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Polystylism and narrative potential in the music of Alfred Schnittke Tremblay, Jean-Benoît 2007

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POLYSTYLISM A N D NARRATIVE POTENTIAL IN T H E MUSIC O F A L F R E D SCHNITTKE  by  JEAN-BENOIT TREMBLAY B.Arts (education musicale), Universite Laval, 1999 B.Mus (mention en histoire), Universite Laval, 1999 M . M u s (musicologie), Universite Laval, 2001  A THESIS S U B M I T T E D I N P A R T I A L F U L F I L M E N T O F THE REQUIREMENTS FOR T H E DEGREE OF  DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in T H E F A C U L T Y O F G R A D U A T E STUDIES (Music, emphasis in musicology)  T H E UNIVERSITY O F BRITISH C O L U M B I A A p r i l 2007  © Jean-Benoit Tremblay, 2007  ABSTRACT  This dissertation examines the narrative potential created by polystylism in selected works o f Alfred Schnittke. "Polystylism," the combination o f many styles in a single work, is Schnittke's answer to a compositional crisis that he experienced as a young Soviet composer. Polystylistic works often present blunt juxtapositions o f styles that cannot be explained by purely musical considerations. I argue that listeners, confronted with those stylistic gaps, instinctively attempt to resolve them by the construction o f a narrative. Three works, each showing different approaches to polystylism, are examined. The Symphony N o . 1, which constitutes a kind a polystylistic manifesto, presents a number o f exact quotations o f Beethoven, Grieg, Tchaikovsky and Chopin among others. It also makes uses o f the Dies Irae and o f various stylistic allusions. The result is a work i n which Schnittke, asking how to write a Symphony, eventually kills the genre before resurrecting it. Elaborated from a fragment o f a pantomime by Mozart, Mo^-Art is a reflection on the opposition between the old and the new, between the past and the present. The work builds upon the plurality o f styles already present i n Mozart's music. F o r the Concerto '.'V  Grosso N o . 1, Schnittke devised a program, albeit a secret one. The piece is at the center o f a complex network o f references,  some unveiled in the work's sketches, others  originating from the film music o f the composer. A story involving the Jungian concepts o f animus, anima and collective unconscious is developed around musical elements as diverse as the B A C H musical motive, a folktune, a dodecaphonic waltz and a tango. The tango, which periodically reoccurs in Schnittke's work, is the topic o f the last chapter. Over the ii  course o f several works, the tango accumulates diverse meanings i n Schnittke's music. In the Symphony N o . 1, it is an easy solution to a composer's problem; i n Agony, it is a lure appealing to Rasputin's inner demons; i n the Concerto Grosso N o . 1, the tango takes part in a stylistic Utopia; i n Die Historia von D. Johann Fausten, it is the feminine; in Life with an Idiot, it is the violence present in everyone.  TABLE OF CONTENTS  Abstract  u  Table o f Contents  iv  Table o f Figures  ...  viii  s  Note on Transliteration  x  Note on Transliteration  x  Acknowledgments  M  Dedication  xii  Introduction  1  Literature  8  Methodology  12  Outline  -  Chapter 1: (Anti-)Symphony N o . 1 and the Genesis o f Polystylism  22 24  Polystylism  30  Symphony o r . . . Anti-Symphony?  34  Program or Anti-Program?  35  Interpretations o f the Symphony  37  Borrowings and References  39  (1) Beginning - Consonances and Dissonances  43  (2) The Popular and the Banal  45  (3) Beethoven  48  iv  (4) Concerto Grosso a la Handel  49  (5) Batde o f the Cadenza  51  (6) T r i u m p h o f the Banal  52  (7) Series, Series, Series, and Primes  54  Interlude: Prime Numbers  64  (8) Death  66  (9) Resurrection  72  Conclusion  74  Chapter 2: Mozart a la Haydn : the open space o f Fragmentation  77  The Fragment and the Fragmentary  81  Formal Design  87  The O l d i n the Present  88  Commedia dell'arte  ,  90  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  91  K V 4 4 6 (416d)  93  Combinatory Techniques  96  (1) Shift  ".'  (2) Stratification (3) Stretto (4) M o r p h i n g Combination Possibilities  97 97  •  98 99 100  The N e w in the Past  102  Meaning and Narrative  112  Conclusion  116  Chapter 3: Concerto Grosso N o . 1 or the "Utopia o f a Unified Style' Concerto Grosso No. 1  118 128  Synopsis  129  First Movement: Preludio  129  Second Movement: Toccata  130  T h i r d Movement: Recitativo  131  Fourth Movement: Cadenza  133  Fifth Movement: Rondo  134  Sixth Movement: Posdudio  136  References  137  Sketches  138  Sketches: Program  139  Sketches: Movements  147  Sketches: Quasi-  148  Sketches: Tango  149  Self-Borrowings  150  BACH  151  Tango  158  Films: Cadential Figure  160  A Tentative Narrative  161  Conclusion  164  Chapter 4: Tango  167  vi  "Faust Cantata" and Historia von D. Johann Fausten  169  The Feminine, the Exotic and the D e v i l  182  The Tango in other Works by Schnittke  184  Symphony N o . 1 (1968-72)  185  Agony (1974/81)  186  Concerto Grosso N o . 1 (1977)  186  Polyphonic Tango (1979)  187  Life with an Idiot (1991)  188  The Master and Margarita (1993-4)  190  Conclusion: The Tango as a Sign  190  Conclusion  194  Evolution o f Polystylism  199  Polystylism and Narrative Potential  206  Bibliography  209  vii  T A B L E OF FIGURES  Figure 1-1. Principal features and characteristics creating stylistic gaps Figure 1-2. Principal series o f Schnittke's Symphony No. 1  42 55  Figure 1-3. Serial organization  57  Figure 1-4. Details o f the fifth group, 9 6 / 2 / 2 to 9 6 / 2 / 8  59  Figure 1-5. Dynamic Triangle of the T h i r d Movement  62  Figure 1-6. Rhythmic organization o f Symphony No. 1, 1 movement, section 4 st  65  Figure 1-7. Emergence o f chords from series, from 1 2 9 / 1 / 2  68  Figure 1-8. Emergence o f the Dies Irae from series, from 1 3 4 / 1 / 1 , example  69  Figure 1-9. Emergence o f series from the Dies Irae, from 1 5 3 / 1 / 2 , piccolo 1  70  Figure 2-1. Formal design o f Mo^Art.  88  Figure 2-2. Partition in thematic fragments o f Mozart's 416d  94  Figure 2-3. Stylistic shift at measure 36 [7]  97  Figure 2-4. Stratification from m. 220 to 261  98  Figure 2-5. Stretto from measure 1  99  Figure 2-6. M o r p h i n g i n the double bass part i n the Introduction  100  Figure 2-7. M o s t important thematic fragments used in Mo^-Art  102  Figure 2-8. Principal thematic combinations in Mot^Art  102  Figure 2-9. Similarity o f fragments 2.1 and 12.1, combined from measure 36  108  Figure 2-10. Cadenza-like episode of measure 154  108  Figure 2-11. Contrasts around fragment 3.3, measures 66, 76 and 185  109  viii  Figure 2-12. Chromatic transition at measure 51  114  Figure 3-1. M a i n stylistic elements  122  Figure 3-2. Categories of stylistic elements  126  Figure 3-3. Stylistic elements in the first movement  130  Figure 3-4. Stylistic elements in the second movement  131  Figure 3-5. Quotation o f Tchaikovsky and Berg's V i o l i n Concertos  132  Figure 3-6. Stylistic elements in the third movement  133  Figure 3-7. Stylistic elements i n the fourth movement  134  Figure 3-8. Stylistic elements in the fifth movement  136  Figure 3-9. Stylistic elements in the sixth movement  136  Figure 3-10a. L o n d o n Sketches, sheet 10  140  Figure 3-10b. Translation of L o n d o n Sketches, sheet 10  141  Figure 3-11. Excerpt o f L o n d o n Sketches, sheet 1  143  Figure 3-12. Various kind o f dualities in L o n d o n Sketches  145  Figure 3-13. Quasi-Periodic as notated in L S 8 and the Chorale theme  149  Figure 3-14. Borrowings in Glass Harmonica  153  Figure 3-15. Exchange o f the waltz theme and B A C H aggregate spelling  156  Figure 3-16. B A C H in the Cadenza, mvt. I V , from 6 2 / 1 / 1 .  157  Figure 4-1. Beginning o f the third act  174  Figure 4-2. The tango melody, as o f 3 4 5 / 1 / 5 [65]  177  Figure 4-3. Libretto adaptation o f the 1587 Volksbuch  181  Figure 4-4. The tango melody, as o f 3 4 5 / 1 / 5 [65]  191  Figure 5-1. Evolution o f polystylism in Schnittke's works  200  ix  N O T E O N TRANSLITERATION  Whenever possible, the transliteration o f Russian names and titles i n this thesis complies with the I S O 9:1995 standard. The only exception to that rule pertains to familiar names like Stravinsky, Prokofiev or Shostakovich, for which the traditional English spelling has been preserved. In the bibliography and footnotes, i n the case o f publications using the Roman alphabet, the spelling o f Russian names has been kept as published. The table below summarizes the most commonly used transliteration systems. ISO  GOST  ALA  BS  ISO  A, a  a  P.P  r  B, 6  b  C, c  s  B,B  V  T,T  t  r, r  9  A. A  d  E, e  e  e,  E, e  e  >K,)K  z  3,3  z  H, M  i  M, M  J  K,  K  GOST  ALA  BS  u O, dp  f  X, x  h  kh  kh  yo  L U  c  ts  ts  zh  4,  c  ch  ch  UJ, uj  s  sh  sh  W,w.  s  shch  shch  "b,"b  "  k  bl, bi  y  Jl.n  1  b, b  '  M,  m  3,  e  e  n  K), io  u  ju  iu  yu  a  ja  la  ya  H,  M H  O, o  0  n, n  P  zh  ye  T  H  KD  sc  ISO: International Standards Organization 9:1995, used in this thesis. GOST: Gosstandart Rossii 1983, used in Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, 2" ed. ALA: American Language Association, used by the Library of Congress. BS: British Standards 2929, used in the New Groa Dictionary ofMusic and Musicians, 2 ed. d  nd  X  e[e]  ACKNOWLEDGMENTS  When I started my doctorate studies at the School o f Music o f the University o f British Columbia, I had litde idea o f the amount o f work and o f time lying in front o f me. The whole enterprise would have been impossible without the help o f many people. I want to take this opportunity to thank the members o f my committee. Vera M i c z n i k believed i n my capacities from the beginning and has unfailingly offered perceptive advice and encouragement throughout my stay at U B C . J o h n Roeder provided invaluable commentaries on drafted chapters. I am immensely grateful to my dissertation advisor, D a v i d Metzer, for his countless hours o f correction and revision, his support throughout the redaction process, and all the times he formulated what I wanted to say just the right way. A special word for A r m a n Voskanian, and his father, Vahagn, who helped me decipher Schnittke's sketches. I am also indebted to Alexander Ivashkin for his help at The Schnittke Archive, and Gabriel Teschner at Hans Sikorski Musikverlag. Finally, I would like to express my gratitude toward my wife, Lucie Gingras, who never got tired o f asking me "when will you be done?" without getting a definite answer. H e r patience and love gave me the courage to get through many difficulties and frustrations. Thanks to my kids, Marc-Olivier, Emile and Eleonore, whose father has been busy far too often in the last few years.  XI  A. mon pere  INTRODUCTION  B y his death in 1998, Alfred Schnittke had become one o f the most performed, commissioned, and recorded living composers. Despite the Soviet oppression, since the late 1970s and the early 1980s his works gradually became known to the West. A s the number o f performances o f his music quickly rose, several newspaper and magazines published articles about h i m .  1  Commentators  alternatively attributed  to him a "cult  following" or proclaimed him to be Shostakovich's heir. This relatively sudden rise in 2  popularity was due to many factors. The "romantic" aura o f a politically-persecuted composer who had suffered for so many years under the Soviet Regime had enough appeal in itself, even more so considering that after the fall o f the USSR, Westerners—and Russians alike—could only be relieved that "real" music had endured i n spite o f years o f  As an example of the relative anonymity of Schnittke before the 1980s in the West, and especially in the United States, the first article to mention his name in the New York Times appeared in 1982, and its first sentence states that the composer is "hardly known outside of his homeland." Edward Rothstein, "Evening With a Lively Composer From Soviet," New York Times (8 January 1982), C24. 1  Too many authors adopt these points of view on Schnittke to be enumerated here. As three examples, among many others, see Anthony Tommasini, " A Schnittke Tribute to Berg Echoing 'Happy Birthday'," The New York Times (22 May 1999), B14; Will Crutchfield, " A n Evening of Chamber Works by Alfred Schnittke," The New York Times (29 May 1988), 48, and Matthias Kriesbergamsterdam, "Schnittke, an Iconoclast, Becomes an Icon," The New York Times (23 May 1999), AR25. Ivan Moody, in what is one of the first introductory articles on Schnittke published by a scholarly periodical, considers Schnittke as the "natural successor" of Shostakovich, "the point of focus [...] in Russian music which has been absent since the death of Shostakovich in 1975." Ivan Moody, "The Music of Alfred Schnittke," Tempo, 168 (March 1989), 4-11. 2  1  official censorship. This interest may be explained also by the fact that for Western 3  audiences, the last few decades o f Soviet rule have produced a void when only a few works made it to the West. Schnittke's music was conveniently ready to fill this gap. History, like nature, abhors a vacuum. That Schnittke's works could play such a role does not explain his popularity all by itself. H e was more than a simple commodity, and his music truly fascinated scholars, musicians and listeners. What drew attention was his compositional technique known as polystylism, the combination o f two or more styles i n a work. F o r most critics, the technique was perceived as a manifestation o f postmodernism. F o r the general public, the 4  combination o f Baroque and Classical idioms in a modern setting made contemporary music  accessible, sometiiing else  randomness.  5  than  an  onslaught  o f dissonance,  oddness,  or  Moreover, tht overt references to various styles and all their respective  implications created a space for interpretation that even people with little knowledge o f  For further information on the political situation in the USSR during the 1960s and 1970s, see Margarita Mazo, "The Present and the Unpredictable Past: Music and Musical Life of St. Petersburg and Moscow Since the 1960s," International Journal of Musicology 5 (1996) and Peter Schmelz, "Listening, Memory, and the Thaw: Unofficial Music and Society in Soviet Union, 19561974," P h D Thesis (University of California, Berkeley, 2002). 3  In this thesis, I will not view Schnittke exclusively through the lens of postmodernism. There are elements in his works that concur with notions of postmodernism, such as musical borrowings for instance. There are other elements that are modernist in nature, like the strict use of serial techniques. For more information on the postmodern guise of Soviet music after 1945, see Wolfgang Gratzer, " Tostmodeme' iiberall? Aktuelle (In-)Fragestellungen im Blick auf sowjetische Musik nach 1945," Wiederaneignung und Neubestimmung der Fall 'Tostmoderne" in der Music, edited by Otto Kolleritsch (Vienna: Graz, 1993), 63-86. More specifically about Schnittke, see Reinhard Oehlschlagel, "Uber und fur Alfred Schnittke: Die unabanderkche Qualitat seiner ganz anderen Postmoderne," Wien modern: Fin Internationales Festival mit Musik, Film, Theater, Uteratur und bildender Kunst des 20. Jahrhunderts— 18. Oktober bis 24. November 1991 (Vienna: Wien Modern, 1991), 91-93. 4  The alienation of the general public caused by modernism, and its continuation even after its "post-modern demise," is aptiy described in Richard Taruskin, "How Talented Composers become Useless," The New York Times (10 March 1996), H31. 5  2  music history could fill on their own. That specific space is precisely the subject o f this 6  thesis. In its most basic form, polystylism is characterized by the use o f two or more styles in a single composition. Schnittke's music, though, warrants a definition that is more specific: polystylism involves the contrast o f two or more styles, which are evoked through techniques o f musical borrowing, particularly by either quotation or allusion. The concept 7  o f style i n Schnittke's music is very broad, and depends i n part on what Zofia Lissa described as "the historical awareness o f music," the capacity that listeners have to recognize a particular style. Accordingly, the definition o f style is to be taken i n its 8  broadest sense. Schnittke refers to a set o f musical elements, techniques and processes shared by the music o f an epoch, a country, a genre, or a composer. Under that light, jazz, tango,  serialism, Baroque sequences and Classical phrases can all be called styles.  Schnittke's  polystylism also  relies  on  the  contrast  between  stylistically opposed  compositional techniques, such as the tonal and atonal idioms or the contrast between "natural" and "artificial" organization o f sounds: the series o f natural harmonics versus  That point of view is shared by Constantin Floros: "Schnittke's language is understood by coundess people throughout the world because his music contains a high emotional potential and because it is expressive, suggestive and associative. [...] It is a suggestive musical language, rich in associations, readily understood by many because it contains experiences relevant to us all." Constantin Floros, "Remarks on Alfred Schnittke," Alfred Schnittke: A. Complete Catalogue (Hamburg: Musikverlag Hans Sikorski, 2000), 5, 7. 6  V . A . Howard suggests that an allusion is "quotational" if, and only if, it specifically denotes the original, by appealing to standard conventions of reference. In other words, a quotation involves both replication and reference. V . A . Howard, " O n Musical Quotation," The Monist 58 (1974), 310. I consider that condition as excessively restrictive. 7  Zofia Lissa, "The Historical Awareness of Music and its Role in Present Day Musical Culture," Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music 4 (June, 1973), 17-32. O n the semiotic role of style in music, see also, Jan LaRue, Guidelines for Style Analysis, 2 ed. (Warren: Harmonie Park Press, 1992) and Robert Hatten, "Toward a Semiotic Model of Style in Music: Epistemological and Methodological Bases," Ph.D. Thesis (Indiana University, 1982). 8  nd  3  twelve-tone rows. Finally, references to a specific style can be abstracted so that a unison 9  on C refers to tonality, or that the B A C H monogram,  10  harmonization, refers to the Baroque composer.  A s I will later demonstrate,  11  rendered as a theme with a tonal the  juxtaposition, the combination or the opposition o f those styles creates gaps i n the musical flow of a piece, spaces that ask to be filled or explained. In doing so, the listener develops a narrative. The taxonomy o f musical borrowings is admittedly much richer than just quotation and allusion. In this thesis, those two terms act as the endpoints o f a spectrum ranging from the exact reproduction o f a given material, designated as "quotation," and the general evocation o f a style, or o f some o f its characteristics, referred to as "allusion." F o r example, the exact reproduction o f the melodies, harmonies and orchestration o f Beethoven's Fifth Symphony in Schnittke's First Symphony is a direct quotation, whereas the evocation o f a waltz rhythm in the same work is a more subtle allusion to the waltz as a genre. Schnittke used similar definitions. F o r him "quotation" includes a whole series o f devices "ranging from the quoting o f stereotypical micro-elements o f an alien style, to exact reworked  In the strictest sense, it would probably be incorrect to say that Schnittke "quotes" those styles or that his music "denotes" theni; Schnittke rather "evokes" or "exhibits" them. Howard, " O n Musical Quotation," 309. 9  The B A C H monogram describes a motive based on the pitch-class series <B\>, A , C, Bt]>. I use the term "monogram" because it is used by Schnittke and Ivashkin among others. 10  Such abstracted elements are what Robert Hatten would describe as "tokens of more general types ... encompassed by a style," or unique events which dialectically define a style and are defined by it. Robert Hatten, "Grounding Interpretation: A Semiotic Framework for Musical Hermeneutics," The American Journal of Semiotics 13,1-4 (Fall 1996), 27. 11  4  quotations  or pseudo-quotations,"  while "allusion" encompasses "subtle  hints  unfulfilled promises that hover [on] the brink o f quotation but do not actually cross i t . "  and 12  The styles used by Schnittke are carefully put together and play an important role i n the form and narrative content o f his works. In the notes to the Concerto Grosso N o . 1, Schnittke offers a glimpse o f the aesthetic vision guiding his technique—that  o f the  representation o f an inclusive musical reality—and provides an example o f one form that polystylism can take: I dream of the Utopia of a united style, where fragments of ' U ' (Unterhaltung) [entertaining] and E ' (Ernst) [serious] are not used for comic effect but seriously represent multi-faceted musical reality. That's why I've decided to put together some fragments from my cartoon film music: a joyful children's chorus, a nostalgic atonal serenade, a piece of hundred-percent-guaranteed Corelli (Made in the USSR), and finally, my grandmother's favorite tango played by my greatgrandmother on a harpsichord. I am sure all these themes go together very, well, and I use them absolutely seriously. 13  A s we will see, Schnittke's interests were shared by other musicians. N o t only did borrowing play a prominent role in music since the 1960s, but also, some composers used borrowing to explore Utopian ideals.  14  Schnittke's approach to polystylism evolved over time. Overall, his first polystylistic works present very strong juxtapositions, often with exact quotations, but the technique becomes less and less strict in later works: exact quotations disappear and are replaced by  Alfred Schnittke, "Polystylistic Tendencies in Modern Music (C. 1971)," in A Schnittke deader, ed. Alexander Ivashkin (Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2002), 88. For a broader explanation of Schnittke's terminology related to borrowing and its evolution, see Kirsten Peterson, "Structural Threads in the Patchwork Quilt: Polystylistics and Motivic Unity in Selected Works by Alfred Schnittke," Ph.D. Thesis (University of Connecticut, 2000), 12-24. 12  Schnittke's notes are reprinted in Alexander Ivashkin, Alfred Schnittke, ed. Norman Lebrecht (London: Phaidon Press, 1996), 140.  13  14  Schnittke's Utopia will be addressed in Chapter 3. 5  broad evocations or remote allusions o f styles. F o r example, works like the V i o l i n Sonata 15  N o . 2 and the Serenade for Five Musicians, both from 1968, make extensive use o f direct quotations. They create shocking contrasts and strong •stylistic clashes which break conventional musical continuity. In contrast, late works like the last four symphonies (from 1993 to his death in 1998) present ethereal textures in which the tension is constant and moments o f relief few. Unison pitches and simple triads, which appear only occasionally in earlier works, become much more frequent, as aspects o f a new simplicity. Overall the language is still modern but less dense, almost pointillistic. Schnittke's style o f this period has been described as synthetic: typical elements  from the 1970s, like unexpected  transitions and the layering o f many diverging styles, are still present but they are subdued by the economy o f means; they are no longer thrust upon the listener but more subtly introduced.  16  T h e works I have chosen for discussion place polystylism under various lights. A s a result, each o f the following chapters will adopt a different approach toward the evaluation o f their narrative potential. The Symphony N o . 1 (Chapter 1) is a compendium o f quotations, including symphonies o f Beethoven and Mahler, the Dies Irae, and improvised jazz passages. In this case, the sheer dimensions o f the work as well as the nature o f the borrowed materials are more apdy addressed by the definition o f an immanent narrative, the expression o f a single general idea through different angles. There can be no single story, no definite characters, no precise location, only an embryonic plot. Narrative ideas in the Symphony are conveyed by connotations and by |the large-scale combination o f  is Ibid., 138. 1 6  Ibid., 212. 6  borrowings. Conversely, Mo^Art  a la Haydn (in Chapter 2) is based on the sole remaining  part, the solo violin, o f a Mozart pantomime. There is almost no new material in the work; everything is by Mozart but arranged, juxtaposed and treated i n very new ways.  Mo^Art  illustrates how a composer can use the fragmentation o f pre-existent material to navigate between two styles—18  th  century and modern—in an almost continuous flow. T h e  narrative is o f a more abstract nature, resulting from the choice o f fragments and their organisation. The processes applied to the materials are the center o f attention and the cause o f numerous interrogations. It is the sequence o f developments, deployment, and superimposition techniques that creates meaning. Furthermore, a different kind o f narrative results from Schnittke's use o f the tango. In Schnittke's music the tango appears almost as a leitmotiv: in the Concerto Grosso N o . 1, in Polyphonic Tango, in various film soundtracks, the "Faust Cantata" and one o f his operas, Ufe with an Idiot. In all those occurrences, it is set in opposition to more "serious" styles, like dodecaphonism or Baroque idioms. Because the dance comes from a specific location and context, it carries strong cultural associations, particularly those o f the exotic and erotic. Schnittke mines those associations in his evocation o f the tango. Finally, the Concerto Grosso N o . 1 presents many interacting styles, but very few direct quotations can be identified. Fortunately, I have discovered among the composer's papers conserved at the Schnittke Archive at Goldsmiths College (University o f London), a hitherto completely unknown source that helps elucidate the meaning o f this piece: a programmatic note from the composer. The existence o f this program creates the opportunity for a reading o f the score "informed" by plot elements from sketches and the  7  composer's comments. Most importantly, those characteristics create the conditions for a narrative in a more traditional sense.  Literature The greater part o f the existing literature on Schnittke consists o f recollections, interviews, and collections o f the composer's own writings. Unfortunately, the composer was much 17  more voluble on his life than he is on his music; i f he voluntarily gave out glimpses o f his general philosophy o f art and music, he was rather terse when it came to specific details about the compositional strategies he employed. Scholarly interest on Schnittke's life and music has grown rapidly in the last 10 years, and a compilation o f some o f the most important interviews and writings by and on him has recently been published.  18  While a  few extended studies address the issue o f polystylism, most o f them almost completely neglect to discuss its narrative implications. O f the two biographies, one is by a close friend o f the composer, Alexander Ivashkin, and the other, by two Russian scholars, Valentina H o l o p o v a and Evgenija Cigareva.  19  Tamara Burde published an introductory book on the composer's life and  discussed a few selected works. A chapter on the Symphony N o . 1 describes the general form o f each movement and enumerates the quotations. H e r analysis o f polystylism,  1 7  For a list of interviews and recollections on and by Schnittke, please refer to the Bibliography.  