Schnittke Studies  book cover
1st Edition

Schnittke Studies

Edited By

Gavin Dixon

ISBN 9780367229924
Published February 7, 2019 by Routledge
332 Pages

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Book Description

Alfred Schnittke (1934-1998) was arguably the most important Russian composer since Shostakovich, and his music has generated a great deal of academic interest in the years since his death. Schnittke Studies provides a variety of perspectives on the composer and his music. The field is currently diverse and vibrant, and this book demonstrates the range of academic approaches being applied to Schnittke’s work and the insights they provide, covering: polystylism, for which Schnittke is best known, the significance of the composer’s Christian faith, and detailed formal analyses of key works, with connections drawn between the apparently divergent periods of the composer’s career. This book has been prepared as a memorial to Professor Alexander Ivashkin, a leading scholar in the field, who died in 2014, and will be of interest not only to those studying Schnittke's music, but also those with an interest in late Soviet-era music in general.

Table of Contents


Preface - Gavin Dixon


Chapter 1 ‘Crucifixus Etiam Pro Nobis’: Representations of the Cross in Alfred Schnittke’s Symphony No. 2 ‘St. Florian’ - Ivan Medić

Chapter 2 Alfred Schnittke and the Znamennyi Raspev - Emilia Ismael-Simental

Chapter 3 Negative Spirituality and the Inversion of Christianity as Media of Social Criticism in Alfred Schnittke’s Opera Life with an Idiot - Amrei Flechsig

Chapter 4 Polystylism as Dialogue: Interpreting Schnittke through Bakhtin - Gavin Dixon


Chapter 5 Schnittke’s Polystylistic Schemata: Textural Progression in the Concerti grossi - Gordon E. Marsh

Chapter 6 Symmetrical Constructions in the Fourth Movement of Alfred Schnittke’s String Quartet No. 4 - Aaminah Durrani


Chapter 7 ‘Faith through Scepticism’: Desacralisation and Resacralisation in Schnittke’s First Symphony - Victoria Adamenko

Chapter 8 On the Late Style of Alfred Schnittke (The Instrumental Works) - Evgeniia Chigareva

Chapter 9 The Schnittke Code - Alexander Ivashkin

APPENDIX Revised Catalogue of Alfred Schnittke’s Sketches in the Juilliard Manuscript Collection - Ivana Medić

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Gavin Dixon is an academic, writer, and editor based in Hertfordshire, UK. His studies with Professor Alexander Ivashkin at Goldsmiths, University of London, led to a PhD on the symphonies of Alfred Schnittke in 2007. Since then, he has continued to be active in Schnittke scholarship, as a Visiting Research Fellow at Goldsmiths and as a member of the editorial team for the Alfred Schnittke Collected Works edition, currently being published in St Petersburg. Gavin is also a Curator of Musical Instruments at the Horniman Museum in London. As a journalist, Gavin has contributed to a wide range of music publications including Gramophone, BBC Music Magazine, Tempo, Classical Music, and Limelight (Australia). He is also Music Editor of Fanfare, America’s leading classical CD review magazine.


"It is hard to imagine a more cogent introduction to and summary of Schnittke scholarship. Schnittke Studies is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in his music, as well as those who may be itching to take up some of the less explored areas of his work and influence."

- Ian Power in Tempo, July 2017

"In many ways this is the book on Schnittke we have all been waiting for. It brings together an international group of scholars working on Schnittke's legacy from many different perspectives, but all of them acknowledging a tremendous debt to the work of Alexander Ivashkin, to whose memory the collection is dedicated.(...) In sum, this collection of essays is essential reading for anyone interested in Schnittke's legacy. It shows the diversity of possible approaches in evaluating his work, and the way in which new scholarship both builds on earlier research and expands it into new and fascinating areas."

- Ivan Moody, CESEM - Universidade Nova, Lisbon

"Dr Dixon is to be congratulated on assembling a strong and varied team for this handsomely produced memorial volume. The complexity of Shnittke’s music and thought are very evident, so that it is principally a book for musicologists rather than the casual general reader, despite the lucidity of much of the writing. The collection makes a major contribution to understanding the fascinating composer to whom Ivashkin devoted so much of his career both as a scholar and as an outstanding performer."

- Arnold McMillin, SLAVONIC & EAST EUROPEAN REVIEW, July 2017

“We conclude this review by noting that Schnittke Studies, in combining the work of scholars from many countries, as well as presentations from several international conferences, is an excellent demonstration of fruitful crossover between Western and Russian academic traditions, that relationship powerfully advocated by Professor Alexander Vasilievich Ivashkin.”

- Julia Pantaleeva, Muzykal’naia Akademiia 2019, No. 2