 1 (1978)
  • Quiet music for violin and cello (1979)
  • String Quartet nr. 2 (1981)
  • Septet (1981-82)
  • For Paganini, for Violin (1982)
  • String Quartet nr. 3 (1983)
  • Trio for strings (1985, arranged as piano trio in 1992)
  • String Quartet nr. 4 (1989)
  • Madrigal in memoriam Oleg Kagan, for violin or cello (1990)
  • Musica Nostalgica, for cello and piano (1992)
  • Sonata for cello and piano No. 2 (1994)
  • Sonata nr. 3 for violin and piano (1994)
  • Epilogue from his ballet Peer Gynt, arranged for cello, piano and tape.

Solo instrument[Edit]Edit

  • Piano Sonata No. 1 (1987)
  • Five Aphorisms, for piano (1990)
  • Piano Sonata No. 2 (1990)
  • Piano Sonata No. 3 (1992)
  • Klingende Buchstaben for solo cello (1988)


  • Life with an Idiot, opera in two acts, libretto by Viktor Yerofeyev (1991)
  • Historia von d. Johann Fausten, opera in three acts and an epilogue, libretto by Jörg Morgener (Jurjen Köchel) and Alfred Schnittke (1991-1994)
  • Gesualdo, opera in 7 tableaus, a prologue and an epilogue, libretto by Richard Bletschacher (1993)


  • Labyrinths, ballet in five acts, libretto by Vladimir Vasilyev. (1971)
  • Sketches, ballet in a company "Choerographic fantasia" by Andrei Petrov to themes by Nikolai Gogol. (1985)
  • Peer Gynt, ballet in three acts by John Neumeier based on Henrik Ibsen's play (1988)

Film Music[Edit]Edit

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