Alfred Schnittke and Alexander Ivashkin, A Schnittke Reader (Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2002). Most of the content has been published in other languages. See Alfred Schnittke and Alexander Ivashkin, Besedy s Al'fredom Snitke (Moscow: R I K "Kul'tura," 1994), later published in German as Uber das Leben und die Musik (Munich: Econ, 1998); or in Alfred Schnittke and Musikverlag Hans Sikorski, Alfred Schnittke %itm 60. Geburtstag: Eine Festschrift (Hamburg: Sikorski, 1994). 1 8  Ivashkin, Alfred Schnittke. Valentina Holopova and Evgenia Cigareva, Alfred Snitke: Ocerk Ziyni i Fvorcestva (Moscow: Sovetskij Kompozitor, 1990).  1 9  8  however, does not consider the narrative layers o f the w o r k .  20  Finally, a two-day  international conference in January 2001 resulted in the publication o f a collection o f scholarly writings on Schnittke; only one article addresses musical symbolism to some extent.  21  There have been three dissertations dealing with Schnittke's polystylism. T w o focus on the same work, the Viola Concerto, and the other presents a succinct history o f the 22  technique before narrowing its focus to pitch-class set analyses o f a few w o r k s . While not 23  addressing polystylism in particular, Peter J. Schmelz's thesis on the Russian musical scene between 1956 and 1974 dedicates one chapter to the creation and reception o f the Symphony N o . 1. H e also situates the serialist experiments o f Schnittke within the context of other  composers' works, but again, polystylism plays a secondary role.  24  Other  publications consist o f general introductions to the unique aspects o f Schnittke's m u s i c  25  or  Tamara Burde, Zum Tjeben und Schaffen des Komponisten Alfred Schnittke, Musikgeschichtliche Studien, 1 (Kludenbach: Gehann, 1993).  2 0  Valentina Kholopova, "Alfred Schnittke's Works: A New Theory of Musical Content," Seeking the Soul, edited by George Odam (London: Guildhall School of Music & Drama, 2002), 38-45.  2 1  Eliyahu Tamar, "Polystylism and Coherence in Alfred Schnittke's Viola Concerto," P h D Thesis, Composition (University of Pittsburgh, 2000) and Michael Lawrence Hall, "Polystylism and Structural Unification in the Alfred Schnittke Viola Concerto," D M A Thesis (University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 2000).  2 2  Peterson, "Structural Threads in the Patchwork Quilt." Peterson also historically situates Schnittke's polystylism in the framework of current researches in postmodernism, borrowings and semiology.  2 3  2 4  Schmelz, "Listening, Memory, and the Thaw."  One of the first articles on Schnittke in English was by Ivan Moody, "The Music of Alfred Schnittke." Hugh Collins Rice provides a few more observations in the same issue of the periodical in "Further Thoughts on Schnittke," Tempo, 168 (March 1989), 12-14. Valentina Holopova presents a more comprehensive account: of Schnittke's output in "Alfred Schnittke," Kunst und Uteratur 36, 2 (1988), 250-71. 2 5  9  the study o f one particular feature.  26  A few articles adopt a more critical approach by  exploring the symbolism o f specific passages, like the imitation o f the ticking o f a clock in the "Faust Cantata."  27  Others place Schnittke's music in a historical perspective, comparing  his music to that o f Mahler or Shostakovich, for instance. M o r e appropriate  28  to the narrative aspect o f polystylism is Lisa Robinson's  description o f defamiliarization. She demonstrates how Schnittke's use o f fragments from Mahler's unfinished Piano Quintet in his Symphony N o . 5/Concerto  Grosso N o . 4  disables the "autonomism o f perception" by placing "tonal material i n a post-tonal  For example, Grigorij Pantijelew exposes the German roots of the composer's music and gives a special importance to appearances of the B A C H monogram and its inherent symbolism. Grigori Pantijelew, "Das Deutsche in der Musik von Alfred Schnittke," Das Deutsche in der Musik, 186-90 (Dresden: Zentrum fur Zeitgenossischer Musik, 1997). He also discusses the general form of the first five symphonies in "Pjat' Simfonij Al'freda Snitke." Sovetskaja Musryka, 10 (1990), 81-86. HansJoachim Erwe briefly describes improvisational features of Schnittke's music in "Spuren der Improvisation in jazzinspirierter Kunstmusik," Jasg^ und Avantgarde (Hildesheim: Olms, 1998), 194221. 2 6  Arsen Kamaev discusses the social factors surroundings the composition and the performance of the Symphony N o . 1, which he sees as being musically embodied in the work. Arsen Kamaev, "'Normativnoe' Iskusstvo i Avangard: Social'nye Aspekty Kritiki na Primere I-j Simfonii A . Snitke," Voprosy Sociologii Mu%yki, edited by Evgenii Viktorovich Dukov (Moscow: Muzykal'noPedagogiceskij Institut imeni Gnesinyh, 1990), 119-36. Klaus Angermann talks about the inevitability o f fate as portrayed in the Faust Cantata in "Das Stundenglas vor den Augen: Zur Faust-Historia von Alfred Schnittke," Musikwissenschaft %n>iscben Kunst, Asthetik und Experiment: Festschrift Heiga de la Motte-Haber tqim 60. Geburtstag (Wurzburg: Konigshausen & Neumann, 1998), 11-16. Maria Kostakeva associates the devil in the same work with the totalitarian system of the Soviet era in "Der Teufel als Symbol des Totalitaren Systems: Die neuen Mythen der Sowjet-Ara am Beispiel von Alfred Schnittkes Faust-Kantate," Europaische Mjthen der Neurit: Faust und Don Juan. Gesammelte Vortrage des Sal^burger Symposions 1992, vol. 2 (Anif & Salzburg: Muller-Speiser, 1993), 611-20. 2 7  Alexander Ivashkin sees Schnittke as the symphonic heir of Shostakovich in "Shostakovich and Schnittke: The Erosion of Symphonic Syntax," Shostakovich Studies, edited by David Fanning (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), 254-70. Georg Borchart draws many parallels in the musical practices of Schnittke and Mahler in "Alfred Schnittke und Gustav Mahler," Gustav Mahler. "Meine Zeit wird kommen" — Aspekte der Mahler-Reception (Hamburg: Dolling und Galitz, 1996), 61-73. 2 8  10  context."  29  The methodology she uses, rigorous technical analysis informed by literary  criticism, proves inspiring.  30  O n a different level, Wolfgang Gratzer describes how  Schnittke's musical treatment o f the Faust story alters the meanings put forth by traditional interpretations o f the legend. The author insists on the close association between the narrator and the satanic characters, thereby creating what one might call a negative Passion.  31  B o t h Robinson and Gratzer adopt approaches that go beyond purely musical  aspects and develop extra-musical implications; as I will describe below, my thesis strives in the same direction. Publications on musical borrowing typically mention Schnittke, but there is no i n depth study o f his use o f polystyHsm. In fact, even the bibliographical database on 32  musical borrowing, created by J . Peter Burkholder, Andreas Giger, and D a v i d C. Birchler,  Lisa Brooks Robinson, "Mahler and Postmodern Intertextuality," Ph.D. Thesis (Yale University, 1994), 178, 220. Robinson's observations on defamiliarization are indebted to Viktor Shklovsky, "Art as Technique," in Russian Formalist Criticism: Four Essays, trans. Lee T. Lemon and Marion J. Reis (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1965), 5-24.  2 9  Robinson sees the process of defamiliarization as playing an essential role in Schnittke's music. As detailed later, that process is also at the center of my approach. She explains how Schnittke used Mahler's fragment as "neutral" material so that the structure of the movement "is not primarily determined by an overriding intertextual reference." It is probably because she sees Schnittke's borrowings as "neutral material" that she never addresses their referential or narrative implications. Robinson, "Mahler and Postmodern Intertextuality," 220. 3 0  Wolfgang Gratzer, '"Eine negative Passion': Alfred Schnittkes Faust-Kantate als Paradigma postmoderner Mythenrezeption," Europaiscbe Mytben der Neurit: Faust und Don Juan. Gesammelte Vortrage des Sal^burger Symposions 1992, vol. 2 (Anif and Salzburg: Muller-Speiser, 1993), 595-610  3 1  The place of Schnittke in many books on quotations or borrowings goes from a few pages in Glenn Watkins, Pyramids at the Fouvre: Music, Culture, and Collage From Stravinsky to the Postmodernists (Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1994) to a whole chapter in Wolfgang Gratzer and Siegfried Mauser, Mozart in der Musik des 20. Jahrhunderts: Formen, dsthetischer und kompositionstechnischer Reception, Schriften zur Musikalischen Hermeneutik, 2 (Laaber: Laaber-Verlag, 1992).  3 2  11  is almost silent about Schnittke. In his thesis on the "new quotation" as employed i n the 33  works o f more than sixty composers, Michael Hicks barely discusses Schnittke; nonetheless he helpfully defines seven types o f borrowings that can transmit symbolic meanings, thus providing a valuable methodology (see below). H e also describes how Bach's " E s ist genug" chorale can take on a range o f different meanings in different contexts. M y study o f the tango i n Schnittke's works shares a similar goal.  34  A s well, Burkholder's study o f  Charles Ives's quotation practices presents lines o f inquiry that I take up i n my research: the author distinguishes between different types o f musical borrowings in Ives's works and describes how the process evolved across his oeuvre.  35  Methodology The study o f the narrative potential o f Schnittke's polystylism can be approached through many different channels. In fact, it might be possible that each work demands its own critical apparatus as it creates different qualities o f narrative. Nevertheless, a few common methodological steps can be stated here. In each o f the four chapters, the first stage is to describe how polystylism manifests itself. F o r each work, I demonstrate the way in which the composer presents specific styles, or abstractions o f such styles, what meaning they carry and how they carry that meaning. The second stage is to assess the narrative potential  Http://www.music.indiana.edu/borrowing (Accessed 15 August 2006). Searching for "Schnittke" in any of the fields returns only one result: Watkins, Pyramids at the Louvre. According to the website, the bibliography contains more than 1200 entries.  3 3  Michael Dustin Hicks, "The New Quotation: Its Origin and Functions," Ph.D. Thesis (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1984), 46-64.  3 4  J. Peter Burkholder, All Made of Tunes: Charles Ives and the Uses of Musical Borrowing (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995). 3 5  12  of polystylism by ordering the different meanings in a single thread. A s each work presents polystylism in contrasting ways, the characteristics o f the resulting narrative will differ. The process o f "defamiliarization'' is central to the first stage o f the methodology used here. Over time, certain phenomena become more and more familiar, in such a way that we tend not to pay special attention to them. They become part o f the ordinary, and our perception o f them becomes automatized.  36  However, their expressive potential can be  re-established by "removing the 'film o f familiarity'."  37  In regards to music, when a  stylistically coherent passage is abruptly interrupted by another section cast i n a totally different style, that second style is strongly emphasized, presented out o f context and thus "defamiliarized." This process is closely related to what literary theorist Jan Mukarovsky has called foregrounding: the deliberate and conscious violation o f a usually automatized scheme.  38  In a text, this process could consist o f the use o f stylistic devices like alliteration,  rhyme, or, at the grammatical level, such gestures as inversion and ellipsis.  39  In a musical  work, stylistic contrast is one the most striking processes that can result i n foregrounding. For example, the inclusion o f a tango in Schnittke's Concerto Grosso N o . 1 is impossible to justify as the consequence o f musical developments. This is explained by the fact that  Robert Morgan is probably the first writer to have applied the concept of defamiliarization to music in "Ives and Mahler: Mutual Responses at the E n d of an Era," 19 -Century Music 2/\ (1978), 72-81. The idea was later reprised by Rudolf Stephan in "Zur Deutung von Strawinskys Neoklassizismus," Musik-Kon^epte 34/35 (1984), 80-88. See also Robinson, "Mahler and Postmodern Intertextuality," 178-185. 3 6  th  37  Morgan, "Ives and Mahler," 77.  Jan Mukarovsky, "Standard Language and Poetic Language," A, Prague School Reader on Esthetics, Uterary Structure, and Style, edited by L. Garvin (Washington: Georgetown University Press, 1964 (1932), 17-30, especially 19. 38  David S. Miall and D o n Kuiken, "Foregrounding, Defamiliarization, and Affect: Response to Literary Stories," Poetics 22, 5, 389-407.  3 9  13  before the tango happens, it is completely unexpected and also because it can be identified as a borrowing. This section o f the work is detached, it is brought to the foreground, or simply, it attracts the attention o f the listener i n a more acute way than its surrounclings. The tango is defamiliarized. The contrast between foreign stylistic units and their new surroundings results in the creation o f a gap, the disjunction between the foregrounded borrowings and the background.  40  Recent research shows that readers when confronted with foregrounding—  words or phrases that unpredictably stand out from the norm o f the text—attempt to "refamiliarize" by re-evaluating the context. F o r instance, they could read the same sentence  again  understandable.  41  in  hope  that  the  defamiliarized elements  would  become  more  Only a few critics have studied the nature o f stylistic disjunctions i n  music, or elsewhere for that matter. F o r Peter McQuallum, conventional analysis has been unable to deal with what he calls "third order articulations," such as stylistic reference and parody with any sophistication. One o f the best accounts o f the possibilities created by 42  textual disjunctions is to be found in the works o f Maurice Blanchot. N o t only has the French author and literary theorist described and exploited the process o f fragmentation and the potential o f disjunction in his own works, but he has also provided inspiring  The presence of gaps in the textual surface can be related to what theorists of postmodernism have described as discontinuity. It is widely accepted that quotation, and the disjunction that results from its presence, is indeed a prevalent characteristic of postmodernist music. See for example Jonathan D . Kramer, "The Nature and Origins of Music Postmodernism," in Postmodern Music/Postmodern Thought, edited by Judy Lochhead and Joseph Auner (New York: Roudedge, 2002), 13-26. 4 0  Miall and Kuiken, "Foregrounding, Defamiliarization, and http://www.ualberta.ca/~dmiall/reading/foregrd.htm (Accessed 20 August 2006). 4 1  Affect,"  Peter McQuallum, "Classic Preoccupations: Instruments for the Obliteration of Analysis?" Music Analysis, 9 (1990), 206. 4 2  14  insights into the role o f stylistic gaps.  43  F o r Blanchot, the juxtaposition o f  fragments  accentuates the distance existing between them, creating an open space where the parole, the speech that comes not from the text but from the reader, creates relationships. That space is open to signification. H e sees fragmentation as the exploration o f the mfinite 44  space o f the work, the refusal o f closure or unity. Blanchot wants readers, when confronted with fragmentation, to experience its fragmented nature; i n other words, he does not believe that fragments need to be unified i n any sense, let alone resolved i n a narrative. Moreover, i f fragments are materially unrelated, because they were never part o f the same whole, for example, they can nevertheless be subjectively related by the effort o f the reader/listener. Schnittke's works offer such a different experience o f the fragments, which often carry cultural associations with them in the new context. I believe Blanchot is right when he says that fragments may be experienced as such, but that does not prevent the elaboration o f a narrative by a willing human being.  45  Schnittke's polystylism also evokes fragmentation.  F o r example, by morphing  pseudo-Corelli with thick clusters in the Concerto Grosso N o . 1, or by placing the very process o f fragmentation under the spotlight in Mo^-Art, he effectively disturbs the sense of unity and continuity, making it hard for listeners to reconstruct a larger whole. However,  Some of Blanchot own writings juxtapose many different styles: novelistic narratives, philosophical exposes, unidentified quotations, dialogues and aphorisms are used in quick succession. See, for example, Maurice Blanchot, Lepas au-deld (Paris: Gallimard, 1973) and L'attente I'oubli (Paris: Gallimard, 1962).  4 3  Robert Samuels described Mahler's music as functioning in a similar fashion. According to him, Mahler's music cannot be "analyzed" in the traditional sense, because there is no longer a pattern of sender — message — addressee, and thus there is no longer such thing as a "finished work." Robert Samuels, "Music as Text: Mahler, Schumann and Issues in Analysis," Theory, Analysis and Meaning in Music, ed. Anthony Pople (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 152-163.  4 4  4 5  The relation between fragments and narrative will be addressed in Chapter 2. 15  contrary to Blanchot, I argue that the natural reaction o f the listener is to explain the disjunction, to fill in the blank by the elaboration o f a narrative. In the Concerto Grosso N o . 1, for example, the interlacing Baroque sequences o f the two violin lines quoted from the movie Butterfly could become the dance o f two lovers, and the dissolve o f the two lines into chaotic texture, their separation. A s in Blanchot's own novels, Schnittke's borrowings and fragments are so blunt that they simply cannot be ignored; they are to be recognized as such. They create disjunctions and place the reader i n an uncomfortable position, an unbalance which is only resolved by his formation o f a meta-story through parole, a filled-in narrative. This study is based on the assumption that listeners when confronted  with  discontinuities intuitively tend to resolve them by filling i n the space between fragments. In fact, that impulse toward constructing continuity even when there is none has been described in many areas o f art and thought. In literature, Wolfgang Iser sees readers actively bridging holes in stories in an attempt to construct a narrative unity, thereby constantly modifying their own representation  o f the text.  46  In his "archaeology o f  knowledge," Michel Foucault acknowledges the natural attraction toward unity in the writing o f history. H e describes the desire o f historians to reach "the ideal limit, the nondifference o f perfect continuity" when they are confronted with disjunctions i n the flow o f events. Foucault thought that those differences should not necessarily be resolved and that historians often engineered an artificial continuity because it seems less threatening.  47  In  Wolfgang Iser, The Act of Reading: A Theory of Aesthetic Response (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1978), see especially 107-134.  4 6  Michel Foucault, The Archaeology of Knowledge and the Discourse on Language, translated by A . M . Sheridan Smith (New York: Pantheon Books, 1972), 169.  4 7  16  music analysis and history, K e v i n Korsyn applies the same reasoning as Foucault by drawing a parallel between "the repression o f discontinuity i n history" and "the repression o f heterogeneity i n analysis." Korsyn wants historians to resist the impulse o f using narrative i n what he calls a privileged context, which creates artificial continuity where none  exists.  discontinuity."  According 48  to  him,  "we  need  paradigms  that  will  accommodate  Leonard Meyer too underlines the idea that humans naturally direct their  attention toward evident changes, and that this tendency demonstrates that change "is what calls for explanation." H e considers that an "axiom o f constancy underlies not only historical interpretation but almost all forms o f human comprehension."  49  Fulfilling the  desire for continuity is precisely what narrative involves, even i f that might mean constructing a second work—that is a new layer o f meaning—on top o f the open space provided by fragmentation.  .  Umberto Eco's conception o f the dual pairs o f listener/readers supports the idea o f a narrative impulse. According to him, there are not one but two different authors and readers for every text: the empirical author effectively wrote a text i n order to produce its model reader, while the model author is imagined by the empirical reader as to coincide  Kevin Korsyn, "Beyond Privileged Contexts: Intertextuality, Influence, and Dialogue," in Rethinking Music, edited by Nicholas Cook and Mark Everist (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 67, 70-71. Korsyn supports this argument by quoting Hans Kellner: "Narrative exists to make continuous what is discontinuous; it covers gaps in time, in action, in documentation, even when it points to them." Hans Kellner, Language and Historical Representation: Getting the Story Crooked (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1989), 55. 4 8  Leonard B. Meyer, Style and Music: Theory, History, and Ideology (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1989), 88. 4 9  17  with the intention o f the text.  50  In the case o f polystylism, the natural reflex o f the  empirical "listener," when confronted by the challenges put forward by the empirical composer, is to imagine a model composer, to try to penetrate his or her thoughts in order to explain what seems, at first sight, to be unexplainable, to render continuous what is discontinuous. In short, the listener attempts to reconstruct the conceptual network surrounding the work. Indeed, according to Raymond Monelle, a musical text is an "epistemic nexus" that can point to all kinds o f signification. Each stylistic element connotes extra-musical concepts to a certain degree. In turn, those connotative meanings become the seeds o f the narrative. Consequently, the space o f stylistic gaps is not sterile. O n the contrary, it is the fertile ground upon which the narrative can be erected. The referential aspect o f music is perhaps nowhere more evident than with musical borrowing. A s Christopher Ballantine has explained, borrowings can take place anywhere along a continuum: at one end, the original meaning o f the quoted material is unimpaired; at the other end, it can be totally stripped away from it. Borrowings can carry out diverse 51  functions. Michael Hicks has defined seven such functions: simple puns, text painting, commentary on another work, idea-carrier, an appeal to the personal circumstances o f an " o l d " composer, the relationship to a specific condition o f the "new" composer's life, and  " A text is a device conceived in order to produce its model reader. [...] The empirical reader is only an actor who makes conjectures about the kind of model reader postulated by the text. Since the intention of the text is basically to produce a model reader able to make conjectures about it, the initiative of the model reader consists in figuring out a model author that is not the empirical one and that, in the end, coincides with the intention of the text." Umberto Eco, Interpretation and Overinterpretation, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), 64.  5 0  Ballantine explains that a complex dialectic is involved between the quoted fragment, its new treatment, and its new context; in fact, he sees the new composition as being this dialectic. Christopher Ballantine, Music and its Social Meaning (New York: Gordon and Breach, 1984), 73-74.  5 1  18  an appeal to the "acquired associations" o f an older work i n a new one.  52  Pursuing a  different goal, Roland Bardies valued connotation as the principal source o f meaning.  53  The semiotic relationship he describes is determined by two different spaces which my analysis o f Schnittke's music will account for. The first is o f a sequential nature and is established by the succession o f sentences, by the context. The second is o f an agglomerative nature i n which "certain areas o f the text [correlate] other meanings outside the material text."  54  Having recognized the borrowings i n a work and described their symbolic functions, the next step is the elaboration o f a narrative. A s Vera Micznik points out, there seems to be a consensus  on the minimal conditions for a narrative: it entails a  representation o f at least two events i n a temporal order by at least one narrator.  55  In  Schnittke's polystylism, each style is a "represented event." In all the works studied in this dissertation, there are more than two events and as music is temporal i n nature, two o f the minimal conditions are met.  56  The presence o f a narrator is more difficult to ascertain,  57  Hicks, "The New Quotation," 52-61. More specifically, the evocative possibilities of styles have been addressed in Robert Hatten, "Toward a Semiotic Model of Style in Music: Epistemological and Methodological Bases," Ph.D. Thesis (Indiana University, 1982), see especially 204-213. 5 2  5 3  Roland Barthes, S/Z, translated by Richard Miller (New York: Hill and Wang, 1974), 8-9.  Monelle adds that the network of signification is infinite; I doubt it is, as there is always the need to be rooted in the plausible. Raymond Monelle, "What is a Musical Text?," Musical Semiotics in Growth, edited by Eero Tarasti (Imatra and Bloomington: Indiana University Press, International Semiotics Institute, 1996), 255-256. For a survey of the interpretation limitation, see Umberto Eco, The Limits of Interpretation (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990). 5 4  Vera Micznik, "Music and Narrative Revisited: Degrees of Narrativity in Beethoven and Mahler," Journal of the Royal MusicalAssociation, 126 (2001), 194. 5 5  As with literary texts, musical time could consist in two layers: the story-time, the causal order of events, and the discourse-time, the actual reading time. Micznik, "Music and Narrative Revisited," 194. 5 6  19  and on that issue, as well as on the premises o f musical narrativity i n general, there are many points o f view.  58  A t one extreme, Jean-Jacques Natriez states that narrative does not  reside in music, that it is the result o f the listener's "narrative impulse"; for him, musical narrativity "is nothing but superfluous metaphor."  59  I argue that i f the narrative may not  reside in the music, the "narrative impulse" does reside i n it. Whether the metaphors resulting from it are "superfluous" or not does not negate their existence. A t the other extreme, Fred Maus, L e o Treitler, and Robert Samuels all argue for a certain narrative quality o f music. Naturally, their positions on the topic are closer to mine. 60  The musical narrator is a loosely defined concept. For Lawrence Kramer, the musical narrator is not a function of the music itself but rather a "shadow" cast by the listener. Lawrence Kramer, Classical Musk and Postmodern Knowledge (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995), 119-120. For Eero Tarasti, the musical narrator is "the intentional subject emerging from the cooperation between composer, performer, and listener, and living in the no-man's land between them, who is the subject properly speaking and who programs musical actors on the textual level." Eero Tarasti, A. Theory of Musical Semiotics (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1994), 111. For more on the musical narrator see Vincent Meelberg, " A Telling View on Musical Sounds: A Musical Translation of the Theory of Narrative," in: Narrative Theory: Critical Concepts in Literary and Cultural Studies, edited by Mieke Bal (London: Roudedge, 2004), 287-316. 5 7  For a survey of opposing views on musical narrativity see Micznik, "Music and Narrative Revisited," 194-197. 5 8  Jean-Jacques Nattiez, "Peut-on parler de narrativite en musique?," Canadian University Music Review, 10 (1990), 68-91.  5 9  Fred Maus claims that narrative theory can be applied to any piece of music in "Music as Narrative," Indiana Theory Review 12 (Spring-Fall 1991), 1-34. For Robert Samuels "codes of thematic continuity, motivic development and formal scheme conflict in a way which leaves as the only way of 'making sense' [...] the resort to a code of 'musical narration'." Samuels, "Music as Text," 156. See also Leo Treider, "Language and the Interpretation of Music," Music and Meaning, edited by Jenefer Robinson (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1997), 23-56. See also Scott Burnham, " H o w Music Matters: Poetic Content Revisited," Rethinking Music (Oxford: Oxford University Press), 193-216, especially 215: "In short, precisely because music is musical, it can speak to us of things that are not strictiy musical. This is how we hear music speak: not by reducing it to some other set of circumstances, [...] but by allowing it the opacity of its own voice, and then engaging that voice in ways that reflect both its presence and our own, much as we allow others a voice when we converse with them." 6 0  20  E v e n i f the presence o f a narrative is admitted, the question o f its exact nature remains. Again, there are divergent points o f view on the subject. In a comment about Mahler that applies equally well to Schnittke, Anthony N e w c o m b states that the narrative quality o f music is probably best described as formal paradigms or plot archetypes that are "often better thought o f not as paradigmatic spatial structures temporal procedures, operations, or transformational sequences."  but as paradigmatic 61  It seems that the  meaning conveyed by stylistic units is most forcefully generated by their interrelationships. F o r example, the tango conveys a precise meaning, as does the Dies Irae, but the passage from one to the other, the type o f transition between die two, is equally significant. The way i n which a specific stylistic material is absorbed in or juxtaposed against another one is paradigmatically related to other schemes from the extra-musical sphere. In other words, the interaction between the various symbolic functions o f musical borrowings can, as Micznik claims, "present resemblances o f situations analogous to those presented in [verbal] stories."  62  Music does not denote as a text does, but it can mirror archetypical processes, like synthesis, conflict or resilience. A s a consequence, rather than presenting a single definitive story, the evocative potential o f polystylism is such that, as Schnittke said, it "creates new possibilities for the musical dramatization o f 'eternal' questions — o f war and peace, life and death."  63  If those questions are indeed "eternal," they are also very general. In fact, as I  Anthony Newcomb, "Narrative Archetypes and Mahler's Ninth Symphony," Music and Text: Critical Inquiries, edited by Steven Paul Sher (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), 119.  61  6 2  Micznik, "Music and Narrative Revisited," 244.  6 3  Schnittke, "Polystylistic Tendencies," A. Schnittke Reader, 90. 21  will show, Schnittke usually avoids treating them i n any precise way, perhaps i n order to preserve their "universality."  Outline This thesis is divided in four chapters; the first three are each oriented around a single work while the fourth one focuses on a specific style and how it is used in several pieces. The first chapter examines the origins o f Schnittke's polystylism as they are reflected i n the Symphony N o . 1. The work is massive and blundy exposes direct quotations. Although the Symphony does not have a program, a careful analysis o f the score will show how a kind o f immanent narrative emerges out o f the stylistic gaps, and how Schnittke confronts the symphonic genre, which, during the course o f the work, dies and resurrects. The second chapter endeavours in a more theoretical direction. Mo^-Arf a la Haydn, a work built on the ruins o f a little known fragment o f Mozart, appeals to the fragmentary in order to deal with ideas such as the old, the new, the past and the present. The work asks many more questions than it answers. Consequently, its narrative potential depends less on the few inherent musical connotations, and more on the individual listeners' contributions. The situation is notably different in the case o f the Concerto Grosso N o . 1, the subject o f the third chapter. Unlike the previous two works, this one has a program, which can be related to the music and to the various musical borrowings. Distinct characters and a plot can be grasped and are actually supported by the composer i n his sketches. T h e narrative is more story-like, even i f it is still loose enough to allow multiple interpretations. Nevertheless, for once, helped by an examination o f the sketches and o f Schnittke's self-borrowings, it is possible to affix detailed significations to precise passages in the work. The last chapter looks at the tango in many o f Schnittke's works, using a scene o f his opera Historia von D. 22  Johann Fausten as a case study. The implications o f the genre, which Schnittke employs i n different works over a long period, are examined in order to determine how they change or stay the same depending on the contexts i n which they appear. F o r Schnittke, the tango always implies the idea o f duality, especially that o f the opposition between evil and good. However, different contexts can develop the concept in various directions. The tango can symbolize a lure or a temptation which should be resisted, or it can be the banal and the popular under which the D e v i l hides. Schnittke's polystylism confounds interpretations that value continuity and unity. A l l four chapters emphasize the stylistic gaps and disjunctions that must be explained. This is the space o f the narrative, a space which asks to be filled but which offers no promise o f truth. A s Schnittke once said: "When you start talking about it [music], all your attempts to explain it i n more or less precise terms are a complete failure. But you still have to try to explain, you still have to try to come closer to what you cannot actually grasp, i n the hope that this time you might manage to get a little closer to i t . "  6 4  Schnittke and Ivashkin, A Schnittke Reader, 12. 23  64  C H A P T E R 1: (ANTI-)SYMPHONY N O . 1 A N D T H E GENESIS O F POLYSTYLISM  F o r Soviet composers, the symphony never lost its status as a fundamental genre. That status was upheld by both the Communist Party—the State Purchasing Committee paid the most money for symphonies—and by artistic idealism, and many composers considered the symphonic genre to be the most suitable for the expression o f "conceptual" ideas. After Perestroika, most Russian composers felt—or were allowed to feel—the need 1  to address the individual rather than the collective. That sentiment, however, had shaped Schnittke's works for over two decades.  Larger genres were a privileged way to  acknowledge what he called the "polyphonization o f human consciousness," or the multiple streams o f information which flow through i n the individual's m i n d at any given time. A s Ivashkin explains, the concept inspired an understanding o f form, not as a 2  realization o f organic unity but rather as creating a musical environment in which the listener is involved and that he or she can interpret on his or her o w n .  3  It is inhabited by these considerations that Schnittke decided to compose his Symphony N o . 1, which could be called an anti-symphony. A preliminary sketch o f the  Mazo, "The Present and the Unpredictable Past," 385. See also David Haas, "Boris Asafyev and Soviet Symphony Theory," The Musical Quarterly 76 (1992), 410-411. 1  2  Schnittke, "Polystylistic Tendencies," 89.  Alexander Ivashkin, "Letter from Moscow Post October Soviet Art: Canon and Symbol," The Musical Quarterly 74 (1990), 316. 3  24  work bears the title: "Eine Symphonie — keine Symphonie, i l i [or] (k)eine Symphonie."  4  Schnittke's analytical commentary on Stravinsky's Symphony in C sheds some light on this designation: "The irony o f both the formal conception ('Symphony') and the tonal conception ('in C ) is obvious: this is only the shell o f a symphony, filled with surrogate thematic and tonal development. A quasi-symphony. A quasi-tonality."  5  A t the  time,  Schnittke noted that it was impossible to repeat classical models without falling into absurdity. Indeed, i f attempting to compose a symphony was a logical step in his career, 6  for him, success was impossible. T o use his words, "it is clear that [...] logically it is pointless." The reasons behind such a conclusion are complex, but, as I will argue, the 7  Symphony N o . 1 seems to have been written in order to support it. Schnittke's work also 8  emerged as the solution to a different problem: that o f a young Soviet composer asking "how to write a symphony?" Schnittke's Symphony N o . 1 is also a study i n musical borrowing, mcluding quotations o f Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto, waltzes by Johann Strauss, the Dies Irae, Grieg's Veer Gynt, and Haydn's "Farewell" Symphony. Schnittke also includes stylistic allusions to the fox trot, jazz improvisation, military  4  Valentina Holopova, Kompo^itor Alfred Snitke (Celabinsk: Arkaim, 2003), 105.  5  Schnittke, "Paradox as a Feature of Stravinsky's Musical Logic," A Schnittke Reader, 170.  6  Ibid.  i Alex Ross, " A Shy, Frail Creator," New York Times (10 February 1994), C17. Admittedly, it would not be the last time that Schnittke composes in a "self-contradicting" genre. He would go on the write Mo^-Art (1975) for which two of the envisaged tides were Kein Mozart and Keine Variationen %u Theme W. A. Mo^arts, and (K)ein Sommernachtstraum (1985), taking the extra step of adding "nicht nach Shakespeare" on the tide page. The complete list of working tides for Mo^-Art is reproduced in Schnittke and Ivashkin, Uber das Leben und die Music, 319-320. This exhibition of contradictions is patent in most of his works. See Richard Taruskin, " A PostEverythingist Booms," New York Times (12 July 1992), H20. 8  25  marches,  and  Baroque  dances.  In  addition, large  spans  o f the  work  are  dodecaphonism. Other moments have strong tonal implications, particularly the  pure full-  orchestra unisons on C , A and E . Elements o f scenography are also specified i n the score, like the late entry o f the conductor at the beginning and the exit o f the winds in the second movement. In bringing together such disparate materials, some have argued the Symphony may have been influenced by the third movement o f Luciano Berio's Sinfonia. Schnittke's work, however, was most likely conceived o f without any knowledge o f Berio's piece. O f course, 9  other composers, during the late 1960s, had integrated quotations into their music. Schnittke especially recognized the influence o f Pousseur's Votre Faust and Zimmermann's Die Soldaten. Both operas include "polystylistic" passages, and Schnittke was able to study 10  the  scores  during the  Khrushchev T h a w .  11  Schnittke noted  how  Pousseur  and  Zimmermann used stylistic blends to project contemporary problems onto other epochs,  Schnittke said that he heard a recording of Berio's Sinfonia in 1969 but that by that time the formal design of his Symphony, w completed and that it was already polystylistic. For precedents, he points out to his own Serenade (1968). The date Schnittke provides implies that he conceptualized the Symphony N o . 1 after Penderecki's Stabat Mater (1962), or Pousseur's Votre Faust (1961/1968), but before Berio's Sinfonia. Dmitrij Sul'gin and Alfred Schnittke, Gody neiyyestnosti Al'freda Snitke (Moscow: by the author, 1993), 27. Galina Grigorieva states that Schnittke's Symphony No. 1 is "a result of the composer's careful study in the sixties of Berio's unpublished symphony." Considering Schnittke's words, and the great difficulty for young Russian composers to obtain modern music scores—especially unpublished ones—this otherwise unsupported statement seems false. Galina Grigorieva, "Stylistic Aspects of Soviet Music," Current Musicology, 52 (1993), 45.  9  a s  Schnittke probably managed to obtain the scores of Penderecki, Zimmerman and Pousseur. He later recognized their influence on the Symphony inception. Solomon Volkov, "The ABCs of Alfred Schnittke," Tempo 206 (1998), 36 and Mazo, "The Present and the Unpredictable Past," 3767. Ivashkin notes that, during the Khrushchev Thaw, Nono, Ligeti, Stockhausen and Pousseur sent scores direcdy to Russian composers, including Schnittke. Ivashkin, Alfred Schnittke, 85. See also Burde, Zum Feben und Schaffen, 74. 10  11  Schnittke and Ivashkin, "From Schnittke's Conversations," A Schnittke Reader, 17. 26  and how they could relate one period, be it past or present, to another.  12  Schnittke later  saw the concurrent interest in borrowing as an expression o f the Zeitgeist, many minds grabbing on to an idea which was "permeating the air." 'Whereas the extent to which 13  earlier quotation pieces influenced him remains unknown, one thing is clear: Schnittke's Symphony N o . 1 is a unique work, not an imitation. Before the premiere o f the Symphony N o . 1 in 1974, Schnittke had already composed an oratorio, two violin concertos, a piano concerto, numerous chamber works, a two-act opera, and music for films, television and plays. This intense activity emerged in 14  part from financial necessity and played an important role i n the development o f polystylism. A t that time, Mosfilm studios were quite generous and the income earned from his work there allowed Schnittke to buy his first apartment in M o s c o w .  15  But it came  at the expense o f long, strenuous hours, which left him little time to devote to his own projects  after  1967. Nonetheless, the experience o f scoring films provided creative  inspiration. Schnittke said he could not "remember how many marches for brass band and banal waltz tunes, how much chase music, gunfight music, landscape music [he] wrote."  16  A t the same time, he acknowledged that the "inferior material" could be transferred to other compositions, acquiring a new role i n the process. This became increasingly  Gunter Bialas and Alfred Schnittke, "Gunter Bialas im Gesprach mit Sofia Gubaidulina und Alfred Schnittke," Bayerische Akademie der Schonen Kitnste Jahrbuch 5 (1991), 254. 12  Schnittke expresses his belief in a Zeitgeist regularly in the interviews reproduced in Schnittke and Ivashkin, "From Schnittke's Conversations," 3-37, in particular 13-20. 1 3  During the four years of the composition of the Symphony N o . 1 (1968-72), Schnittke composed the soundtrack for more than sixteen films, documentaries, plays or cartoons. 1 4  1 5  Ivashkin, Alfred Schnittke, 108.  16  Schnittke, " O n Film and Film Music," A Schnittke Reader, 51. 27  important i n later works, where Schnittke juxtaposed the same waltzes, foxtrots, and chants he wrote for films with modern styles. Moreover, censorship was much more lenient for feature films than it was for concert works, and sometimes non-existent for cartoons, allowing relative freedom in using modern idioms alongside more conventional ones.  17  F i l m composition offered Schnittke a laboratory. A s he explained: "one day I would  write something, the next day listen to the orchestra play it, not like it, change it on the spot, although I might have tried out a certain device, an orchestral technique, or something else. In this respect, I gained a great deal from the cinema."  18  A m o n g the movies Schnittke scored were The World Today {Mir segodnd, 1968-74), a documentary by Mihail Il'ic R o m m ,  19  and Glass Harmonica {Stekldnnad Garmonika, 1968), an  animated movie by Andrej Hrzanovskij.  20  The music o f both direcdy influenced the  Symphony and the latter, the Concerto Grosso N o . I .  21  F r o m The World Today, Schnittke  was influenced by the eclectic mix o f images assembled to comment on contemporary life, including scenes o f China's Cultural Revolution, Communist parades, the Vietnam War, starvation i n Africa, drug abuse, and environmental problems. H e said: " I f I had not seen  17  Ivashkin, Alfred Schnittke, 111.  1 8  Schnittke, " O n Film and Film Music," 51.  This documentary is also known under the tile And Yet I Believe (I vse-taki a veru). As Romm died before its completion, the film was later completed by two of his pupils: Elem Klimov and Marlen Hucievin 1974. 1 9  Schnittke and Hrzanovskij collaborated on many animated films from 1968 until 1981. Glass Harmonica was deemed ideologically disturbing by Soviet censors, and consequentiy the film was shelved until after Perestroika.  2 0  Grigorij Pantielev later saw a parallel between the Symphony and a movie by Frederico Fellini, Prova d'Orchestra (1978), the story of a turbulent rehearsal ending in complete chaos. While this is a compelling analogy, there is no documentary evidence to supports the claim. Pantielev, "Pat' Simfonij," 83. 21  28  all these shots i n the film, I would never have written this symphony."  22  F r o m the latter  film, he was inspired by the collage o f paintings from Brueghel to Magritte interspersed throughout the movie. Working on films was for Schnittke both a positive and negative experience. A s he explained, the work came at a time when he was facing a crisis in his own  artistic development. Having to compose waltzes and marches for the cinema,  Schnittke did not know which place, i f any, those idioms should occupy in his work "at the desk." H e was becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the demands o f film directors, and the strict stylistic limits imposed by each m o v i e . A s he said, he had to drop one or 23  the other. H e dropped neither. 24  25  Instead, what he first perceived to be a problem became  a solution. The Symphony N o . 1 was premiered i n Gorky, a city closed to foreigners because o f the presence o f military research facilities, to an audience comprised o f musicians and critics who made a special trip from Moscow, 450 kilometres away.  26  O n 9 February 1974,  six years after Schnittke first started the piece and two years after its completion, the G o r k y Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction o f Gennadi] Rozdestvenskij performed the Symphony. In order to get the work played, Schnittke had to obtain permission from either T i h o n Hrennikov, president o f the Soviet Composers' U n i o n , or Rodion Sedrin, head o f  2 2  Ivashkin, Alfred Schnittke, 118.  2 3  Burde, Zum Leben und Schaffen, 51.  2 4  Schnittke and Ivashkin, "From Schnittke's Conversations," 17.  The influence of film music on Schnittke's works could be the topic of a thesis. Accordingly, only the films which had a direct and important influence on the works discussed here will be addressed. 2 5  2 6  Ivashkin, Alfred Schnittke, 118. 29  the Russian Composers' Organization.  27  A s Schnittke's relations with Hrennikov were  strained at best, he turned the score over to Sedrin, who quickly approved it apparentiy under pressure from Rozdestvenskij. It was stipulated that the performance would take 28  place not i n M o s c o w but rather i n Gorky, where the work had less chance to attract the attention o f party officials and foreign journalists.  29  Schnittke recalled the  tensions  surrounding the concert and the overall negative official reaction, but for him, it was a positive experience. H e was most impressed by the enthusiastic response o f the average concertgoers, who attended both the premiere and even rehearsals.  30  After a review o f a  live tape by the Secretariat o f the Composers' U n i o n , during which Hrennikov harshly criticized both the work and the composer, the V A A P , the agency responsible for collecting pubhshing performances.  31  and  distribution rights, was instructed  not  to  allow  further  Accordingly, the M o s c o w premiere would have to wait until 1986.  Polystylism A s a young composer living under the Soviet regime, Schnittke had little encouragement to develop polystylism, let alone any new challenging idiom. Foreign scores were hard to obtain, and even in conservatory libraries, special permission was required in order to consult the works o f Stravinsky or Schoenberg. Students caught possessing modern pieces  2 7  Ibid., 119.  Ibid., 118. See also John Warnaby, "Obituaries: Alfred Schnittke," Musical Opinion 122 (Autumn 1998), 4.  2 8  2 9  Ivashkin, Alfred Schnittke, 118-119.  3 0  Ross, " A Shy, Frail Creator," C17.  In 1976, the Symphony No. 1 was played once in Estonia, which had always managed to keep a certain autonomy. E r i Klas and Gidon Kremer played a role in putting on the performance. Ivashkin, Alfred Schnittke, 122-123.  3 1  30  faced  reprimands  or disciplinary consequences.  32  Only during a small window o f  opportunity provided by the Khrushchev Thaw from 1959 until about 1964, did works by Schoenberg, Berg, Webern, Ligeti, Xenakis, and Boulez, among others, become accessible to Soviet composers.  33  Another opportunity to become familiar with new music from the  West came from E d i s o n Denisov, who could arrange visits o f foreign  composers.  Beginning i n 1962, Denisov was allowed to travel to the Warsaw Festival o f N e w Music, where he secured scores by Penderecki, Berio and N o n o . O f course, he shared them with his colleagues.  34  A s for concert life in Moscow, there were, as Schnittke recalled, two  venues for the performance o f new music: the Composers' U n i o n which programmed few, i f any, cutting-edge works, and concerts organized by performers like Natalia Gutman, G i d o n Kremer, Oleg Kagan and Urij Basmet, or conductors like E r i Klas, Gennadi) Rozdestvenskij and Dmitrij Kitaenko, all o f w h o m played new music.  35  Luigi N o n o was  officially invited by the Composers' U n i o n in 1963, a visit eased by the fact that he was a member o f the Central Committee o f the Italian Communist Party. N o n e o f the young composers was invited; they could only listen to whatever filtered through the closed doors o f the Conservatory.  36  Schnittke and others.  It was only at Nono's insistence that he was permitted to meet with 37  Schnittke was impressed by the "impulsivity" and the "great  3 2  Mazo, "The Present and the Unpredictable Past," 377.  3 3  Ibid., 377. See also Schmelz, "Listening, Memory, and the Thaw."  3 4  Mazo, "The Present and the Unpredictable Past," 376.  3 5  Bialas and Schnittke, "Lm Gesprach," 255.  3 6  Ivashkin, Alfred Schnittke, 85.  3 7  Ibid., 86. 31  sensibility" o f the very first "avant-gardist" he could meet.  38  N o n o listened to Schnittke's  opera The Eleventh Commandment and did not like what he considered to be a naive mixture of styles. The work was a real "collage," even i f Schnittke did not know the w o r d at the 39  time.  40  Nevertheless, it is under N o n o ' s advice that he began to study carefully works by  Western composers, especially Webern.  41  Contrary to N o n o ' s expectations, Schnittke did  not study Webern or other composers' works so that he could write pieces more firmly rooted in European modernist idioms; rather, he wanted to learn their styles and techniques so that he could adapt them to suit his own needs. Schnittke would go on to 42  collect many compositional voices. F o r instance, in 1984, after being asked i f he had any interest i n American composers, he answered that he would like to obtain "anything by Philip Glass," not because he liked his music, not because he had a fascination about minimalism, but because he "should simply like to grasp the technique."  43  In addition, his  interests were not restricted to the avant-garde but rather encompassed music i n a variety of styles. Whenever possible, he sought to find correspondences among them.  44  Schnittke's  musical horizon never shrank.  3 8  Burde, " Z u m Leben und Schaffen," 39.  3 9  Ivashkin, Alfred Schntitke, 86.  4 0  Idib, 86.  Nono saw "historical awareness" as an essential skill for a composer in order to achieve "a 'personality' which characterizes one particular moment of history." See Luigi Nono, "The Historical Reality of Music Today," The Score 27 (1960), 42. 41  Alfred Schnittke and Claire Polin, "Interviews with Soviet Composers," Tempo, 151 (December 1984), 12-13.  4 2  4 3  Ibid.  4 4  Bialas and Schnittke, T m Gesprach," 254. 32  The combination o f the diverse styles that he learned is the defining idea behind polystylism, which for many has become the foremost characteristic o f his proper style. O f course, neither "polystylism* nor "musical borrowing" in a general sense are Schnittke's inventions. Quoting from other people's works has long been a compositional practice.  45  A s for polystylism, Schnittke was well aware o f precedents. H e described how Guillaume de Machaut used themes o f different origins, sometimes in different languages, in his works; which, for Schnittke, was the 14 -century equivalent o f polystylism. A m o n g more th  46  recent composers, he valued how Mahler, Shostakovich and Ives could bring together different materials in their works.  47  Schnittke learned about Ives relatively late in his career. H e always recognized Mahler as a seminal influence. In a sense, all three composers saw the symphony as a multilayered musical universe, encompassing music from all spheres o f society. attended concerts o f Mahler's music when he lived i n Vienna as a boy.  49  48  Schnittke  The fact that  J. Peter Burkholder provides a "Tentative Chronology of Uses of Exisiting Music" beginning with the "ageless" process of centonization, and including 14 century cantus firmus to quodlibet and jazz contrafacta in "The Uses of Existing Music: Musical Borrowing As a Field," Notes 50 (1994), 869-70. Tamara Burde also provides a list of 20 century works which extensively rely on musical borrowings in "Zum Leben und Schaffen," 69-70. A survey of borrowings practices from the Renaissance onward can be found in Kirsten Peterson, "Structural Threads in the Patchwork Quilt," 15-33. Finally, Schnittke's own article, "Polystylistic Tendencies," enumerates recent works—the oldest are Stravinsky's Vulcinella (1919-1920) and Shostakovich's Piano Trio (1923)— which use musical borrowing. 4 5  th  th  Ulia Makeeva and Gennadij Cypin, "Al'fred Snitke: Real'nost' kotoruu zdal vsu zizn'," Sovetskad Musyka 10 (October 1988), 18. Burde, "Zum Leben und Schaffen," 66-67. Ronald Weitzman, "Schnittke's 'Gesualdo' in Vienna," Tempo 194 (October 1995), 31. 4 6  4 7  Ivashkin, Alfred Schnittke, 121. See also Morgan, "Ives and Mahler," 73.  4 8  See also Taruskin, " A Post-Everythingist Booms," H20.  As of 1945, Alfred's father worked for the Soviet newspaper Osterreichische Zeitung, published by the Russian occupation forces in Vienna. Schnittke moved there in 1946 and returned to Moscow in 1948, he was then 14 years old. Ivashkin, Alfred Schnittke, 27, 36. 4 9  33  Mahler rejected the stylistic purism o f his time triggered a real admiration on the part o f the Russian composer. Schnittke, as Ives and Mahler before him, opened himself to his whole musical environment.  50  F r o m Schnittke's point o f view, the commercial abyss, the gap between light and serious music, needed to be bridged.  51  It would be necessary for both listeners and  composers to experience all types o f music and to bring them into a synthesis, inclusive o f low styles—he names jazz, pop, rock, and serial music—all o f which, according to Schnittke, can be used to manipulate listeners and composers  alike. Through the  combination o f those idioms with more serious ones, polystylism strips materials o f their conventional, even politically-reinforced, connotations. A n artist has only one possible way of avoiding manipulation—he must use his own individual efforts to rise above materials that are taboo, materials used for external manipulation. In this way, he will gain the right to give an individual reflection of the musical situation that is free of sectarian prejudice, as, for example, in the case of Mahler and Charles Ives. 52  Schnittke saw this kind o f synthesis as a lifelong task, a goal he wanted to attain "even i f [he] broke [his] neck in the process."  53  Symphony or... Anti-Symphony? A t first glance, Schnittke's Symphony N o . 1 would seem to be like any other large-scale symphony: four movements, very large orchestra, a few soloists, and the whole thing dedicated to a well established conductor, Gennadij Rozdestvenskij. But the apparent  5 0  Burde, " Z u m Leben und Schaffen," 67.  5 1  Schnittke and Polin, "Interviews," 11.  5 2  Schnittke, " O n Concerto Grosso No. 1 (Late 1970s)," A Schnittke Reader, 45.  5 3  Ibid. 34  similarities end there. F r o m the opening note to the last, the Symphony frustrates almost every single expectation o f the genre. T h e first movement builds up to a point o f chaos, and then initiates what appears to be a first-movement allegro, sometimes interpreted as a sonata f o r m ,  54  built around quotations from Beethoven, which stand alongside waltzes,  marches and clusters. The second movement, Allegretto, includes Baroque figurations interrupted by an extended "fight" cadenza in a free jazz style. The third movement, Lento, is serially organized. Finally the fourth movement, also Lento, juxtaposes still more quotations i n what becomes a funeral procession ending with the last bars o f Haydn's "Farewell" Symphony played from a recording, all this after the musicians have left the stage. Only when silence is finally achieved do the instrumentalists return to the stage, starting over the Symphony which is interrupted one last time by the conductor with a final unison C.  Program or Anti-Program? According to Schnittke, the Symphony N o . 1 was written with no program in mind, although he did concede that there is a certain "documentary" feeling to i t .  55  That the  composer says he did not give a program to his work does not necessarily mean that it is devoid o f extra-musical connotations, or that the listener cannot construct his or her own  Victoria Adamenko argues that the first thematic group of an eventual sonata-form would begin with the opening unison C, and the second thematic group could be described as "variation on one oitch centering on the pitch G . " Her observations rely on Schnittke's comments as reported in Sul'gin's book. However, both the unison C and the variations on G are fairly short passages which are set along many other themes, some of which like the march are used to a much greater extent. Victoria Adamenko, " 'Faith through Skepticism': Desacralization and Resacralization in Schnittke's Symphony No. 1," paper read at the 2005 American Musicological Society Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C. 5 4  Schnittke and Polin, "Interviews," 12. See also Schnittke, in the preface of the Symphony's score, quoted in Ivashkin, Alfred Schnittke, 118. 5 5  35  program. In fact, Schnittke openly acknowledged the play o f associations that develops in his works. H e recognized that, although he was not thinking o f any specific events at the time o f the Symphony's composition, "some connection with events is o f course possible."  56  I would argue that many connections are indeed possible, not only toward  contemporary events but also toward such general concepts as conflict, frustration, death and resurrection. F o r listeners, Schnittke's Symphony, like many o f his works, simply cannot hide the suggestion o f a program, even i f one is not prescribed by the composer.  57  Although Schnittke did not give his Symphony a programmatic narrative, we have to acknowledge the work's particular proprieties in that it constitutes a text that refers strongly to other texts and some o f these relations can trigger extra-musical considerations. In fact, the stylistic shifts in the Symphony N o . 1 are so, unequivocal, and the exact quotations and stylistic allusion so pronounced that, in almost all cases, they are easy to notice, even for relatively untrained ears. They are impossible to ignore. In this context, to paraphrase Monelle, quotations and styles function as signification nexuses that point outside the w o r k .  58  In the Symphony, they serve to establish a number o f meaningful  associations: for example, Beethoven's Fifth Symphony as an emblem o f the past glory o f the symphonic genre, or dodecaphonism as the modernist solution to formal difficulties.  5 6  Ross, " A Shy, Frail Creator," C17.  The suggestion of a program has been described in the Introduction. See also Edward Rothstein, "Masur Introduces Schnittke," New York Times (February 12, 1994), 11: "Yet they [Schnittke's comments at the effect that there is no program] can't hide the sense of a program—political, spiritual or autobiographical—that exists in his works."  5 7  Monelle's "epistemic nexuses" designate "musical texts" which refer to all kind of signification, indexical, iconic, or symbolic. I use the term on a more local level. Monelle, "What is a Musical Text?," 255-256. 5 8  36  The borrowings inserted in the Symphony create gaps i n the musical fabric. A s I have explained i n the Introduction, the natural human impulse is to bridge them through the elaboration o f a narrative. In semiological terms, the interaction between styles and their context must be considered on two different planes. First, the time sequence results in a syntagmatic ordering, the chronological succession o f stylistically diverse events. This plane will be explored through a more or less chronological study o f the  score,  emphasizing the succession o f styles and events. Second, the repetition o f borrowings, their appearances in different places and the transformations they undergo, results in a paradigmatic ordering. It is mostly because fragments are used in different contexts that they acquire a signification which can then be related to the syntax; like the words o f languages, their signification depends on the history o f their usage. The combination o f these two planes allows a narrative to emerge.  59  Interpretations of the Symphony Different interpretations have been advanced in order to explain Schnittke's Symphony N o . 1. Many draw upon extra-musical elements but none proposes a narrative. F o r Richard Taruskin, the symphony suggests dismissal, the notion that nothing matters anymore. Mr. Schnittke's tower of Babel proclaims not universal acceptance but more nearly the opposite, an attitude of cultural alienation. Post-modernism here reduces simply to post-ism, after-everything-ism, it's-all-overism. The symphony comes to rest on a note of desperate irony. A childishly banal violin solo, reminiscent of the crooning idiot at the end of Mussorgsky's 'Boris Godunov,' is followed by a reprise of the opening unstructured freakout, finally giving way to a sudden unison C — simplicity itself. [...] But a simplicity so unearned and perfunctory suggests no resolution, merely dismissal. The world of early Schnittke is Dostoyevsky's world without God, where everything is possible (and nothing matters). Within the  As mentioned in the introduction, a narrative consists of two or more events placed in a timesequence, a condition which is easily met by Schnittke's Symphony No. 1.  5 9  37  administered world of Leninist dogma, where nothing was possible and everything mattered, this was sheer subversion. 60  Taruskin builds upon ideas o f cultural alienation, desperate irony, simpHcity, dismissal, and subversion. The conceptual scope o f his interpretation is wide, but he concentrates on the last moments o f an hour long work. The key idea is that "nothing matters," that the fear o f taking risks has been overcome, that everything is possible and devoid o f consequences, at least musically speaking.  61  A s mentioned above, the politically subversive sense o f the  Symphony touched upon by Taruskin may have been perceived by the officials who banned performance o f the work. The paradox consists i n that even i f Schnittke's stylistic audacities may suggest that compositional freedom has been fought for and won, his music relies precisely on the barriers between styles, without which pofystylism would not exist. F o r Taruskin, the  Symphony takes those boundaries  apart, but  the  result is  no  "resolution," it is "dismissal," it is the notion that "nothing matters." Valentina H o l o p o v a and Peter Schmelz offer extra-musical interpretations, even i f they resist putting forward a narrative.  62  H o l o p o v a notes that the Symphony "[captures] a  tremendous chronicle o f the contrasts o f contemporary life."  63  Holopova's description o f  the Symphony as a survey o f its time is apt. The work does not tell a story but rather presents a "chronicle," a series o f snapshots.  6 0  64  A s Schmelz appropriately notes, the  Taruskin, " A Post-Everythingist Booms," H20.  Luigi Nono, a composer Schnittke met a few years before the composition of his Symphony, expressed a similar idea regarding music of contemporary composers: " A self-indulgent and naive apathy has replaced the agony of thought, saying quite simply: 'nothing matters'." Nono, "The Historical Reality of Music," 42. 6 1  6 2  Schmelz, "Listening, Memory, and the Thaw," 625.  6 3  Holopova, Alfred Snitke, 75  6 4  Holopova, Alfred Snitke, 75. 38  Symphony also became "a musical summary o f the many tendencies confronting the young composers as they had tried to catch up with Western modernism."  65  After a succinct  analytical commentary o f the third movement, he concludes that the strictness o f the calculations and o f the pre-compositional planning governing its musical development "underscores the fact that for Schnittke, the ongoing sense o f narrative within the Symphony was most important." Schmelz admits the possibility o f a narrative, but he never attempts to define i t .  66  Both Holopova and Schmelz provide good starting points for  a narrative interpretation; their views are consistent with the score, the composer and the context. However, they arise from a general impression produced by the music and not from a detailed analysis o f the score. Only a systematic exploration o f the score can help to establish a narrative that goes beyond the surface qualities o f the work and accounts for its many surprises and audacities.  Borrowings and References The borrowings i n Schnittke's Symphony N o . 1 can be classified in four general categories: direct quotations (Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, Dies Irae), allusions to styles (Baroque,  6 5  Schmelz, "Listening, Memory, and the Thaw," 622.  « Ibid. 39  jazz), modern compositional techniques (dodecaphonism), and organizational principles (prime numbers).  67  D u r i n g the course o f the Symphony, the four categories play a role in nine specific features that create gaps which can be filled in by a narrative.  68  Each o f these feature, be it  a short quotation or a rather long section in a foreign style, carries rich external associations (fig. 1-1). Consequently, borrowings automatically imply a certain degree o f reference; they bear an implicit meaning. Using the nine features as the pillars o f a narrative, I will discuss their role i n the work and the thoughts that they arouse. In trying to explain their presence i n a single work, I will bridge the gaps that separate them by constructing a narrative.  1. In the beginning, there is the long build-up, which culminates with the entrance of the director and a unison C . 2.  Popular  styles  infiltrate  the  6 9  work in various  places,  creating  strongly  differentiated combinations o f heterogeneous materials.  In mathematics, a prime number is a natural number that has exacdy two distinct natural number divisors, which are 1 and the prime number itself. The organization of musical material according to the prime numbers sequence may not appear as a stylistic borrowing as such; it is more the strictness and almost mathematical precision of Schnittke's use of the principle which indirecdy refers to the similarly deterministic approach of integral serialism. Although they are not related to polystylism in a direct fashion, theatrical cues can relate to music from the past in some ways. For example, the exit of all the players is clearly reminiscent of Haydn's "Farewell" Symphony, which is indeed played from a recording after the last player has left. 67  The identification of those nine events is the result of a choice. Another listener might not choose the same events, but to me, they represent the major stylistic disjunctions which need to be explained. 6 8  Schnittke carefully notated each part, but added a note in the score: "To (33) completely free improvisation by all performers is possible." 69  40  3. Excerpts from Beethoven's Fifth Symphony are heard toward the end o f the first movement. 4.  Important sections o f the work are in the style o f a concerto grosso a la Handel.  5. There is a fight between instrumental groups i n the "cadenza per orchestra" set in a free jazz style. 6. A military march persistently interrupts the Symphony and, along with other popular styles, dominates the end o f the second movement. It is followed by the "exit o f the wind players." 7. A dodecaphonic series is exposed in the first movement and serves as the basis for the third movement, together with formal groupings based on prime numbers. 8. The fourth movement juxtaposes quotations o f works related to the idea o f death. It also subjects  the Dies Irae to dodecaphonic principles before  superimposing fourteen versions o f the Sanctus. 9. Finally, the entire work "dies" like Haydn's "Farewell" Symphony before being resurrected "da capo" with a return o f the opening passage.  41  Figure 1-1. Principal features and characteristics creating stylistic gaps Improvised build-up Entry of the conductor Unison C i—March / Fox-Trot  i—Waltz l—Cadenza per orchestra  [—Series  Series —,  Movement I  Movement II •  i  •  •  Serial Dies Irae  Movement I  •  L  Can-can  Movement IV  •  •^Military march  Beethoven 5  It  14 Sanctus  •  l-March  Quotations on "Death'  -C. grosso a la Handel Haydn's "Farewell" Symphony-  —'  _ - - -Da capo  F r o m the above list, two main developments emerge. First, the Symphony exhibits a strong cyclic nature shaped by the intervention o f the conductor: the work literally begins again after it has ended, and the same conductor gesture which started the work after the build-up now ends i t .  70  Second, "high" styles, like Baroque and Classical idioms, contrast  with " l o w " styles, marches and jazz. The two are juxtaposed and no attempt to synthesize 71  them is made by the composer. The narrative derived from the work will further develop from these two main ideas.  The cyclic nature of the Symphony is also supported by the reprises of many thematic features heard before in the fourth movement. 7 0  Schnittke uses the words "low" and "high" as synonyms for "banal" and "recherche" in Schnittke, "Polystylistics Tendencies," 90.  71  42  (1) Beginning — Consonances and Dissonances The Symphony begins with only one performer on stage, the tubular bells player, who starts with a ghostly improvisation-like passage. H e is joined by a solo trumpet player, who walks on stage and takes a seat. F o r close to two minutes, other orchestra members individually join i n , each o f them playing a different line which has been written down by Schnittke.  72  The textural complexity increases to the point o f chaos ( 3 / 1 / 1 ) .  73  The last  person to enter is the conductor (9/1/1). After a general pause, one more chaotic burst, and a pointillist passage, the conductor puts an end to the disorder with an orchestral unison C (10/1/1), which is almost immediately replaced by a twelve-tone cluster played by the strings. Schnittke described the beginning o f the work as "unreal," a possible reference to the eerie sound o f the tubular bells. It is a false beginning, enacting the warming-up o f 74  instrumentalists before a standard classical music concert. The whole scene, it should be kept i n mind, is composed. Chaos is deliberately created, or, at least, portrayed. Only with the conductor's intervention does the music begin for real; in a sense, anarchy has been replaced by submission to authority. Indeed, it is rather hard to imagine a better opposition to chaos, than the orchestra's unison C .  7 5  The opening establishes the authority o f the  Schnittke also adds on the score: "With the exception of the passages in parentheses, fragments from the relevant part and from every movement can now be played at will."  7 2  Since there are no measure numbers in Schnittke's score, I use the following identification system: ([page]/[system]/[measure].[beat]). A l l numbers refer to Schnittke's autograph, available for rent from Sikorski Edition.  7 3  7 4  Weitzman, "Alfred Schnittke: Symphony No. 1," C D Booklet, Chandos 9417 (1996), 5.  The choice of C is certainly not fortuitous. For example, every time Schnittke uses the series of natural overtones, he begins with C. In the context, it is easily understood as the basis, or an abstraction, of the tonal system.  7 5  43  conductor, who has the power to stop the chaos and to impose order. Within the first few minutes, from the "pre-work" beginning to the "real" one, Schnittke's work has already encompassed two extremes: chaos and uniformity. The rest o f the work oscillates between those two poles. Throughout the work, unisons and clusters are juxtaposed. F o r instance, the opening C unison imposed by the conductor is immediately followed by 12-tone clusters. Conversely, clusters are sometimes  followed  by unexpected unisons. Later in the  movement, for instance, a strings cluster dissolves on unison Eb (26/1/1). The serial third movement ends on a unison E (125/3/5) which is prolonged i n the last movement. W h e n the series exposed in the first movement returns in the last, it begins with four unison notes (190/1/2). Finally, toward the end o f the work, a dissolving cluster in the strings and the organ meets a unison A i n all other instruments (210/1 /1). Besides a vague sense o f unity, there is no definite meaning for the unisons. Their presence in the work's predominandy dissonant texture is nevertheless striking. Whereas they may not have a clear meaning, they have a precise function, acting as resting points, axes around which other developments occur. In other words, they are punctuation marks.  76  Moreover, they establish one end o f the musical and conceptual spectrum. Were  they isolated, they would be the simplest expression o f music, but i n the Symphony they dominate the structure and are pivotal points. In this light, it is revealing that both the "real" beginning o f the work, and its very last moments, are unison Cs. F o r Schnittke, who often associated the natural series o f harmonics (which he always bases on C) with the  For example, in the first movement, a unison C separates the introduction from the real beginning (10/1/1), while a unison Cf marks the first climax (21/1/5). 7 6  44  natural aspect o f music and life in general, the unison Cs could symbolize the ground on which the symphonic edifice is built.  (2) The Popular and the Banal Scattered throughout the Symphony are bits o f popular styles, including a march, fox-trot, waltz, and can-can. The inclusion o f these styles is one o f the main constituents o f Schnittke's ideal o f being free o f "sectarian prejudice." They are the "expression o f a multifaceted reality."  77  Their presence in a symphony clearly points back to Mahler, whose  incorporation o f folk music set a precedent. Because o f the role they play in the Symphony, the styles acquire a specific function: they portray the force o f the banal that the artist must acknowledge, fight, and eventually triumph over. Given the context o f a work written by a Soviet composer and the inspiration provided by Romm's documentary, the marches strongly suggest the authoritative and repressive nature o f the political regime. The waltz and can-can belong to a more mundane world, one governed by the sensual and one that Schnittke will associate with evil in later interviews. After a long improvisatory passage, the late arrival o f the conductor, and four finely organized orchestral waves functioning as defective tuning chords, the first movement seems to begin with a rather tacky march (11/1/3). F o r the brief seven measures o f the passage, the brass, woodwinds and piano superimpose inconsistent rag-like melodies and  For Schnittke, popular styles are part of the reality and, as such, he cannot ignore them. However, he never considered popular styles as the equivalent of more "serious" ones. His music includes popular styles as the world includes evil; that does not make evil better. Schnittke, " O n Concerto Grosso N o . 1," 45. 7 7  45  accompaniment figures on top o f each other.  78  If a precarious sense o f coherence is  created by the shared genre, it ends with it. Each instrument plays i n its own key and seems to quote a distinct work. The rag is interrupted by brass partial clusters (E, F , D , E|>, and 79  Q  over a l o w G , 12/1/4). Similarly, later in the movement, at the first real climax (as the  full-orchestra 97-voice cluster reduces to a 41-voice dissonant collection i n the strings) the winds launch a new popular episode (33/1/3), again interrupted by clusters (35/1/1-2).  80  March and rag motives return, once again interrupted by clusters, this time reaching a summit i n terms o f harshness and dissonance (46/1 / l ) . A t that point, the dissonant masses of the clusters serve a specific purpose: to interrupt the cacophonic mix o f the marchpattern. They suddenly interrupt the movement, as i f someone had pulled the emergency brake. The clusters take the role o f the composer's eraser on the manuscript o f the score; they force a new beginning by momentarily obliterating the banal. Throughout the first movement, the orchestra does not allow popular styles to settle in. The second movement gives them more room, but ultimately, the outcome is the same: popular styles will be rejected. Different motives are superposed the end o f the Baroque-like section. Shortly afterwards, a drum waltz pattern cuts off the cadences o f the Handelian music (58/1/8). Solo string instruments play short atonal phrases which happen to be derived from the series presented in the first movement.  81  Schnittke combines the  As all instruments seem to play from a different work, the global style is uncertain. However, the alternating bass of the piano, the syncopated rhythm of the trumpet and the dotted figures of the clarinet seems to plead for a kind of ragtime. This impression is reinforced by the fact the orchestration consisting of 12 solo instruments, perhaps to evoke a small jazz orchestra.  7 8  79  Only the piano is given a key signature of D\> major.  8 0  Both 97 and 41 are prime numbers. The relevance of that fact will be made clear below.  81  The series will be addressed in more details below. 46  traditional waltz rhythm with atonal melodies. Various motives are punched i n and out i n 82  the same fashion as before. Trumpets and trombones punctuate the episode with dancelike cadential figures. W h e n the concerto grosso momentarily returns, this time with a theme that could be a bridge with modulatory sequences (60/2/5), individual stylistic layers are piled on top o f each other. Each instrumental line plays in a different style: horns and trombones play a can-can; the soprano saxophone laments; the concerto grosso continues in the strings; while the electric guitar's line could have been borrowed from an early romantic opera, although there is apparently no real quotation (61/1/1). A s before, the texture builds up and is then abruptly cut off (63/1/1). Schnittke offered a blunt opinion o f popular styles: "Nowadays what is often called 'pop culture' is the most direct manifestation o f evil i n art. . . . So I can see no way o f expressing evil in music other than by using elements o f pop culture."  83  H e claimed that  popular music passages "stick out because they are vivid examples o f 'infection'." F r o m 84  the first appearances o f rag-like figures and fox-trot formulas to the presence o f a waltz in the second movement, a certain sense o f banality infiltrates the Symphony. The styles  Schnittke also combines waltz with atonal series in the Concerto Grosso N o . 1. It is hard to tell whether the two similar occurrences are coincidental or bear a deeper signification. Schnittke also employs waltz rhythms in other works like the Symphony N o . 7, the Piano Quintet, the String Trio, and in various film scores. 8 2  8 3  Schnittke and Ivashkin, "From Schnittke's Conversations," 22.  Ibid., 22. Admittedly, that affirmation is taken from an interview given years after the composition and does not necessarily mean that dance fragments in the Symphony N o . 1 solely imply evil. However, by examining how popular material is introduced in the work and the role it plays by opposition to other styles, it becomes clear that this peculiar interpretation is quite appropriate to the context. 8 4  47  come across as extraneous to the w o r k . Their appeal to easiness, to commodity confronts 85  the artist. In other words, their presence symbolizes the danger o f the artist who is always on the verge o f giving in to the facile. But Schnittke refuses to take that path. This is probably why, at least until the end o f the second movement o f the Symphony, popular styles are temporarily overwhelmed by clusters.  86  (3) Beethoven Soon after the last march statement o f the first movement, another passage relevant to the narrative proposed here is heard. A sustained F major chord on a G pedal is animated by tremolos, and soon becomes a G chord which is sustained by a crescendo (49/1/1). The 7  pedal tone and chord unmistakably quotes the transition between the third and fourth movements o f Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. The strong similarity does not stop there as the pedal leads into a quotation o f the beginning o f the fourth movement. A t first, the quotation is almost exact but it becomes rapidly distorted with the addition o f dissonant pitches and shifting meters. Like most o f what occurred before, the Beethoven passage is transformed into a cluster, or, to be more precise, successive clusters played by different instrumental groups. O n a low unstable pedal tone played by two trombones and the harp, wind and brass instruments are added in groups o f three, forming an 11-tone cluster, three semitones at a time (from 52/1/5). A solo trumpet plays an improvisatory line which contains the twelfth tone F#. It concludes on that pitch while the rest o f the instrumental parts fade out. Thus ends the first movement.  Allusion to "art music," like the Handelian section, also seems extraneous to the work. As we will see, they will also be rejected by Schnittke. 8 5  8 6  The march in the second section of the second movement will be addressed below. 48  That Schnittke choose to include the transition between the two concluding movements from another composer's work as the finale to the first movement o f his symphony is connotatively rich. Beethoven's Fifth—in particular this exact moment—has often been interpreted as portraying some kind o f victory. O f what kind, o f which hero is open to debate, but the heroic narrative unquestionably reaches a climax with the transition between the last two movements.  87  In Schnittke's Symphony, the triumph is undercut; it is  either a dream o f the future or a deceptive illusion. The fact that it happens precisely after the marches insistently try to infiltrate the movement texture, also implies that the artist has w o n his first battle against the banal and the easy. However, as we will see, the war is not yet won. The composer still faces the problem o f finding his own voice, and although he has rejected the easiest solutions, that o f the servile submission to the facile aesthetics o f popular styles, he still has not found his way.  (4) Concerto Grosso a la Handel After so many stylistic shifts and unexpected contrasts, it is hard to predict what Schnittke will give us for a second movement. True to fashion, what comes next is a surprise. Schnittke reduces the orchestration to the size o f a chamber music ensemble and goes back almost 300 years to a Handel-like concerto grosso. A t first, the pastiche is perfect: the instrumentation consists o f a divided string section plus oboe and harpsichord. The initial bars present phrases in a clear D major (56/1/1). But after 23 measures, while the Handel D major layer continues in the strings, a second stylistic layer appears, consisting o f bells  For a more detailed interpretation of Beethoven's work, see Burnham, "How Music Matters," 193-216, especially 207. Burnham also examines the historical interpretations of the Fifth Symphony, especially the heroic connotation given to the work by commentators, in his book Beethoven Hero (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995), especially 107-109. 87  49  and harp figurations in a conflicting implicit meter which could be articulating a | meter in E\> major (57/1/4). W h e n an Eb clarinet is added shortly afterwards, this layer (including bells and harpsichord) shifts to another implied meter (fy)  and key (E minor) (57/2/3).  The Handel layer itself grows texturally more dense, with each phrase now being successively introduced, and transposed, in a compact canon. The initial  2  meter, so  squarely established at first by the oboe and harpsichord is further weakened by the piano, which plays eighth notes in a 4:5 ratio. The entry o f the brass ensemble, with its characteristic march idiom, ends the building mayhem. The Handel melody returns as a refrain during the course o f the movement, and one last time in the fourth movement.  88  Each time, it pops up in sections o f greater stylistic  complexity and resembles a memory, each time slightly more distant. It opens a window o f the past and refers, not without nostalgia, to a period where Schnittke's stylistic problems would easily have found an answer. Schnittke's solution, however, cannot be to imitate past composers or their styles. Like the popular idioms and the Beethoven passage before, the Handelian theme is never allowed to settle in completely. The strict meter o f the concerto cannot be synchronized with other materials. It is as i f the style cannot adapt to today's musical reality. The accumulation o f layers o f conflicting rhythms accentuates the distance between the ideals o f the past and those o f the present. After the first statement, the Handelian style gives way to marches, waltzes and clusters (58/1/8). It returns afterwards with a melody that could have been an appropriate B section to the Handel (60/2/5). In fact, everything that happened between the two  The last occurrence of the Handelian melody, toward the end of the fourth movement, will be discussed below.  8 8  50  Baroque excerpts is strongly foregrounded. The marches, waltzes and clusters constitute an interlude unconnected with the surroundings. Soon, can-can figures i n the brass, jazz licks in the flute and saxophone, and the electric guitar lyrical theme crowd the Handelian strings, again disrupting a precarious stylistic uniformity (61/1/1). The Baroque idiom will eventually gives up (63/1/1). It later returns at three different places, each time after outbursts o f march fragments and military drums. A t last, appears to be from a more and more distant past, progressively buried under layers o f other materials (87/1/2). Obviously, a return to the past will still not be the answer for Schnittke.  (5) Battle of the Cadenza Certainly one o f the most unusual moments in the Symphony is the second movement "cadenza per orchestra" (81/2/1). Unlike a traditional cadenza, it does not come at the end of the movement, but rather near the middle. Improvisation is based upon short motives provided by Schnittke, some from the Symphony and some newly composed. Instead o f a full-orchestra improvisation, many performances adopt the solution suggested at the bottom o f the page: "Completely free improvisation o f any chosen combination is also possible here (e.g. jazz combo: 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, saxophone and rhythm section). Whatever  happens,  there must  be  a contest  between  the  different  groups."  In  Rozdestvenskij's 1988 recording at the M o s c o w Conservatory, Alexej L u b i m o v and Tat'ana Grindenko elaborate on jazz and classical themes, which are all intertwined in a free manner. They only partly obey Schnittke's call for a "contest." Exchanges between the two soloists are numerous and result more in a friendly collaboration than i n a fierce competition. There is no "Free cadenza by the 'victor' o f the competition," as noted i n the score (83/1/1). The score is not very clear as to what should really happen here. Page 83 is 51  entirely devoted to the "solo o f the victor," which should be played over a pppp cluster; but the duration is unspecified. F r o m page 84 onward, the solo line seems to drop out, but the cluster continues and gets louder and louder until the snare drum intervenes to start the final march (87/1/1). The cadenza forms a counterpart to the opening o f the Symphony. A t the very beginning o f the work, the instrumentalists develop a scene o f complete chaos, which the conductor ends with his arrival. The passage is carefully choreographed by the composer: instrumental lines are improvised and the late arrival o f the conductor is specified in the score. The outcome is thus, from the composer's point o f view, almost entirely predictable. In the case o f the free cadenza, the composer creates the conditions for an unpredictable development. E v e n i f he does provide a scenario, he does not specify which instruments will play, nor does he specify what or when they will play. In doing so, i n a certain sense, he forfeits a great part o f his role; he transfers the responsibility o f the composer to the orchestra members who must fight each other in order to win the "cadenza per solo." This episode o f freedom, in which neither the conductor nor the composer is present, nevertheless has to come to an end. The work must go on after all. The orchestra does return with a sustained cluster underlying the cadenza o f the victorious instrument. I f the Symphony is indeed the quest the composer's voice, it seems that he refuses to leave it i n the hands o f the orchestra. H e has to come to terms with it all by himself.  (6) Triumph of the Banal A s we have seen before, marches and other popular styles routinely infiltrate the first two movements only to be rejected. They are interrupted by clusters, obliterated under sonic masses. In the middle o f the second movement, the cluster following the "cadenza o f the 52  victor" is abruptly stopped by a military snare drum. After only two measures, the Handel theme is superimposed in the strings (87/1/3). More instruments are added, creating a complex texture in which no particular style clearly dominates: clarinets play a theme o f folkloric color; the double basses play what looks like a jazz walking bass pattern; the harpsichord alternates two tonal chords (A minor and E major) i n a childish fashion; and the horns evoke waltz figures. When the trumpets enter with the march theme, it seems that the balance is shifting to one side: the banal will triumph. F r o m that point on, the winds completely overwhelm the Baroque strings (89/1/5). Just as before, the huge buildup culminates in a massive cluster (91/1/6). However, this time, instead o f simply discarding the march as i f nothing has happened, the movement ends with a section called: " E x i t o f the wind players" (91/1/1). Starting with a percussion pattern, a solo flute plays a simple oscillatory motive around D , which, after nine measures, is imitated by the second flute (92/1/1). W i n d instruments are then added, one by one, with each one improvising a line that mimics the previous one. Only the first solo flute is notated throughout, so it can constantly provide new material to its followers. The wind players are expected to stand up and walk off stage to the beating of the toms, so that when the third movement begins, only percussion and strings are present. Their departure should prevent any further intrusions o f popular styles and, as far as the third movement is concerned, that will hold true. F r o m a listener's, and i n this particular case, a viewer's point o f view, the events that lead to the exit o f the wind players are rich in connotations. A t first, there is the layering o f styles in a stratified texture, i n which instrumental groups neither cooperate nor fight against each other. They are shown to be the many forces or influences occupying a  53  single space. Except for the strings, the other parts more or less relate to popular style, an avenue that was previously rejected by the composer. B y the end o f the passage, the popular styles i n the winds are clearly put forward over the strings which are completely overwhelmed (from 8 7 / 1 / 3 to 91/1/6). In a sense, the banal wins. Yet, the composer sends the winds off stage at the end o f the movement (from 9 2 / 1 / 1 ) . H e refuses them the victory.  (7) Series, Series, Series, and Primes A dodecaphonic series is presented in the first movement (13/1/4), which can be called the "principal series': C E|, D B A|, G F F# B|, A D|> E (fig. 1-2). Although its importance is not clear for the duration o f the first two movements, it will return prominendy later in the Symphony, notably in the third movement which is the most stylistically coherent section of the work. W i t h a slow tempo (lento) in f, the third movement is almost entirely dodecaphonic. Schnittke described it as a "dynamic triangle" where, by the strict application o f serial principles, he made sure that no unison appears until the climax.  89  Schnittke also claimed that he did all that was possible to quash the sense o f meter i n the movement.  90  A s I will demonstrate, he succeeded on both counts.  The third movement is effectively built like a triangle. It starts with only two instruments playing a unison C and builds up until the climax—the triangle summit—featuring the A major and C minor chords succession. The movement then progressively thins out until the final unison E . 89  9 0  Sul'gin and Schnittke, Gody nei^yestnosti A.l'freda Snitke, 66. 54  Figure 1-2. Principal series of Schnittke's Symphony No. 1  Inversions k  h  h  hi  Is  h  h  ho  I,  Po p.  C  Et  D  B  At  G  F  F»  Bt  A  c#  E  A  C  B  At  F  E  D  Et  G  F*  Bt  a  Pio  Bt  Q  C  A  F#  F  El,  E  At  G  B  D  Pi  a  E  Et  C  A  Al  F#  G  B  Bt  D  F  p<  E  G  F#  Et  C  B  A  Bt  D  a  F  At  R«  Ps  F  At  G  E  a  C  Bt  B  Et  D  F*  A  R>  P7  G  Bt  A  F»  Et  D  C  Cjt  F  E  At  B  R„  Pr,  F#  A  At,  F  D  a  B  c  E  Et  G  Bt  Rio  P  D  F  E  a  Bl,  A  G  At  C  B  Et  F#  P  El,  F*  F  D  B  Bl,  At  A  a  C  E  G  R7  P11  B  D  c#  Bt  G  F#  E  F  A  At  C  Et  R,  Ps  At  B  Bt  G  E  El,  a  D  Fit  F  A  C  Ro  m,  RI  RI4  RI3  RI,  RI  RI,  Rio  2  }  t1  Ri,  0  RI  7  2  RI  5  R,  Retrograde-Inversions  The beginning o f the movement is built upon manipulations o f the principal series. Schnittke successively introduces twelve separate groups o f row forms, all derived from the matrix o f the principal series. The first row o f each group, which I will call the "group row," begins with its corresponding pitch in the principal series. That is to say, i n the second group, the group row begins by the second pitch o f the principal series, E|> (P3); in the diird group, the group row begins by the third pitch o f the principal series, D (P2), and so on. The process is used in a cascading fashion such that all instruments added i n a group play from their own row. F o r example, the second instrument o f any group plays a row begmning by the second pitch o f the group row, and so on.  55  W i t h a few exceptions caused by note doubling, the composer determined the number o f instruments playing in each group by the sequence o f prime numbers: 1 2 3 5 7 11 13 17 19 23 29 31. F o r example, the first group includes only one instrument, whereas 91  the fifth group comprises seven instruments (fig. 1-3). A s each instrument is playing a 92  distinct row, there are as many different r o w forms as there are instruments i n a group. The length o f the row forms is also governed by the sequence o f prime numbers. T h e instrument o f the first group presents only the first pitch o f the row, both instruments o f the second group play two pitches o f their respective row, and the same principle is rigorously applied until the final group, in which each instrument uses special row forms o f 31 pitches. A l l instruments o f a group play the same number o f pitches. Since they are 93  successively introduced yet end at the same point, progressively shorter rhythmic values are used in later entries.  94  In interviews, Schnittke refers to the prime numbers sequence as Erastothenes's row. See Sul'gin and Schnittke, Gody nei^vestnosti Al'freda Snitke, 63. 9 1  Rhythms and orchestration groupings based on prime numbers are used extensively by Schnittke. Other examples are given below.  9 2  As it will be explained in more details below, the principal series first and last intervals are two minor thirds, a semitone apart. As a consequence, the last two pitches of any given row are also the first two pitches of another one. This way, by flowing from one row to the next, a 120-pitch long sequence can be constructed. The first 31 pitches are used in the present case. 9 3  That principle is respected until the ninth group inclusively; the next ones are spread over a longer period. 9 4  56  Figure 1-3. Serial organization Group  1  2  3  -4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  begins at  96/1/1  96/1/1.3  96/1/3.3  96/1/7  96/2/2  96/2/8  97/1/7  98/1/1  99/1/1  100/1/7  105/1/5  1-1.3  1.3-3.2  3.3-7  7-12  12-19  18-29  27-4(1  37-54  49-68  61-84  102/1/6 73-101  0  0  0  0  0  -i  -2  -3  -5  -7  -11  -13  measures offset  95  96  Principal S. Group Rows Instrument rows  i C  D  Et  c  Po  P  P  3  i P„ E t  Ft  B  1 P  3  IV  (F) *  D F E  At  1  c;  I  P? D  h  F  Is  E  P  Dt  P,  Ft  Bt  Iio  G  P  B  4  (Ct)*  3  7  Pio  1  1 h Bt Pi Dt h C  F  Is  Fs  P4  D  I  Et  U F  Is  Et  Ps  E  A  P9 At  P  F|  P«  G  P  C  Po B  Pn A  I9  Bt  Pio  I  3  8  2  7  Dt  i  i Dt  Ii  E  P4  Pi  Dt  Io  Bt  Iio  G  Io  B  In  B  P11  Ft  P7 P6  A  I9  At  P  D  P  Et  P  P  F  Is  F  Is  C  Io  Ps p  E  P  4  Ft  P6  B  Pll  D  P  2  At  Is  A  P9  8  Bt  IlQ  B  Pn  P  C  Io  Dt  I.  Et  Dt  Pi  B  Pll  C  Po  E  I4  Et  I  A  P.;  G  I  At  P  At  Ps  G  P  A  I9  G  Iv  Ft  P  E  I4 F  Ps  B  Pll  Bt  I,o C  Dt  II  D  I2  D  I2  Dt  P,  A  F  Ps  I  Bt  Pio At  Ft 16  P  8  8  1  P9  Io  7  P4  Pio Bt  D  2  E  Ii  P9  Ft F  Dt Pi C Et  7  A  Bt  16  1  Is  2  Ft  Is  P „ At  P  F  G  h i  h 1  P.!  2  6  3  2  G  P  Bt  Pio  Et  Ij  D  I2  6  E  P4  Dt  Ii  h  F  Ps  I9  At  Is  Dt  RIi  E  P4  Bt  RI10 G  I  RI11 Ft  Ii  7  Ft P6  Bt  lie,  Et  I  Dt  Pi  C  Po  E  P4 C  Po  B  P„ B  G  17  A  P9  At  Ie  D  RI  P  F  RIs  Bt  Pio  3  7  3  A  3  8 3-121  9  2  7  Et  Is  C  Po  F| F  16 F Is  E  I  4  Ft  RI  6  B  111  Et  Is  D  I  2  At  RIs  A  I9  Et  P3  G  RI  Bt  111)  G  I  7  Et  RI3  D  P2  Ft  I  6  E  RI4  Dt  Pi  Bt  Pio  C  RIo  F  A  RI  At  Is p  Dt  Ri  E  RI4  Bt  Rio  G  RI7  5  7  9  8  B  Rn  Ft  RI  D  R  Et  RI3  F  Rs  2  6  C  RIo  B  RI11  A  RI  9  * The F at 96/1/3.3 is the next pitch in P but it is played after the delineating intervention of the celesta. As the pitch also belongs to the following group series, it could be interpreted as anticipation. The Ct at 96/1/6.2 is similarly ambiguous. 3  To clarify the organization, I use a temporary measure numbering system for this section where 96/1/1 corresponds to measure 1. 9 5  The offset indicates the number of measures that the beginning of a given group precedes the ending of the previous one. For example, group 6 begins one measure before group 5 has ended. 9 6  57  Figure 1-4 summarizes the organizational principles in play by taking the fifth group as an example. Since it is the fifth group, the number o f instruments it contains is determined by the fifth element o f the prime number sequence, or i n this case, seven.  97  The first row exposed in that group begins with the fifth pitch o f the principal series, that is A\, (Is): A t F F# A C D|> Ei, D Bb B G E .  9 8  The second instrument plays a row that begins  with the second pitch o f the group row, F (I5). The same principle applies to all seven instruments in that group.  97  Some groups, but not all of them, add a pedal tone. This is the case here.  There seems to be no way to predict whether Schnittke will use a transposition or an inversion; however, he will seldom use the same series in two superimposed instruments. In larger groups, he will also uses retrograde and retrograde inversion. 98  58  Figure 1-4. Details of the fifth group, 96/2/2 to 96/2/8 Prime Meas.  Series  Instr.: example rhythms  Vln 1 - 6 Vln 1 - 7 Vln I  Vln I -9 Vln I - 10 Vln I - 11 Vln I - 12 7  I E t C D k E G A t B i . . . [AFFjJDB] Vln I, 5: J septuplets 3  6  Pi Dt E Et C A At Ff ... [G B Bt D F]  5  Po C Et D B At G F ... [Fj: Bt A Dt E]  4  Pi; A C B At F E D ... [Et G Fj; Bt Dt]  3  I F j f E t E G B t B D i ... [C A t A F D ] 6  2  I F D Et Fjf A Bt C ... [B G At E Dt] 5  1 1  Is At F F# A C Dt E i ... [DBtBGE] I 7l Ak [pedal] 8  Vln I, 6: J quintuplets Vln I, 7: J triplets Vln I, 8: J Vln I, 9: J_J> Vln I, 10: J. _J> Vln 1,11:  o  Vln I, 12:  o_  SYMPHONY NO. 1 By Alfred Schnittke: © 1990 MUSIKVERLAG HANS SIKORSKI GMBH & CO. K G , Hamburg worldwide except C.I.S. International Copyright Secured. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted by Permission.  The ending o f each group is delineated by the appearance o f short solo fragments in a contrasting style." T h e first fragment reprises the same military drum pattern that closed the second movement (96/1/1). T h e following inserted passages feature celesta  Schnittke uses a special notation for the inserted fragments: an ossia line marks the point of insertion and an arrow points to the main orchestral score. 9 9  59  arpeggios, timpani glissandos, Baroque sequences on the harpsichord, and piano clusters. F r o m the sixth group onwards, groups o f series overlap. A new group begins before the previous one has ended by an increasing number o f measures following the prime number sequence. F o r example, the sixth group begins one bar before the fifth group has ended; the seventh group begins two bars before the sixth one has ended, and so on, until the twelfth group, which begins thirteen bars before the eleventh one has ended. E v e n with the overlap, an inserted fragment still appears in every case but the last. M o s t o f the instruments in the twelfth and the final thirteenth groups successively abandon the row forms and begin to play arpeggios that culminate with an A major triad, the last three pitches o f the principal series (113/1/3). The triad, too, quickly moves to a C minor chord played by the entire orchestra, including the winds, which are still standing in the wings ( 1 1 4 / 1 / 1 ) .  100  The wind blast dies out quickly, but the strings dissolve i n  figurations based on row forms that all start with the pitches o f the C minor triad. Triadic sonorities briefly predominate as figurations emphasise the last three pitches o f P and I row forms or the first three pitches o f the R I row forms (from 1 1 4 / 1 / 3 to 118/1/1). Each o f the instruments drops out until only the solo double bass is playing in m. 1 2 0 / 1 / 1 . O n the whole, four clusters, each shorter than the previous one, build and diminish, overlapping by a proportion directly taken from the prime numbers series.  101  In fact, it is the third time in the Symphony that this chord succession, A major followed by C minor, is heard: in the first movement, it came right after the exposition of the series (14/1/7) and toward the end after the Beethoven quotation (50/1/7). 1 0 0  The second cluster begins at 118/1/1, 11 measures after the first one has begun. The third cluster begins at 120/1/2, 7 measures after the second one has begun. The fourth cluster begins at 122/1/1, 5 measures after the third one has begun. 101  60  The rest o f the movement is organized around the creation o f sonorities based upon specific intervals, ranging from the semitone to the perfect  fifth.  102  Schnittke starts  with the brass which, still from the wings, play a cluster containing all twelve pitch classes (122/1/3). The effect is echoed by another brass cluster, this one based on whole tones (123/1/2.3). M i n o r third based sonorities are played by keyboard instruments and strings (123/1/4), to w h o m the brass responds. The two alternate, with each statement using chords based on larger intervals, until the augmented fourth is reached (125/2/3). The last interval, a perfect fifth, is played in the strings, followed by a unison E after a general pause (125/3/2). That final pitch, which is also the last pitch o f the main series o f the Symphony, ends the movement, and also opens up the concluding movement. F o r the third movement, then, Schnittke chose what he called a "statistical" approach.  103  F r o m the description above, it is clear that a relatively restrictive set o f rules  governs the movement. Series are chosen according to a cascading principle, the principal series determining the group rows, and the pitches o f each group row determining the rows played by each instruments. The number o f instruments in each group and the length o f each sub-section are determined by the sequence o f prime numbers.  104  In short, at least  In an interview, Schnittke explains that all this development results from the application of calculation based on prime numbers. He was especially influenced by his meeting with the Romanian composer Anatol Vieru (1926-1998). Vieru showed Schnittke how he combined prime numbers in order to obtain new series, mosdy by multiplication. While Schnittke said he used the technique in the Symphony, by nature, those calculations are impossible to trace in the score. Sul'gin, Gody neiyyestnosti Al'freda Snitke, 64. 1 0 2  103 p Schnittke, the "statistical method" is a synonym for integral serialism. He learned the technique by studying the scores of Stockhausen, Boulez and Nono, and adapted it to suit his own needs. Schnittke, " A New Approach to Composition: The Statistical Method," A Schnittke Reader, 125-130. o r  Other musical factors like the number of instruments in a cluster and significant rhythmic motives are also governed by the sequence of prime numbers. They will be discussed below. 1 0 4  61  until the climax on the C minor chord (114/1/1), the presence o f the triad is obviously unexpected. However, there is some reason for its appearance. I f most stylistic excursions heard so far have been rejected by clusters, it seems logical that i n order to reject dodecaphonism one must oppose it with elements o f tonality. After the triad, the texture is slowly thinned out through a succession o f clusters until i f reaches a point o f near silence, from which to build up again. In the build-up, intervals from the semitone to the perfect fifth will govern the inner structure o f the sonic masses. Schnittke's description o f the movement as a dynamic triangle is apt. The first section o f the movement slowly builds up to an extreme (fig 1-5). Entirely devised from one series and the prime numbers sequence, it is totally dissonant, with no sense o f meter beside the regular stratification o f voices. However, the summit it reaches is not a cluster, but rather a C minor triad; once again, Schnittke's goal seems to be the exact opposite o f the natural conclusion and tonal sense emerges from chaos. F r o m there on, through a succession o f clusters and answering chords, all intervals from the semitones to the augmented fourth are obtained. Figure 1-5. Dynamic Triangle of the Third Movement •  Climax A maj —• C min  62  Serial procedures are used in the third movement to produce a state o f stasis where tonal and metric senses are avoided altogether.  105  In a paper he wrote i n the 1970s,  Schnittke explores how N o n o , Boulez and Stockhausen used complex superimpositions o f rhythms to overcome a sense o f meter.  106  Schnittke applies the same technique throughout  the first part o f the movement by dividing the measures and the beats in each measure into varied numbers o f units. Nevertheless, a sense o f both meter and tonality re-emerges i n the second half o f the movement. The sense o f stasis created by the first part o f the movement suggests that the flow o f time has been paused in order to make a meditation on serialism. O n the other hand, from the climax o f the movement onward, the listener witnesses the reintroduction o f triadic sonorities, and later o f interval-based harmonies until the perfect fifth returns. Is the turn to tonal elements the confession o f failure? It is hard to tell, but the musical development o f the Symphony closely follows that o f its composer who experimented with dodecaphonism in the 1960s. In the 1970s, Schnittke expressed his dissatisfaction with the rigidity o f the technique, saying that the method is too sterile and too rational, and modified it i n many ways.  107  In spite o f this, noting that "the period when  serial music seemed hopelessly out o f date is now coming to an end," he later conceded that the "final verdict on it still lies in the future."  108  1 0 5  Sul'gin, Gody nei^vestnosti Alfreda Snitke, 66.  1 0 6  Schnittke, "Using Rhythm to Overcome Meter," A Schnittke Reader, 139-146.  1 0 7  Ivashkin, Alfred Schnittke, 135.  1 0 8  Schnittke and Ivashkin, "From Schnittke's Conversations," 19. 63  Interlude: Prime Numbers Structures based on prime numbers, such as rhythmic groupings and durations, can be found throughout the third movement and elsewhere i n the Symphony. Schnittke found many advantages i n that sequence as opposed to other arithmetic structure principles: doubling numbers gave large results too rapidly; proceeding by addition was "dull"; and even proportions based on multiples o f the Golden Mean (Phi or 1.618) gave "wild numbers" too s o o n .  109  In contrast, the prime numbers sequence, according to him,  produces infinitely variable forms and effective progressions.  110  B u t since none o f the  prime number groupings or rhythms can be heard as such, most listeners cannot intuitively include them i n the elaboration o f a narrative. However, even as an abstract feature, their presence cannot be ignored by scholars and others working closely with the score. After all, they are a choice made by the composer.  111  The phrasing from m. 2 6 / 2 / 1 [62] to 3 3 / 1 / 1 [76] presents one o f the best examples o f structural organization achieved through the use o f prime numbers (fig. 1-6). Throughout the section, the lengths o f the phrases and rests are governed by two interlocking prime-number sequences whose orders are the reverse o f each other. F o r example, the first trumpet successively plays groups o f 11, 7, 5, 3, 2, and 1 triplet eighth  1 0 9  Sul'gin, Gody neiyyestnosti Al'freda Snitke, 64.  »° Ibid. The question here is what importance, i f any, should be given to the presence of prime numbers. T o stay coherent with the principles to which I have adhered to so far, I prefer not to ignore them, even i f doing so actually means that my narrative discourse about Schnittke's Symphony can be shared by a relatively small group of people. 1 1 1  64  notes, which are separated by rests o f 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, and 11 triplet eighths' duration respectively.  112  The principle is repeated for each instrument o f the brass section.  Figure 1-6. Rhythmic organization of Symphony No. 1,1 movement, section 4 st  Instruments  Unit  Rhythmic groupings [ u „ ],from 26/2/1 [63] s  ^  Trumpet 1  e  ce  tff>pp>••«»>• 11  i7  Trumpet 2  J>  13 1 11 7 5 3 2 ii 1 13 , 1  Trumpet 3  J>  7 !5 3 2 1  Trumpet 4  3  J  5i 3 23l5,13  Trombone 1  J  3i2 l  Trombone 2  2  2  3  3  5  5  7,  z  ^^  >  5  2  11  >  3 3 5 2 1 ii... ... continues: 1 3 i ^ l 3 n l 2 2 5 3 ••• 2  2 3 5 7 11 7  ^  5  3  2  1 ...  13 1 7  2  2  2il  SYMPHONY NO. 1 By Alfred Schnittke: © 1990 MUSIKVERLAG HANS SIKORSKI GMBH & CO. K G , Hamburg worldwide except C.I.S. International Copyright Secured. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted by Permission.  Prime numbers appear i n all kinds o f structures.  113  Rhythmic structures based on  prime numbers figure among the technical means used by Schnittke to overcome a sense o f meter. Prime numbers also govern the number o f instruments in each group o f row forms, the number o f pitches from any row form played by each instrument, the number  A t first, each of the first six brasses instruments uses basis values of different lengths; and the shorter the value, the longest the first group is. However, as the build up progresses, other types of organization appear where notes and rests can augment or decrease simultaneously, like for the electric guitar. After a first utterance of the series, the succession of rhythmic groups is getting progressively freer but, with only a few exceptions, these are still prime numbers. 1 1 2  Prime numbers can be found in the following guises: (1) the number of instruments in each group of series in the third movement; (2) the number of voices in clusters at mm. 23/1/1 (71 voices), 24/1/5 (41 v.), and 33/1/1 (97 v.); and (3) the number of note figures in rhythmic groupings at mm. 63/1/1 (various instruments), 70/1/7 (saxophones), 133/1/1 (percussion), 134/1/2 (wood sticks), 146/1/6 (brass and woodwinds), 153/1/1 (strings), 159/1/2 (woodblocks), 163/1/1 (piano), and 209/1/1 (keyboards). 1 1 3  65  o f instruments i n the large orchestral clusters, and the division o f some measures i n rhythmic units. The ultimate meaning o f their presence is a matter o f speculation. Since they are concentrated in the third movement and since they structure elements which could not be defined by dodecaphonism (at least as it was employed by Schnittke), prime numbers are part o f the deterministic effort featured in the movement. They are one o f the tools employed by Schnittke to carefully calculate all parameters in a manifestation o f the control vs. chaos opposition.  (8) Death W i t h the change from the third to the fourth movement, serial complexity gives way to a funeral procession. The horn players walking back on the stage are joined by the other wind players, all performing motives from famous funeral marches, including the third movement from Chopin's Sonata O p . 35 and the "Death o f A s e " from Grieg's Peer Gynt.  nA  Other quotations offer a striking contrast: Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto N o . 1 and Johann Strauss's waltz, Tales from the Vienna Woods.  n5  A s we will see, like before, the vulgar  and the banal are soon rejected, to be replaced by the Dies Irae, another "high" sign o f death.  Schnittke explained that he had the idea of combining funeral pieces when he attended the burial of Mark Lubockij's father in 1967. As he recollected, when they arrived at the cemetery a thunderstorm surprised them, forcing two different processions, with two brass bands, to wait until it would stop. When the rain ended, the two brass bands started to play two different marches simultaneously. Sul'gin and Schnittke, Gody nei^yestnostiAl'freda Snitke, 63. 1 1 4  Although Schnittke generally admired the works of Tchaikovsky, especially the symphonies, he was probably aware of the famous incident concerning the creation of the Piano Concerto. After hearing the work, Nicolai Rubinstein, the intended dedicatee and performer, qualified the work as trivial, bad and vulgar. After the incident with Rubinstein, Tchaikovsky changed the dedication in favour of Hans von Bulow. 1 1 5  66  Before we get to the Dies Irae, we need to discuss the special properties o f the series i n this movement. W e have seen how the sonorities o f A major and C minor triads, which have been heard three times before, emerge from the last three pitches o f Po and I4 in the twelfth group o f row forms o f the third movement.  116  Those two chords are  featured once more after the introductory episode o f the fourth movement which superimposes all the different quotations (from 1 2 9 / 1 / 2 , see fig. 1-7). However, this time, Schnittke exploits a 120-pitch long row spun out from Po. Indeed, since the principal series begins and ends with an ascending minor third (at least as initially presented), the last two pitches o f any row transposition are also the first two o f another one. Moreover, since the last two pitches o f the principal series are a semitone higher than the first two, twelve transpositions can be placed in a cycle creating a single 120-pitch long "perpetual" row. Schnittke draws attention to the two triads by lengthening the pitches o f the A major triad in half-notes, and the pitches o f the C minor triad to quarter-note, all the others pitches making grace-note appoggiaturas, with the result that the A m a j o r / C minor complex slowly emerges. The same process will be used to emphasize the pitches o f the Dies Irae.  As a reminder, A major and C minor sonorities are features in the first movement, after the exposition of the series (14/1/7), toward the end after the Beethoven quotation (50/1/7) and in the third movement, after the twelfth and last group of row forms (113/1/3). 1 1 6  67  Figure 1-7. Emergence of chords from series, from 129/1/2 J = C min.;: J = A maj.; others = appoggiaturas  Oboe 4:  '-' Pin:  p sub. 10  1 096534  7 11 2 P»: 11 21 10 76459803 P„: 032 11 8756 10 914 Pi: 1 43 09 8 6 7 11 102 5 P : 2 5 4 1 10 9 2  SYMPHONY NO. 1 By Alfred Schnittke: © 1990 MUSIKVERLAG HANS SIKORSKI GMBH & CO. K G , Hamburg worldwide except C.I.S. International Copyright Secured. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted by Permission.  Following the same principle, the Dies Irae emerges from the perpetual row (133/1/2). A s seen i n figure 1-8, the double bass 1, starting with P (134/1/1), plays all 8  pitches preceding the initial E o f the Dies Irae i n grace-notes. The next pitch i n the row is the expected D# o f the chant melody which too is played as a half note duration, but more grace-notes are needed before the following E appears again. Difficult to hear at first, it is only when played by the trumpets that the Dies Irae becomes unmistakable (139/1/1). A set o f variations on the distorted theme follows. After an exposition o f the series i n string glissandos, the Dies Irae is presented another time by the percussion (145/1/4).  68  Figure 1-8. Emergence of the Dies Irae from series, from 134/1/1, example Bold: notes from the Dies Irae  t—™->  mg < l L J> t"~ .  i  F  ->  \  11  ^  r r , , fc.. ,~ .J—H-1rhr-|4 AJ j I J * " 7j  J~ _  >  H  *J JW  >  Dbl. bass: P : At B Bt G E E|, Q D F§ F A C P : A C B At F E D El, G F# Bt Q Pio: Bt Q C A F§ F Et E At G B D Pn: B D Cjj Bt G Fjj E F... ... A At [P J C Et D B At G F Fjj Bt A Cjj 8  9  0  SYMPHONY NO. 1 By Alfred Schnittke: © 1990 MUSIKVERLAG HANS SIKORSKI GMBH & CO. K G , Hamburg worldwide except C.I.S. International Copyright Secured. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted by Permission.  Fourteen superimposed melodies for the Sanctus are heard next i n the strings, borrowed from a copy o f the Graduate de Tempore et de Sanctis published in 1877 (147/1/1).  117  A l l o f the chants use only the pitches o f the C major scale. Like many o f the  musical materials presented before, the episode ends with a cluster. This time the sonority is progressively introduced in the wind instruments, starting with the pitches o f the C major scale and adding chromatic pitches until the cluster includes all twelve tones (149/1/3). The string instruments end their statement o f Sanctus melodies and join the cluster four measures later. The texture slowly dissolves to a general pause (150/1/13). M o r e variations on the Dies Irae follow the break, this time presented  by  alternating pairs o f dissonant chords (151/1/1). Slightly later, the roles o f the series and the theme are inverted. Whereas the theme emerged from the series i n the first part, the series now emerges from the theme. A s seen in figure 1-9, each new pitch from the Dies Irae gives birth to a row form, derived from the matrix and spread out across twelve wind  The origin of the Sanctus melodies is identified in Holopova and Cigareva, Alfred Snitke, 84. I would like to thank Victoria Adamenko for pointing that out to me. 1 1 7  69  instruments. T h e number o f pitches used i n each row form is once more determined by the sequence o f prime numbers. A s before, whenever more than twelve pitches are required by the application o f those structural principles, the perpetual r o w is used. T h e Dies Irae is disfigured, travestied by glissandos. Figure 1-9. Emergence of series from the Dies Irae, from 153/1/2, piccolo 1 •3 Measures  gP Bold: starting pitches o f series, from the Dies Irae  3  t 153/1/1  1 P: F  153/1/2  2  153/1/3.3  3  t  5  P:E G 4  P :FAtG 5  154/1/1.3 5  P :DFEC|A# 2  154/1/3.3 7  155/1/1  P : E G Fjt D | C B A 4  11 P : C Et D B At G F Ft Bt A Q 0  155/1/3.3 13  P : D F E Dt Bt A G At C B Dt Ft P : Dt Ft F 2  3  t 156/1/1.3 17 P : D F E Dt Bt A G At C B D | Ft P : Dt Ft F D B Bt At 2  3  156/1/3.3 19  P : F At G E Dt C Bt Ct Et D Ft A P : Ft A At F D Q • • • ... B C E 5  6  SYMPHONY NO. 1 By Alfred Schnittke: © 1990 MUSIKVERLAG HANS SIKORSKI GMBH & CO. K G , Hamburg worldwide except C.I.S. International Copyright Secured. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted by Permission.  70  The reciprocal relation between the Dies Irae and twelve tone series, giving birth to each other, demands an explanation. A t first, the Dies Irae emerged from the series as Schnittke prolonged the value o f the melody notes. Later, each pitch o f the Dies Irae gives birth to a row. In this case, the pitches o f the Dies Irae are often the shortest o f the melodic line. The emergence o f the requiem sequence from the series suggests that the modern compositional technique can be travestied so much as to obtain a result which is completely foreign to the expectations. Conversely, when it is the row forms which come out o f the Gregorian chant, the terms change as the serial technique emerges from the death o f something else, maybe the death o f the Symphony. In fact, for the first time since the beginning o f the work, Schnittke synthesizes two opposite styles, and he specifically chose two o f the most extreme: Gregorian chant and dodecaphonism. The result is paradoxical. O n the one hand, Schnittke succeeds in his goal o f finding a new path which would include both the past and the present. O n the other hand, the Dies Irae does not suggest "achievement" or "success," but rather "death." Perhaps the episode needs to be looked at from a different angle. B y building such a strong association between modernism and death, the Symphony proclaims that serialism—once seen by the composer as the future o f composition—is doomed. The presence o f the fourteen Sanctus melodies is more puzzling. The Sanctus, in contrast to the Dies Irae, is sung in almost every Christian rite. It is one o f the earliest elements o f the liturgy, and its presence in the Symphony gives a religious tone to the episode, i f not to the Symphony. When it begins, in spite o f the superimposition o f so many separate lines, it still presents the most consonant texture o f the fourth movement. The long note values enhance the contrast with the surrounding sections. A massive cluster  71  interrupts the chants and leads to the dissolution o f the texture until complete silence. The Dies Irae returns, stronger and louder than before. Considering all the stylistic hesitation and compositional frustration portrayed in the previous movements, the Symphony itself appears to be dead and to play at its own funeral procession.  (9) Resurrection The last moments o f the fourth movement, from which the Dies Irae is now absent, present a rapid sequence o f different stylistic elements, many o f them heard earlier in the work: vague reminiscences o f the tango theme alternate with march rhythms (178/1/1); a build-up o f march patterns (182/1/1); a short cadenza by the timpani, over a sustained C | minor chord played by the organ, is interrupted by an improvised string cluster spreading out i n all directions (184/1/1); all the instruments briefly end on a unison C (190/1/1); the first four pitches from the Po series (C, D , El,, B ) , in whole-note unisons played by the entire orchestra (190/1/2-5); the remainder o f the series is vertically set in a chord and continues into P i (191/1/1); a solo trumpet initiates an orchestral cadenza centering on pitches from A minor and C major scales (192/1/7); a C major/Et minor triad sonority (195/2/1); a second canon, using exclusively pitches from the C major scale (196/1/2); the 76 voices o f the canon settle on pitches from the C major triad (202/1/2); a strings cluster eventually evaporates while low brass play a unison A (210/1/4). The organ is the only instrument still playing when more reminiscences appear: the concerto grosso melody played by the harpsichord, row forms in the strings, and march patterns i n the winds (211/1/2). The musicians then walk off stage to the sound o f a sustained cluster (213/1/1). With the stage empty, the last fourteen bars o f Haydn's "Farewell" Symphony are played from a recording, like a souvenir o f a distant past. W h e n 72  all seems finished, the Symphony begins again, from the first movement—with  the  musicians walking back on stage playing the opening music—up to the entrance o f the conductor, and ending with the final unison C. Regarding symphonic form, Schnittke said that his models were Mahler and Tchaikovsky, especially concerning the role o f the finale. N o longer was the last movement supposed to provide closure, to be rational, to "explain everything;" rather, last movements have become "irrational, personal codas."  118  Schnittke's last movement does provide a  momentary sense o f closure as reminiscences o f previous moments accumulate. That feeling is soon diminished by the peculiar ending—or non-ending—of the Symphony: it has to start all over again. In fact, the finale o f the Symphony is "irrational" because it is unexpected, and it is "personal" because it is unique. Like the finales o f Mahler before him, the content o f Schnittke's movement is unpredictable; it does not provide closure in the traditional sense. F o r Schnittke, "the finale, which might have explained everything, no longer exists."  119  It instead asks more questions. There is no triumph, no definitive  conclusion, only the sense that nothing has really ended. After a supposed  death  announced by the "Farewell" Symphony and the earlier Dies Irae and funeral marches, the work is only to be as born again, the exact repetition o f the opening moments o f the work proclaiming the "resurrection" o f the work, and o f the genre. Schnittke's initial plan was to have to Symphony end with the Haydn quotation. F o r him, that ending was connected to the idea that "the music is going off somewhere, the  Schnittke was then referring principally to the unique ending of Tchaikovsky's Sixth Symphony. Ivashkin, "The Paradox of Russian Non-Liberty," 554. 1 1 8  1 1 9  Ivashkin, "Shostakovich and Schnittke," 258-259. 73  musicians taking their music with them."  120  D u r i n g the rehearsals, Rozdestvenskij asked  where they were going. Since Schnittke could not find a satisfactory answer, the conductor suggested starting the work over.  121  The Symphony was becoming suddenly much less  "serious," to use Schnittke's expression. However, the re-beginning is more than a simple "joke." Schnittke, by "resurrecting" the Symphony, asserts that the genre simply cannot be put to death; it cannot be destroyed, even by a young Soviet composer i n his first serious attempt. If he thought that writing a symphony was "logically [...] poindess,"  122  the fact  that the work begins all over again evokes the perseverance that the composer must demonstrate, not i n order to attain a goal, but rather to come closer and closer to it.  Conclusion With references  to the symphonies o f Haydn and Beethoven, Schnittke places his  Symphony N o . 1 in the long tradition o f the genre. That a still young and relatively unknown composer like Schnittke chose to firmly position himself i n the symphonic tradition is audacious, even daring. H e does so not by reproducing pre-established models, nor by making a post-romantic ersatz, but instead by trying to redefine the parameters o f the genre, i n terms o f both content and form. Schnittke's Symphony N o . 1 is not an exercise in subdety. The many references stand out. They are placed in the foreground o f the work, become the point o f focus, and create a distinct ground upon which the musical edifice is erected. A narrative can bridge the stylistic disjunctions created by the references. Quotations, borrowings and stylistic  1 2 0  Schnittke, A Schnittke Reader, 76.  1 2 1  Ibid.  1 2 2  Ross, " A Shy, Frail Creator," C17. 74  allusions establish poles o f signification. The history o f music from the Baroque to jazz to serialism is evoked; quotations o f Beethoven and Gregorian chant evoke memories. Such structural means as prime numbers groupings and symmetries play significant roles. F o r most listeners, there has to be an explanation behind such a plurality o f styles and elements. That the composer had, or did not have, a program in m i n d for the Symphony N o . 1 at the time o f composition is irrelevant. Listeners will feel the need for one anyway. In the case o f the Symphony, the narrative resides in the listener's mind. Moreover, the sequence o f events is important but not always essential to a possible meaning. In general, the work creates a kind o f "immanent" narrative where a single main i d e a — H o w to write a symphony?—is expressed from many different angles. The nine features enumerated  above have a narrative significance which is summarized below as one  potential plot: The Symphony portrays the difficulties faced by a young Soviet composer looking for his own compositional voice. [1] The work begins as i f in a "dream," where musical thoughts are coming from all directions, until they are organized under the will o f the conductor in a full orchestra unison C. The work's boundaries have been set: clusters vs. unisons, chaos vs. uniformity. [2] Popular styles soon appear, like uninvited guests at a dinner; they force themselves in the score, but the composer repeatedly manages to close the door on them. [3] The victory over the banal is celebrated by the quotation o f Beethoven's Fifth, but the triumph is brief, almost ironic, since the passage is such a cliche. [4] Maybe the solution to writing a symphony is to imitate masters o f the past? A Handelian concerto grosso looks so easy to compose as opposed to contemporary music. Yet, this is not a solution either. [5] The composer faces a brief moment o f discouragement  75  and is tempted to leave the musicians to themselves: "Fight each other! The winner keeps the work!" [6] The military march returns, stronger than before. F o r a Soviet composer, might marches for the masses provide greater success than more serious music? Ultimately, he refuses the facileness o f the proposition and is left with no other choice but to send the winds—which played the march—off stage. [7] Time seems to stop for a meditation on the possibilities o f serialism. The technique is pushed to extremes. F o r the first part o f the third movement, a long build-up ensues in which the chaos is, beneath the surface, finely organized; however, precisely where the movement should attain its climax, tonality returns in the form o f a triad. Harmonies based on intervals from the minor second to the perfect fifth are progressively reintroduced and the third movement fades down to a single pitch. The possibilities offered by serial procedures are not enough for Schnittke, who needs tonality and a more diverse stylistic palette. [8] Is the symphony a dead genre? Is it impossible to compose one anymore? The fourth movement asks those questions and, at first, answers "yes" to both. The Symphony slowly dies over the contorted sounds o f the Dies Irae. A l l that will remain is a memory o f the great past o f the genre, available on a recording. Haydn already said "Farewell," and Schnittke says it too. [9] W h e n all hope seems to be gone, ideas return, the musicians return to their seats, and the composer makes a new attempt. The symphony is resurrected.  76  C H A P T E R 2: MOZART  A LA  HAYDN:  T H E O P E N SPACE O F F R A G M E N T A T I O N  In the m i d 1970s, Schnittke composed Mo^-Art, the first o f many works based on fragments left behind by other composers. A s Schnittke wrote, Mo^Art 1  employs the solo  violin part o f Mozart's pantomime K V 446 (416d), "as heard in dream i n an extraordinary fashion by his most devoted admirer, Alfredus Henricus Germanus Hebraeus Rusticus, in the night o f February the 2 3  rd  to the 2 4  th  i n Moscow, and transcribed with the utmost  precision while being decorated with litde complements corresponding to the taste o f present time fashion." Schnittke uses the sole remaining violin part o f a pantomime 2  While Mo^-Art is certainly the most extreme example of a work based on fragments, the Concerto Grosso N o . 4/Symphony N o . 5 (1988) and FLommage a Grieg (1990) also draw upon fragments by Mahler and Grieg, respectively. Moreover, Schnittke composed "original" fragments: Three Fragments (1990), and Five Fragments Based on Paintings by Hieronymns Bosch (1994). Although the Symphony N o . 7 was not based on fragments, when Schnittke found the thematic material he had composed before illness after his discharge from the hospital, he had no recollection of it. In a sense, he resumed work from his own fragments after his near death experience. David Denton, "Classical Recordings: Schnittke - Symphony N o . 7; Cello Concerto N o . 1," Fanfare 24, 2 (2000), 339. 1  Alfred Schnittke, on the tide page of Gidon Kremer's copy of the work's duet version, reproduced by Dominique Sohet in the liner notes for Alfred Schnittke, Kremer Plays Schnittke. Perf. Gidon Kremer and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, C D (Deutsche Grammophone 445 520-2), 7. 2  77  composed by Mozart as the basis for a wholly new work, first performed by G i d o n Kremer and his friends at a N e w Year's E v e concert.  3  T h e collaboration between the violinist and the composer was very intense during the 1970s and their paths often crossed. Schnittke secredy dedicated his Second V i o l i n Sonata to Kremer, " i n the hope o f one day hearing something o f my work" performed by the famous violinist. W h e n Kremer called up Schnittke and asked to hear his music, Schnittke gave h i m the work and Kremer performed it as often as he could. A long and 4  enduring friendship began. Mo^Art  was written specifically for Kremer who performed the  many versions at various occasions, sometimes wearing masks i n the style o f those worn during Italian carnival season.  5  Many aspects o f Mo^-Art  are unique. First, with only rare exceptions i n the  accompaniment parts, all the material from the work comes from Mozart's fragment. Second, the work incorporates scenic indications. Musicians have to move between two seating plans, and there are lighting cues in the score. The stage actions relate to Mozart's pantomime which, as usual i n the commedia dell'arte, also included cues to direct the play o f the actors. In the Mozart work, the directions provided scenarios upon which the actors had to improvise. According to a letter Mozart wrote to his father, he himself played the  Ivashkin gives 1975 as the year of performance, while Schnittke does not remember exactiy and says 1976 or 1977. Since Kremer commissioned a new version of the work in 1976, it must have been 31 December 1975. Ivashkin, Alfred Schnittke, 221. Makeeva and Cypin, "Al'fred Snitke," 19. The score of the first version for fourteen instruments has never been published, and the version was never performed subsequendy. 3  Gidon Kremer, "Gidon Kremer on Schnittke (1989)," A Schittke Reader, edited by Alexander Ivashkin (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2002), 232. 4  5  Ivashkin, Alfred Schnittke, 183.  78  part o f Harlequin in the production. Third, some ideas used in the First Symphony are 6  reprised here in a slightiy different way. The musicians are successively introduced, playing short excerpts from the rest o f the work, until the conductor comes in and restores order. A t the end, they progressively leave the stage, leaving the conductor directing empty chairs. Finally, while the work has no program, it explicidy refers to the Classical musical tradition, to the commedia dell'arte and to the notion o f fragmentation. It bridges the old to the new and, as such, adds to the reflections on time and music made earlier by Zimmerman, Stockhausen and Rochberg. It does so with humour, so much so that it is difficult to take Schnittke's stance on the topic completely seriously. The work exists in five versions. The instrumentation o f the first is for fourteen instruments (flute, clarinet, three violins, viola, cello, double bass, organ and percussion), a scoring determined in large part by the instruments available for the original N e w Year's E v e performance. Kremer  mmissioned two other versions o f the work, one for two  violins (1976) and the other one for six instruments (oboe, harp, harpsichord, violin, violoncello and double bass, 1980). Schnittke also produced two other versions on his own initiative, Mo^-slrt a la Haydn for two violins, two small string orchestras, double bass and conductor  Although pantomimes were usually staged by professional actors, this was certainly not the case here. In a letter to his father dated 12 March 1783, Mozart wrote: " O n Carnival Monday we performed our Masquerade at the Redoute.—It consisted of a Pantomime that we did during the half hour of intermission.—My sister-in-law played Colombin<?, I was Harlequin, my brother-inlaw Piero, Merk, an old dancing master, played Pantalon, and a Painter (by the name of GraBi) played the Dottore." Mozart explains the creation process: "The idea of the Pantomime and the Music for it both came from me.—Merk, the dancing master, was kind enough to coach us, and I can tell you, we played quite charmingly.—[...] The verses, some simple rhymed couplets, could have been better; but they were not my creation; Muller, the actor, had scribbled them down in a hurry.—" Mozart's Letters, Mozart's Life: Selected Letters, edited and translated by Ropert Spaethling (New York: W.W. Norton, 2000), 344-345. 6  79  (1977) and Mo^-Art a la Mozart for eight flutes and harp (1990). O f the five versions, Mo%Art a la Haydn is the most frequendy performed and consequendy the best known by the public. It is also the most interesting o n a narrative level, and for that reason, it is the version which will be discussed here. Although Schnittke finished the composition in 1977, Mo^-Art a la Haydn waited six years for a performance, being premiered in Tbilisi on 30 December 1983 by the Georgian Chamber Orchestra under the direction o f Liana Isakadze.  7  The scholarly literature on Mo^Art  is scant. In an article about Mozart quotations  in recent Soviet works, Wolfgang Gratzer presents the version for two violins, which he mistakenly considers as the first one. Bernd Wilms provides a succinct analysis o f the 8  work, mainly to suggest its use in secondary school classrooms. In interviews, Schnittke 9  did share some insights o n Mo^-Art.  It is, however, the composer's ideas o n general  concepts such as fragments and the relation between the past and the present that will prove the most illuminating i n discussing  Mo^Art.  I will address four questions raised by Mo^Art.  (1) What are the possibilities created  by fragmentation and how are they exploited in this peculiar work? (2) H o w is Schnittke  The work was programmed for a performance at a chamber music festival in which Gidon Kremer and Tatiana Grindenko took part in Talinn shordy after its composition, but it was ultimately not performed. Apparendy, someone felt that the end of the work was "disappointing." Makeeva and Cypin, "Al'fred Snitke," 20. 7  Gratzer, "(K)eine Vorbereitung auf den Sozialismus: Zu'r Mozart-Rezeption in jungerer sowjetischer Musik," in Mozart in der Musik des 20. Jahrhunderts: Formen asthetischer und kompositionstechnischer Reception, ed. Siegfried Mauser (Laaber, Germany: Laaber-Verlag, 1992), 245256. 8  Bernd Wilms, " '...von seinem treuesten Schuler und ergebensten Verehrer': Alfred Schnittkes Moz-Art fur zwei Violinen im Unterricht der Sekundarstufe I," Musik &Bildung (2000), 7-11. 9  80  presenting the idea o f the past in a new work, especially i n a Soviet context? (3) W h i c h compositional techniques are used by Schnittke i n order to put his imprint on the score, and how is the "new" composer apparent in the work? (4) Finally, is it possible to construe a narrative i n Mo^-Art?  The Fragment and the Fragmentary In the First Symphony, Schnittke borrows short excerpts from works o f Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Grieg and others. Those borrowings belong to the first o f two general types o f fragments: the remnant and the invented. They are remnants o f a once-complete work. 10  However, because the objects they are taken from exist as whole works we hear in their entirety, one could say that those fragments are not so much invented, as created through the act o f quotation. They are artificial fragments. Mo^Art  presents a slightly different case.  The work is entirely constructed from fragments which, with one notable exception, all come from the same work o f Mozart. But this original work, the pantomime K V 446, is itself a "real" fragment since only the first violin part has survived. The object it comes from is no more intact; it is lost. A s Wolfgang Gratzer suggests, by using selected moments and reorganizing them, Schnittke submits Mozart's fragment to a second fragmentation.  11  The spelling o f Schnittke's title, with Mozart's name split into syllables, into word fragments, emphasizes its peculiar nature.  Fragments can be invented >is to reproduce the effects of loss and incompletion typical of remnants. The two types of fragments, the "remnant" and the "invented" are described in a manuscript of David Metzer, from a personal communication. 1 0  11  Gratzer, "(K)eine Vorbereitung auf den Sozialismus," 254.  81  Before we proceed, the distinction between the concepts o f "fragment" and "fragmentary" must be clarified. O n the one hand, the fragment necessarily implies completeness, be it o f a past work or a future re-assemblage. In the present it remains incomplete. It is the part no longer belonging to the whole. The fragmentary, on the other hand, dispels all hope o f any sort o f completion. F o r Maurice Blanchot, the fragmentary is the interruption o f the relentless, the constant signalling o f a lack which cannot be closed.  12  The particular notion o f lack is not the absence o f something which should be present but rather the presence o f an absence. F o r that reason, it is closely related to the void that exists between fragments, where that which cannot be written down is to be found. A s Blanchot states: " T o no longer be able to write except in relation to the fragmentary is not to write in fragments, unless the fragment is itself a sign for the fragmentary." Mozart's 13  pantomime is a fragment, which was once part o f a complete work, whereas Schnittke's Mo^Art  is a play on the fragmentary level which uses fragments to signal precisely that  level. The possibilities offered by the fragmentary have been explained and demonstrated by Blanchot.  14  H i s thoughts on the topic set a point o f comparison, against which  Schnittke's usage o f fragments can be gauged. Blanchot poses the fragmentary as an ideal  Blanchot, The Writing of the Disaster, translated by A n n Smock (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1995), 42. 1 2  Blanchot, The Step Not Beyond, translated by Lycette Nelson (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1992), 42. 1 3  Paul Davies indicates that Blanchot never develops the words "outside," "fragment," "neuter," "desastre" (and others) as concepts; nevertheless, they engage a certain conceptualization. Paul Davies, "The Work and the Absence of the Work," in Maurice Blanchot: The Demand of the Writing, edited by Carolyn Bailey Gill (New York: Roudedge, 1996), 94. 1 4  82  category, which cannot be reached but only approached. A s such, Schnittke's practice o f musical borrowing satisfies only a portion o f that ideal. F o r example, Blanchot considers the true fragment to be not connected to anything and consequently without a clear origin; it is "a piece o f meteor detached from an unknown sky and impossible to connect with anything that can be k n o w n . "  15  Because they refer to something, Schnittke's quotations are  not fragments i n this sense. Blanchot's description o f the qualities o f the  fragment,  o f its effects  and  possibilities, nonetheless provides a useful, i f not perfect, theoretical apparatus for a piece like Mo^-Art. First, the inherent "incompleteness" o f the fragments creates the necessary conditions for fragmentary writing. It presents a constant flow o f separations, a series o f gaps between fragments. The fragmentary is both the "interruption o f the incessant" and the unstoppable, because it-continues even when interrupted.  16  A s I described i n the  Introduction, the juxtaposition o f fragments in a new context forces the establishment o f relations where none  exibiAj d before.  Blanchot recognizes that fragments  are  not  irremediably separated. The gap between fragments is "not what ends them, but what prolongs them. [...] A n d thus are they always ready to let themselves be worked upon by indefatigable reason, instead o f remaining as fallen utterances, left aside, the secret void o f mystery which no elaboration could ever f i l l . "  1 5  Blanchot, The Infinite Conversation, 308.  1 6  Blanchot, The Writing of the Disaster, 21.  1 7  Ibid., 58.  83  17  That disjunction is the "infinite center  from out o f which, through speech, relation is to be created."  18  I have argued that the  privileged way to do so is by the elaboration o f a narrative. A narrative would prove too much for Blanchot, because it presupposes a degree o f coherence and o f wholeness that the fragmentary allegedly prevents. T h e apparent clash between his position and mine is explained by our different points o f view. Blanchot essentially looks at the fragmentary from a writer's perspective; for h i m it is an ideal state that is impossible to realize fully. I look at it from a reader/listener's point o f view; I witness the product o f the author's work and the scope o f my interpretation is free from any author-imposed boundaries. Moreover, i n Schnittke's case, the possibility o f a narrative is manifest. T h e fragments  he uses come from a source, they are remnants  and  consequently point to a past or future whole. Blanchot wants his fragments to be unrelated to anything, to resist the idea o f the whole as much as possible. B u t even he cannot deny the natural impulse toward the whole: "we are beings o f a Universe and thus turned toward a still absent unity." W e look to that space and, for Blanchot, we should see beyond the 19  idea o f whole and part. O u r attention has to focus on the space that separates the fragment: "we know only the separation: the separation, without knowing from what it separates."  20  Fragmentary writing is the privileged way to approach this space, the  unspeakable, through its otherness, "marked by the effect o f effacement."  1 8  Blanchot, The Infinite Conversation, 308.  1 9  Ibid., 153.  2 0  Blanchot, The Step Not Beyond, 51.  2 1  Ibid., 50.  84  21  O n the  contrary, I argue that we project ourselves, our ideas and knowledge, i n that space which is all but empty. Fragmentary writing brings language to its limits. The work ceases to be the masterpiece—which  is  supposed  to  present  a unified  fragmentary, becomes a "multiplicity o f crossing routes." fragmentary, "writing and reading change functions."  23  22  whole—and, through  the  F o r Blanchot, through the  That exchange is precisely what  brings narrativity into play since it is now up to the reader, or i n the case o f Mo^-Art, the listener, to fill i n the blanks. F r o m Blanchot's point o f view, that the reader would feel such an urge is interpreted as one o f many risks: There is always a risk that reading, instead of animating the multiplicity of crossing routes, reconstitutes a new totality from them, or, worse, seeks, in the world of presence and of sense, to what reality or thing to complete correspond the voids of this space given as complementary, but complementary of nothing. 24  H e made it clear that he would prefer the empty spaces to remain empty. T o me, the temptation to "complete" the work is just too strong. According to Blanche':, the concept o f the fragmentary is inseparable from that o f time. A distinction must be made here between the theoretical time discussed by Blanchot and chronological concepts evoked by the stylistic connotations o f a piece like Mo^-Art. O n the theoretical level, the time o f fragmentary writing is undefined. Time should come when the whole is realized, but "that time is never sure, but is the absence o f time, absence in a nonnegative sense, time anterior to all past-present, as well as posterior to every  2 2  Blanchot, The Step Not Beyond, 51.  2 3  Ibid.  2 4  Ibid.  85  possibility o f a present yet to come."  25  F o r Blanchot, the present does not exist. The future  and the past come to the same "since both are without present," but there is no in-between since "the past was written, the future will be read."  26  Again, this is where Blanchot and I  disagree. In fragmentary writing a la Blanchot, the whole never existed and will never be realized: "fragmentation is the pulling to pieces (the tearing) o f that which never has preexisted (really or ideally) as a whole, nor can it ever be reassembled in any future presence whatever."  27  Since the whole is nonexistent, fragmentation "can only be understood—  fallaciously—as the absence o f time."  28  A s I have explained above, I do value the whole,  and the presence o f time that it conveys. F o r me, it is through reading, listening, and the elaboration o f a narrative that the whole can be realized. Through this activity, the written goes from the future to the past by passing through the present. Mo^Art  is a reification o f the process o f fragmentary writing. Schnittke read  Mozart's fragment, and wrote a piece in which listeners can follow his footsteps and confront a two-level fragmentary work. Schnittke's reading o f Mozart's fragment is influenced by his artistic philosophy. F o r him, all possible music exists i n some sort o f limitless artistic sphere, but only a fraction o f it will eventually be written down by composers.  29  T o develop this idea, he took the example o f Mozart, who died at a rather  young age. F o r Schnittke, there is the music Mozart had the time to write, and the rest, the  2 5  Blanchot, The Writing of the Disaster, 59-60.  2 6  Blanchot, The Step Not Beyond, 21, 30.  27  Blanchot, The Writing of the Disaster, 60.  2 8  Ibid., 60.  2 9  Makeeva and Cypin, "Al'fred Snitke," 19.  86  music he could not write, which is possibly infinite.  30  When asked i f that means that the  remainder could be written down by another composer, Schnittke gives Mo^-Art as an example, saying that although he added nothing new to the work, the piece is not Mozart's since no one else can write Mozart's music.  31  In short, even i f Mozart's unwritten music  exists somewhere, it is lost for eternity.  Formal Design The work (about 12 minutes long) can be divided into a formal pattern consisting o f an introduction followed by 11 sections which are delineated by changes i n tempo, key signature and thematic material (fig. 2-1). There are no transitions between sections, no preparation o f any kind. Some o f the sections could be subdivided into separate episodes. Schnittke never provided a program explaining the fragmentary nature o f the work. The responsibility o f constructing a narrative discourse is clearly handed over to the listener, who will probably identify the moments o f rupture, the separations between fragments as the gaps which must be resolved. In Mo^-Ati, the most important moments that create gaps are: (1) the build-up i n the Introduction, (2) the diminished chords leading into section 1, (3) the stylistic shifts between any two given sections, (4) the musicians changing seating plans in sections 4 and 5, (5) the quotation from Symphony N o . 40 (K. 550), (6) the  3 0  Ibid., 19.  3 1  Ibid., 20.  87  climactic stretto i n section 10, (7) the exit o f the musicians at the end, and (8) the conductor beating time alone in the dark.  32  Figure 2-1. Formal design of Moz-Art Section  Measures  Tempo  Notes  Introduction  [up to R N 3]  Tempo Rubato  "Between the beginning and figure 2 the musicians play in total darkness." R N 2: "Switch on the lights suddenly."  Section 1  1-35  Allegretto  Section 2  36-65  Maestoso  Section 3  66-85  Allegretto  Section 4  86-125  Moderato  "The two small orchestras gradually merge (see seating plan, p.2)"  Section 5  126-145  Adagio lamentoso  m. 145: "The musicians return to the original seating plan (2 small orchestras)."  Section 6  146-153  Maestoso  Section 7  154-178  AlJe.gro  Section 8  179-184  Molto Allegro  Section 9  185-219  Vivo  Section 10  220-261  Allegretto  Section 11  262-278...  Andante  Symphony No. 40 (K. 550)  m. 270: "From here onwards the musicians gradually begin to leave the stage (except the two cellists, the double bass player, and the conductor). The light slowly begins to dim. The conductor continues to conduct for a few seconds after the sound of die departing musicians has died away off stage."  The O l d in the Present A t the time Mo^-Art was composed, the past was a very malleable concept in the USSR: it existed only so far as it could serve the political objectives o f the Party. History was tailored as a succession o f chosen events, and anything that did not fit the dominant  In a work that depends so much on its fragmentary nature, many other events could be added to the list.  3 2  88  ideology was removed.  33  This malleability can be seen in the connections made with the  musical past. F o r instance, musicological research relied on second hand sources since originals were not only considered as irrelevant, but they were also often inaccessible. Compositions o f Glinka, Prokofiev and Shostakovich were travestied and the original versions ignored. M a z o argues that since authenticity had disappeared from the social as 34  well as the personal spheres, it became important to Russian musicians o f the 1960s to awake the dormant taste for the authentic.  35  The new taste for the authentic was a way to  rediscover the past and to connect the present with past sources. Suddenly, old works were rediscovered in their original fashion and a new folklore wave struck cities like Saint Petersburg.  36  Some composers followed the example o f Bartok and found authenticity in  folk music, an approach which had the advantage o f complying with the doctrines o f socialist realism. Others rediscovered the past by its music, and borrowed from it in their own works.  37  The "documentary feeling" o f the First Symphony, with its quotations o f  Beethoven and Grieg, its allusions to military marches and popular styles, responded to  3 3  Mazo, "The Present and the Unpredictable Past," 375.  3 4  Ibid.  Mazo does not explicitiy define what she means by "authenticity." From the way she uses the term, however, authenticity seems to depend on a direct access to original documents. Ibid., 376.  3 5  3 6  Ibid., 377.  Direct and indirect references to Bach, Mozart, or Haydn will be found here and there in the repertoire of composers who did not all adhere to the exigencies of the Soviet doctrine; these references to the past will often be set in opposition to modern techniques. Among those works are Viktor Yekimovsky's Brandenburg Concertos (1979), Dimitrij Smirnov's Mozart-Variation for Orchestra (1987), Edison Denisov's Haydn-Variation for Cello and Orchestra (1982), Rodion Sedrin's 24 Preludes and Fugues (1964, 1970) and Kara Karayev's 1791-Serenade for Small Orchestra (1983), alluding to the Lacrimosa of Mozart's Requiem. Gratzer, "(K)eine Vorbereitung auf den Sozialismus," 246257. 3 7  89  that call. In some ways, Mo^-Art also responds to the desire for authenticity. A s we will see, the past is apparent in Mo^Art  under three guises: the conventions o f the commedia  dell'arte, the distant figure o f Mozart, and the classical aspect o f an important part o f the music itself.  Commedia dell'arte Many parallels can be drawn between Mo^Art  and the commedia dell'arte tradition. A s a  theatrical tradition that flourished during the 16 and early 17 centuries in Italy, the genre th  th  usually presents standardized plots and stock characters. The actors improvise upon situations which are only briefly described in a given scenario.  38  Traditionally, the more  stereotypical figures and characters representing different regions o f Italy were masked; female and noble characters were unmasked.  39  Schnittke composed Mov^Art for a N e w Year's E v e party. B u t this alone cannot explain why he chose to borrow from an old Pantomime. In fact, Mozart's fragment satisfied many o f Schnittke's interests. First, there is the correspondence between the  The relation between musical improvisation and the Commedia dell'arte has been noticed by Luigi Nono. The Italian composer described how in Ancient China only the element of pitch was notated and everything else improvised. He observes: "The improvisation in the commedia dell'arte is technically related to that described above. Here the action of the play was indicated only by a few directions about situations, the relationship of characters and the degree of freedom which the actor was allowed in improvising action and dialogue." Nono advocates that improvisation should not be seen as a guarantee of liberty and freedom and that it often serves to mask the composer's inability to make decisions. For him, chance elements can be used as long as they do not become a panacea. In that light, commedia dell'arte, because it opens its doors to a degree of improvisation, without succumbing to pure chance, finds grace to his eyes. Nono published those comments in 1960, three years before bis official visit in Moscow during which he met with Schnittke and other young composers; it is not impossible that he shared these ideas with them. Nono, "The Historical Reality of Music," 44-45. 3 8  Anne MacNeil, "Commedia dell'arte," Grove Music Online, ed. by Laura Macy (Accessed 29 March 2006), <http://www.grovemusic.com>. 3 9  90  improvisation typical o f commedia dell'arte and Schnittke's treatment o f melodic materials. In the former, the scenario provides a skeleton upon which the actors elaborate. In the latter, Schnittke elaborates upon the melodies o f Mozart's piece. H e comments on the original, he quotes some parts, presenting the material in new ways. Second, there is the adoption o f immediately recognizable personae. In the commedia dell'arte, the characters are strongly stereotyped, an effect amplified by the masks worn by some o f the comedians. N o attempt is made toward realism, quite the contrary indeed. Comic effect relies on the ridiculous stereotypes o f the characters. In Mo^-Art, Schnittke adopts figures from the Classical period, but, unlike commedia dell'arte, he never hides behind an alter ego. The music preserves and cultivates the distance between the 18  th  century Mozart and the 2 0  th  century Schnittke. The works o f both composers are similar in that they are pretexts for tongue-in-cheek performances. A s in the commedia dell'arte and Mozart's pantomime, the musicians o f the original Mo^Art  wore masks. Moreover, the unconventional arrangement  of Mozart melodies, especially that o f K . 550, surprises listeners. In all cases, there is no way to know exactly what comes around the corner.  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Schnittke was not the first Russian composer to be inspired by the music o f Mozart, as evident in Tchaikovsky's Piano Suite N o . 4 "Mozartiana." D u r i n g the 1930s, Georgij Cicerin, the first Soviet minister o f foreign affairs, wrote what could be considered a Marxist study o f the composer.  40  Mozart's music, because o f its fame and what was viewed  Georgij Cicerin, Mozart: Bine Studie (Leipzig : Deutscher Verlag fur Musik, 1930,1975).  91  to be its universal appeal, was heard as addressing the collective rather than the individual and therefore supporting the ideals o f socialism. Cicerin's study was published more than 40 years after he wrote it, but as an influential member o f the Communist Party, there is little doubt his opinion influenced the doctrine o f socialist realism. Schnittke's own attitude toward Mozart is hard to define.  42  41  Schnittke idealized him  to a great extent, saying that "Mozart belongs to the rare cases o f full purity."  43  In that  sense, Schnittke subscribed to the idea that Mozart is close to perfection, perhaps divinelyinspired. H e also considered Mozart's music as stylistically diverse. In a concert review he published i n 1973, Schnittke noted how it contained remnants o f Bach as well as the seeds o f Schubert or Brahms.  44  The first work on the program—the litde-known Prelude and Fugue in C Major (K 392, 1782)—served to remind us that it was from Bach that a living thread of music stretched to Mozart. [...] Stylistic sterility ("What, nothing but Mozart?") would in principle have been impossible for Liubimov [...] Mozart carried within himself the "genes" of composers later than Beethoven. Schubert is already immanent in the slow movement of the Sonata in C Major, and Brahms in its first movement. Incidentally, the artist V . Yankilevsky [...] saw in the Prelude and Fugue in C Major a resemblance to Shostakovich's Preludes and Fugues, and he was right. Liubimov thus plays Mozart not as preserved in the eighteenth century but as alive today, as coming through the history of music and making it fertile 4 5  The last sentence o f his commentary is especially revealing and could apply to Schnittke's own experience as the composer o f Mo^-Art. The music he is writing around  4 1  Gratzer, "(K)eine Vorbereitung auf den Sozialismus," 255.  Schnittke got to know the music of Mozart and many other composers during his boyhood stay in Vienna. Pantijelew, "Das Deutsche in der Musik," 187. 4 2  4 3  Gratzer, "(K)eine Vorbereitung auf den Sozialismus," 255.  Schnittke, "Subjective Notes on an Objective Performance (on Alexei Liubimov) (1973)," originally published in Sovetsad Musryka, 2 (1974), 63-65, reproduced in A Schnittke Reader, 79-82. 4 4  4 3  Schnittke, "Subjective Notes," 79, 81.  92  Mozart's fragment does not attempt to stay in the eighteenth century. Instead, it uses K V 446 as the ground upon which music evolves, through music history, toward him. Schnittke perceived Mozart as a foundation o f modern music, a foundation itself built on Bach's heritage. Mo^-Art appears as a recent edifice erected on those old foundations.  KV446  (416d)  It is hard to say exacdy why Schnittke specifically chose the obscure fragment K V 446 (416d) upon which to base a new w o r k .  46  H e did mention that the multifaceted stylistic  nature o f the fragment offered interesting possibilities. The fact that the last two scenes 47  were missing may have also increased his interest in the fragment. Like its Mozart inspiration, Schnittke's work does not really end. A t the first performance, the musicians sang a traditional song, V lesu rodilas' elocka [In the woods a spruce was born] to announce the arrival o f the N e w Year. The thirteen surviving scenes o f Mozart's pantomime—out o f an original fifteen— consist o f many episodes o f contrasting styles. F o r Schnittke, they are a fine example o f Classical-era polystylism where the nature o f the action dictates the style to be used.  48  Mozart himself was responsible for the specificities o f the scenario, which involve the characters Pantalon (the caricatured Venetian merchant, mean to everyone but lecherous with Colombine), Colombine (the young maid, in love with Harlequin), the Dottore (the  Mozart, "Musik zu einer Faschingspantomime fur 2 Violinen, Viola und BaB," Neue Ausgabe samtlicher Werke, Serie II, 6/2 (Kassel: Internationale Stiftung Mozarteum Salzburg, 1963), 120-123. 4 6  4 7  Makeeva, "Al'fred Snitke," 20.  4 8  Ibid.  93  Bolognese scholar, rival to Pantalon), Pierrot (the young lonely lover), and Harlequin (servant to Pantalon, in love with Colombine).  49  A s seen in figure 2-2, each o f the thirteen sections is distinct as far as thematic content and style are concerned. T o ease the discussion o f thematic borrowings, I have partitioned the individual scenes into short thematic sections. F o r each scene, a number is assigned to a thematic cell. F o r example, in the seventh scene (Harlequin's entrance), the first theme is heard four times. Themes may repeat in a scene; accordingly, the fragment numbered 7.1 corresponds to the theme o f any one o f the three subsequent occurrences o f theme number 1 in the seventh scene.  50  Figure 2-2. Partition in thematic fragments of Mozart's 416d Scene Theme Meat. 1 2  3  Meter, Tempo Tonality  Te.xti'-  Appears in Mo^Art sections  .1  1-10  .2  11-18  .1  1-4  .2  5-8  .3  9-12  .4  13-15  chrom.  Colombine ist traurig.  F maj.  Pantalon thut ihr schon. Sie ist bos,  2  er wieder gut, sie bose,  2  er auch bose. Sagt dem Dottore, dass er  2  2/4  D maj.  Pantalon und Colombine zanken sich.  2/4, Maestoso  D min.  Der Dottore kommt.  1 10 Pantalon macht Cermonien, stellt ihn der Colombine zum Manne vor.  .5  16-17  .6  18-21  .7  22-26  .1  27-30  mit ihm gehen soli.  .2  31-33  Sie machen Complimente um voraus zu gehen.  .2  34-36  .8  37-38  .1  1-7  .2  8-27  1 3 10  D min.  2 i 2 6 2 i 2  2 i26 2  3/8, Allegro  Dottore sieht noch zartlich.  0  A min.  Pierrot kommt gelaufen. Pantalon, Pierrot und Dottore liegen auf der Erde.  9  G maj.  Pantalon zankt mit Pierrot und fragt ihn, was er will.  9  Mozart, who played the Harlequin character in the play, seems to have written the most extensive number for his own entrance, where the music is set like a theme and variations, with eight different contrasting themes. Obviously, he gave himself a lot of space to improvise.  4 9  When a theme could be further divided in shorter sections, and those divisions are exploited in some way by Schnittke, a letter has been added to the fragment denomination, for example 7.4a. There are almost no thematic repetitions between scenes, with only one exception: fragments 6.1 and 6.2 correspond to 7.5 and 7.6 respectively. 5 0  94  Figure 2-2. Partition in thematic fragments of Mozart's 416d SceneThemeMens. (3)  4  5  6  7  8  Meier, Tempo Tonality  Text  Appears in Mo^-Art sections  .3  28-44  G min.  Pierrot giebt die Nachricht wegen dem Tischel.  .4  45 - 59  G maj.  Pantalon befiehlt ihm, es herzubringcn. Pierrot sagt, er sei zu schwach allein.  .5  60-88  .1  1- 8  .2  9 - 19  .3  20-21  .1  1—4  .2  5-8  .1  1- 4  .2  5-8  .1  1- 7  .2  8 — 13  .1  14-21  .3  22 - 24  .4a  25-34  ,4b  35-44  .5  45 - 48 Adagio  .6  49 - 52  D min.  5 [=6.2]  .1  53-61 Allegro  Bl, maj.  i579  .3  62-65  .1  66-71  .3  72  0  .7  73 - 76  0  .8  77-80  .1  1 - 4  Pantalon geht mit ihm ab. Colombine steht unbeweglich. 2/4, Poco Adagio  C maj.  Dottore langsam auf die Knie, seufzt.  3 9z 9 0 2 6 0  4/4, Andante molto F maj.  Colombine wirft ihn urn und will ab.  0  Pantalon und Pierrot bringen das Tischel.  0  [C maj.]  0  2/2, Adagio  F maj.  Colombine ist ganz traurig. Pierrot sagt, sie soli zum Tische sitzen. Endlich geht sie.  [D min.]  Und Pierrot setzt sich auch auf einen Stuhl, um zu schlafen.  5 [=7.6]  4/4, Allegro  Bi> maj.  Harlequin guckt aus dem Kasten heraus.  i 5 7 9  Adagio Allegro  > 5 [=7.5]  D inin.  5  B[, maj.  i 5 7 9  0 7 F maj.  27 i 5 [=6.1]  0 i579  10 4/4, Allegro maestoso  46  maj.  i 4 6  .2a  5-6  ,2b  7-8  9  .1  1 - 20  4/4, Piu Allegro  E l maj.  10  .1  1- 8  2/4, Larghetto  G min.  .2  9-12  0  .1  13-16  i 3 4 7 10 11  .1'  17-25  .1  1- 8  .2a  9-12  .2b  13-16  ,2a  17-20  9  .3  21 - 39 2/4, Presto  0  11  12  i 4 6 i 7 10 Pierrot geht auf und ab, sieht den Turken.  i 3 4 7 10 11  i 3 4 710 11 3/8, Allegro  9  G maj.  9 i 9  4/4, Maestoso  2  .1  1—4  .2  5-9  D maj.  .1  10-13  2  .3  14-25  0  .4  26-28  D min.  0  .1  29 - 33  D maj.  2  .3'  34-43  i 2  0  95  Figure 2-2. Partition in thematic fragments of Mozart's 416d Scene Theme Meas. 13  Meter, Tempo  .la  1-4  .lb  5-8  .2  9-13  .3  14-21 Risoluto  .4  22-26  .5  27-33  .6  34-36  .la  37 - 40  4/4, Adagio  Tonality A min.  Text  Pierrot furchtet sich vor dem todten Harlequin.  Appears in Mo^-Art sections i 4 i 4 4  C maj.  Fasst Muth  0 0 0 0  A min.  i4  .lb  41-44  i4  .2  45-47  4  .5'  48-55  0  .6'  56 - 58  .7  59-62  0 0  Note- The symbol 0 indicates that a thematicfragmentis not used in Mo~-Art.  Combinatory Techniques In the course o f the work, Schnittke uses various means o f developing and combining styles. I have identified four such types: (1) shifts, the abrupt succession o f two different styles; (2) stratification, the vertical combination o f two or more styles; (3) stretto, the close canonic treatment o f a theme, at unison or spread along an intervallic spectrum, with the voices presented i n lengthened or shortened rhythmic values (this is certainly the most typical "Schnittkean"  development  procedure);  characteristic o f one style to another style.  (4) morphing, the application o f a  51  One other procedure will be introduced in Chapter 3: dissolving, the rhythmic (and often dynamic) scaling down of a complex texture, usually resulting in a cluster. 5 1  96  (1) Shift A stylistic shift happens when one style is abruptly followed by a contrasting style. A t measure 36 [7],  52  for example, the tempo suddenly changes to Maestoso, and the motive  1.2 is replaced by 12.1 and 2.1 (fig. 2-3). The superimposition o f four keys used in the presentation o f 1.2 gives way to the simpler D major and D minor combination employed for 12.1 and 2.1 respectively. The rhythmic stretto heard in 1.2 ends and is replaced by homorhythmic lines. There is no transition, only a blunt juxtaposition. The effect is one o f surprise, as the shifts are typically unpredictable. Figure 2-3. Stylistic shift at measure 36 [7] 29 [6]  30  31  32  33  34  2/4 (Allegretto) Vfc s. 1  D  V l n . 1-1  D  Vln. 1-2  Dt  Vln. 1-3  C  ss  36  p|  37  38  V)  4/4 Maestoso  1.2 1.2*R  1.2*R  1.2*R 1.2*R  Via. 1  B  Vc.I  D 1.2* A  Cb.  D 1.2* A  Vln s. 2  D 1.2  D  1.2*R I.2*R  1.2«R  1.2*R  1.2* A  1.2*R  12.1  D  12.1  D  12.1  D  12.1  D  12.1  D  12.1  Vln. II-1  D  Vln. II-2  Dt  1.2'R  1.2*R  D - 2.1  Vln. II-3  C  1.2'R  1.2'R  D - 2.1  Via. II  B  1.2*R  1.2*R  D - 2.1  Vc. II  D  1.2«R  D - 2.1  1.2«A  D - 2.1  Note: "A" stands for rhythmic augmentation, "R" stands for rhythmic diminution. All keys refer to major keys, unless they are followed by the minus sign used as an abbreviation for "minor." (2) Stratification Stylistic stratification is one o f the principal procedures used by Schnittke in Mo^-Art. Melodies with contrasting stylistic properties  can be superimposed  all at once, or  progressively introduced. The V i v o section (m. 185 [37]) presents an example o f the  Measures are numbered in the published score. Rehearsal numbers are given in brackets whenever appropriate. 5 2  97  former. Just after the quotation o f the Symphony N o . 40, fragments 11.1, 7.1, 3.3 and 3.1 are simultaneously played. The introduction o f Mo^-Art presents an example o f the latter approach. Twelve different melodies are introduced separately and are repeated until they are all played simultaneously. In both cases, the fragments combine different styles. In the case o f the V i v o , they are quite distinct, they seem to come from different sources even i f this is obviously not the case. Schnittke often use stratification in climactic moments, as is the case in the last Allegretto section (from m. 220 [42], fig. 2-4). Depending on the circumstances, the listeners will continue to perceive each line independently, or, they will confront a complex texture hardly distinguishable from chaos. Figure 2-4. Stratification from m. 220 to 261 22  "l  1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 II 228  2/4 Allegretto  1 »l  11111 1  |  |  |  |  |  |e,c.  Allegretto  Vln s. 1  D  1.2  Vln. 1-1  D 1.1 D  Vln. 1-2  1.2  D t 1.2  Vln. 1-3  C 1.2  Via. 1  D 1.2  Vc. 1  D  Cb.  Bt 7.S  1.2  Bt 7.8  Bt 7.8  D - 9.1  D  G - 1(1.1  1.1  V l n s. 2  B l 7.8  Vln. II-l Vln. II-2  D  1.1  B  1.2  Bt 1.2  Vln. II-3  A 1.2  Via. II Vc. II  244 |  D D  1.2  B l 7.8  1.2  D - 9.1  (3) Stretto M o s t o f Schnittke's works present different types o f stretto. The procedure involves only one melodic fragment, hence one style, which is repeated i n many voices, each starting with a slight delay. Some or all o f the voices may or may not be transposed, or rhythmically dirrunished or augmented. Mo^Arf  presents a stretto right after the Introduction: four  voices (solo violin I, violins I, solo violin II and violins II) present the theme from 1.1, all an eight-note apart, unaltered in D major. T w o other voices (alto I and alto II) present a  98  rhythmic augmentation o f the same theme, still untransposed (m. 1 [3]). The setting is repeated with more voices, some i n diminished values, most in independent key signatures (m. 11 [4]). Again, different levels o f dissonance are obtained by the process, and perfectly tonal themes suddenly take on an atonal guise when some o f the voices are transposed. M o s t o f the time, because the voices are successively added, the borrowed melody is still audible in the dense texture. A s I will demonstrate in Chapter 3, Schnittke is partially indebted to Ligeti and N o n o for this technique. Figure 2-5. Stretto from measure 1  MOZ-ART A LA HAYDN By Alfred Schnittke: © 1990 MUSIKVERLAG HANS SIKORSKI GMBH & CO. K G , Hamburg worldwide except C.I.S. International Copyright Secured. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted by Permission.  (4) Morphing Sometimes styles are not presented in their original form,- but they are transformed in a way that we can recognize the original while perceiving the changes made to it. F o r example, i n the first measure o f the Introduction, a short chromatic melodic cell is played in harmonics by the double bass (fig. 2-6). Although the theme is characteristic o f the  99  original cell, the instrumental technique used i n its production is not typical o f the Classical period. Examples o f morphing in Mo^Art 53  are rather rare, since most o f the fragments are  quoted with litde transformation besides the occasional rhythmic augmentation or diminution. The ground is more fertile i n the Concerto Grosso N o . 1 which presents a dodecaphonic waltz and a folk-tune played on a prepared piano, among other examples o f morphed styles. In each case, the new version is often heard as the combination o f divergent stylistic features and rarely as a single autonomous style. Figure 2-6. Morphing in the double bass part in the Introduction  MOZ-ART A LA H A Y D N By Alfred Schnittke: © 1990 MUSIKVERLAG HANS SIKORSKI GMBH & CO. K G , Hamburg worldwide except C.l.S. International Copyright Secured. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted by Permission.  Combination Possibilities The original dramatic context does not seem to be important for Schnittke i n order to combine fragments. Apparently, they are combined with each other for their musical value or the effect sought after by the composer. The original dramatic context does not seem to be important for Schnittke. N o t all motives are o f equal importance. In fact, o f the 49  Nothing could have prevented eighteenth century violinist from playing in harmonics. However, the technique is more readily associated with the virtuoso repertory of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Two such examples are Vittorio Monti's Csdrdds and the third movement of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto. 5 3  100  thematic cells from the thirteen scenes o f Mozart's pantomime, seventeen are not used at a l l . That leaves 32 thematic fragments that are combined i n various ways. 54  T h e motives derived from five themes, 1.1, 3.3, 7.1, 9.1 and 10.1, are used in a greater variety o f contexts than the other ones (fig. 2-7). A s summarized i n figure 2-8, they each appear in at least two different sections o f Mo^-Art (besides the Introduction) and they are combined with at least five other fragments. F o r example, fragment 1.1 is the only theme used i n the beginning, but it is used in three other sections, each time combined with other themes; fragment 3.3 is used in only two different sections, but always i n complex superimpositions. These themes have distinct defining features: 1.1 consists o f a rising motif in eightnotes, 3.3 includes a minor third presented step-wise with long note values, 7.1 is a violin line in dotted rhythms i n B\, major, while 9.1 is made o f arpeggios i n E|> major (fig. 2-7). The most pervasive motive is 10.1, a simple ascending G minor melodic scale. It appears in four different sections besides the introduction, and concludes the piece.  As mentioned above, the only other borrowings in the piece are a short excerpt from Mozart's Symphony in G minor (K. 550) and the exit of the players at the end, which recalls Haydn's "Farewell" Symphony. 5 4  101  MOZ-ART A LA HAYDN By Alfred Schnittke: © 1990 MUSIKVERLAG HANS SIKORSKI GMBH & CO. K G , Hamburgworldw.de except C.I.S. International Copyright Secured. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted by Permission.  Figure 2-8. Principal thematic combinations in Moz-Att / Sect.i 2 J 4 5 6 Meas. 2.2  1  21  36  1.1  1.2  2.1  49  43  2.4  66  2.2  33 10.1  2.4  8.2a  86  2.6  9.1  102 8.1  110  126 135 146 150 6.1  8.2 | ! i l 10.1 13.1a  2.5  7.6  8  2.2 J j j 4.1  4.1  7.2 8.1  8.1  i 185  189  3.1 7.3  193  10 201 205 212 220 228 236  7.4a  3.3 -3.3  3.3 3.4  3.4 3.5  o  2  7.1  1.1  1.2  1.2  7.8 7.8  7.8  1.2  8.2 7.4b 9 1 .9:1. 9.1  •Ml  3.1 3.2  10: i :  7.1  11.1  n 262 10.1  HI jioji  7.1 11.1 11.1  11.2a  7.4b 12.1  7  172 175 179  13.2  4.1  11.2a  154  13.1b  2.7  10.1  13.1b  61  1.1  8.2b  12.2  57  2.3  7.1  Fragi  54  2.2  6.1  S  51  2.1  2.4  2  48  13.2  12.1 12.2  13.2  The New in the Past W i t h Mo^-Art, Schnittke attempts to attack traditional conceptions o f musical time. Other composers, like Stockhausen and Zimmermann, whose scores had been carefully studied by Schnittke, also addressed the same issue. Stockhausen believed that the past, present  102  and future could be simultaneously experienced.  55  Zimmermann developed the concept o f  a "Time Sphere" where all times were reconciled. Regarding Zimmermann's Die Soldaten, 56  Schnittke indicates that "the polystylistic method emphasizes the relevance to all times o f the basic theme o f the work—it is a protest, not just o f the actual German war machine o f the eighteenth century [...]  but also against militarism anywhere at any time." F o r  Schnittke, the mixture o f the composer's style with other styles and devices renders the situations depicted in the opera relevant to all times. Schnittke adheres to the notion that 57  "things return and then go away again," that "life proceeds endlessly in a circle." Schnittke's idea o f polystylism in Machaut's masses has been mentioned before; noted how serial pointillism reminded h i m o f Renaissance hocket.  60  59  58  he also  F o r Schnittke, the past  and the present are not that different, or that far apart. W i t h Mo^-yirt, Schnittke raises the question o f what is old and what is really new in music, an idea which he also discussed in interviews and writings. F o r h i m , the desire for 61  the new is both creative and reactionary. H e also claimed that the new is always both good  In the notes for Telemusik (Deutsche Grammophon 137012), Stockhausen writes that we should hear that as "a higher unity, a universality of past, present and future, of different planes and spaces."  5 5  For more on the conception of time of Stockhausen, Zimmermann and others, see David Metzer, Quotation and Cultural Meaning in Twentieth-Century Music (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2003), 108-159. 5 6  5 7  Schnittke, "Polystylistic Tendencies," 90.  5 8  Schnittke and Ivashkin, "From Schnittke's Conversations," 26.  59 Makeeva, "Al'fred Snitke," 18. 6 0  Burde, Zum Ttben und Schaffen, 68.  6 1  See in particular Schnittke and Ivashkin, "From Schnittke's Conversations," 25-26.  103  and bad.  62  Schnittke was convinced that "the whole life is uninterrupted interaction  between what is rational, or divinely preordained, and the uninterrupted flow o f what is irrational, o f what, so to speak, has not yet 'germinated,' o f what is completely new." same observation could be made about Mo^-Art.  63  The  A s the formal analysis below will  demonstrate, there is a continuous interaction between the " o l d , " the borrowed material, and the "new," that is, the treatment o f that material. There is also a close dialogue, set i n place by Schnittke, between the various styles already contained in Mozart's fragment. In effect, polystylism in Mo^Atf  results both from the contrast between the Classical  melodies composed by Mozart and the montage constructed by Schnittke and from the contrast between the various fragments created through Schnittke's reordering o f them. The style o f each composer constitutes the end point o f a spectrum within which the work progresses, from pseudo-classical moments on one side to harsh polytonal dissonances on the other. The superimposition and various combinations o f the excerpts create unique chronological perspectives: the material is old, while its shape is very new. Mo^-Arf is to be looked at through two sets o f lenses: it is us looking at Schnittke looking at Mozart. However, before we proceed, some interpretative boundaries must be set. Mo^-Art does not tell a story in any traditional sense. It does not present Schnittke's opinion o f Mozart nor does it offer a commentary on Mozart's reception in the Soviet era.  Schnittke also links the idea of evil with the idea of the new. For him, there is a "dark irrational sphere" opposing the rational, or what is "divinely preordained," which is always focused on the new. Giving the examples of the French Revolution and of the October Revolution as some of the most terrible events of human history, Schnittke says that the "Devil pounces on what he has not yet tried." That relation will be developed in more details in Chapter 4. Schnittke and Ivashkin, "From Schnittke's Conversations," 29. 6 2  6 3  Schnittke and Ivashkin, "From Schnittke's Conversations," 25.  104  What we hear in Mo^-Art is the fragmentary reading o f a fragment by another composer. Schnittke admitted that he never tried to complete Mozart's work. W e witness Schnittke's reception o f a fragment, nothing more. O n a different level, it will be possible to assess what Mo^Art  might mean for Schnittke's listeners; only then will a narrative be possible.  That narrative might include elements from the knowledge we have o f Schnittke's own reading; but it will still be ours, not his. The theatrical elements i n Mo^Art  have been influenced by the original fragment.  The pantomime was an improvised form o f theatre, played by professional actors w h o elaborated upon a set o f directions. A m o n g those directions were the entrance o f characters, the general actions they were taking, and some specific actions relevant to the plot. M u c h o f the same happens i n Mo^-Art. Schnittke directs the musicians o n the stage and moves them between two seating plans. H e asks some o f them to leave the stage before the work is finished and indicates when the lights must turn on and off. In the version for six instruments, Schnittke has the musicians play cards.  64  Musically speaking,  the work could be said to borrow characteristics o f the pantomime tradition as well. Mozart's fragments  are interpreted  by Schnittke much like plot directions in the  pantomime: they are included in the work and elaborated upon. In fact, Mo^Art  could be  seen as a kind o f compositional improvisation.  Mo^-Art is not the only work where Schnittke adds theatrical elements. We have seen similar gestures in the Symphony No. 1. There is also the visuak cadenza of the Fourth Concerto for Violin and Orchestra. A t one point in the cadenza, the opposition between the soloist and the orchestra reaches a paroxysm and Schnittke asks the violinist to play frenetically, but without touching the strings. This setting is rife with narrative implications. 6 4  105  A s I have shown above, not all o f the chosen fragments have the same importance for Schnittke. A few are used to a greater extent than others. Fragments like 1.1 and 10.1 recur at various times i n changing configurations, while others, 2.3 and 7.2 for example, are never used i n combination with other fragments. In some parts, Schnittke brings out correspondences between fragments, while in other spots, he uses differences to create complex textures. Focusing on the most important fragments as established above, the examples below demonstrate how Schnittke turns Mozart's material into his own, how he transforms the " o l d " into the "new". A t the beginning o f Mo^-Art, the musicians play selected excerpts from the work to come. The first theme heard is 2.4, in D minor, a simple chromatic figure around the tonic played by the double bass in harmonics (see fig. 2-6, above). Eleven other thematic fragments follow with no apparent rules governing their selection other than a strong sense of contrast. The performers repeat the melodic cells in darkness until the  sudden  appearance o f the G | diminished seventh chord over a pedal A at R N 2 with cues for the turning on o f the lights. The introduction episode, set in the dark, seems extraneous to the work. Schnittke slowly and progressively exposes the fragments. W e witness the composer pulling fragments out o f thin air, choosing and ordering them. The introduction prepares us for what will follow, since every fragment heard will later be re-used. The first three fragments being predominantly chromatic, Mozart's presence becomes clear only when violin I starts theme 7.3 (the fourth instrumental entrance o f the Introduction). E v e n there, Schnittke alters the sound o f the instrument, having the phrase played sulponticello, and the constant repetition o f conflicting cells obscures the stylistic clarity o f the figure. The  106  turning on o f the lights, after the sustained chords o f R N 2 resolved in D major, marks the proper, more conventional beginning o f the w o r k .  65  Section 1 begins with the same two themes as Mozart's fragment: theme 1.1 flows directly into 1.2. A l l the parts begin in unison and in the same key as the original, but from m. 11 [4] onward there are two simultaneous versions o f theme 1.1—one i n the original guise and one variation in shorter rhythm values—which are played in four different keys, the original D major, and three others separated by half steps: in D t , C and B major (see figure 2-5, above). That chromatic texture is preserved until the end o f the section. T h e conclusion o f the last phrase is interrupted by a change o f tempo when section 2 begins, establishing a different mood. A s in section 1, the original material o f section 2 is presented at first with little modification. This time though, the two small orchestras play similar, yet conflicting themes: the first orchestra plays unison 12.1 in D major, while the second orchestra plays 2.1 in D minor (from m. 36 [7]). A s shown in figure 2-9, even i f the themes come from different sections o f Mozart's score, they are rhythmically related, notably by the use o f dotted rhythms, and both are marked Maestoso; obviously, Schnittke noted the similarity and exploited it in this passage. Moreover, instrumental lines no longer play in stretto at this point. W e hear only the two melodies played in unison by each o f the two orchestras, further enlightening the rhythmic correspondence. A similar emphasis can be heard in the following solo violin passage (m. 40 [8]) based upon themes 2.4 and 12.2, which both  The G#° /A of R N 2 can be interpreted as a secondary dominant vii° /V followed by the dominant A ( ) in the first solo violin, resolving in D major at measure 1. 6 5  7  7  7  t9  107  feature chromatic motion; or, in the cadenza-like Iwo-violins episode (m. 154 [29]), where 66  the two melodies (9.1 and 7.4b) follow a similarly rising pattern built around a step-wise progression toward B i ( E b - F - G - A - B t and F - G - A - B l , respectively, see fig. 2-10). Figure 2-9. Similarity of fragments 2.1 and 12.1, combined from measure 36. Maestoso  •tr  2.1  0-0  0  4  *»•  A  13=  Maestoso  •tr 12.  MOZ-ART A LA HAYDN By Alfred Schnittke: © 1990 MUSIKVERLAG HANS SIKORSKI GMBH & CO. K G , Hamburg worldwide except CI.S. International Copyright Secured. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted by Permission.  Figure 2-10. Cadenza-like episode of measure 154. Allegro 9.1  Vln. solo I  p 7.4b Vln. solo II  MOZ-ART A LA HAYDN By Alfred Schnittke: © 1990 MUSIKVERLAG HANS SIKORSKI GMBH & CO. K G , Hamburg worldwide except CI.S. International Copyright Secured. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted by Permission.  The two fragments 2.4 and 12.2 were already paired in the introduction, as the first two being played. The similarity between them is more clearly presented here. 6 6  108  In section 3, the emphasis is upon thematic contrast. The long notes i n 3.3 become a counterpoint to the shorter values in 1.1 (m. 66 [16]). The sustained notes in fragment 3.3 are used in various places and always contrast with the surrounding material. The two themes are later joined momentarily by 10.1 (m. 76 [17], fig. 2-11). In section 9, the sustained notes o f 3.3 in the violoncello contrast with the highly animated lines o f the violas and violins (m. 185 [37]). Used in different contexts, the 3.3 fragment takes on various roles as a counterpoint or accompaniment figure; it provides contrast at the same time that it supports other melodic material.  Figure 2-11. Contrasts around fragment 3.3, measures 66, 76 and 185. Allegretto  109  Figure 2-11. Contrasts around fragment 3.3, measures 66, 76 and 185. Vivo  P  MOZ-ART A LA H A Y D N By Alfred Schnittke: © 1990 MUSIKVERLAG HANS SIKORSKI GMBH & CO. K G , Hamburg worldwide except C.I.S. International Copyright Secured. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted by Permission.  The work reaches a climax from m . 220 [42] onward i n section 10, where strettos, superimposition o f themes, and progressive entrances provide a fugal-like conclusion to the work. Resuming the initial tempo, the Allegretto introduces two themes (1.2 and 7.8) in the low strings. F r o m there on, the two themes are taken by other instruments. When the 67  two solo violins enter at m. 236 [44], five different thematic fragments (1.1, 1.2, 7.8, 9.1 and 10.1) sound together, creating the most complex structure o f the work besides the Introduction (fig. 2-4, above). The result is a texture which, in spite o f its heterogeneity, is not totally incoherent. A l l o f the themes are based on binary rhythmic figures and, at least  The first instruments to play are the double bass (7.8) and the cellos I and II (1.2). The viola I and II are introduced at m. 228 [43]; they both play 1.2 while theme 7.8 goes in the viola parts and a new theme is played by the double bass (1.1). A t measure 236 [44], the two solo violins are added, they play 1.2 and 7.8, respectively. Like before, other themes swap places. Finally, the six remaining instruments, the violin I and II sections, are introduced at measure 244 [45]; they take over theme 1.2. 6 7  110  at the beginning o f the section, they all have a similar shape, an upward motion which reaches a rest at the end o f the line (m. 242-243). More dissonance is introduced when the 1.2 theme is duplicated i n six different keys a semitone apart (m. 241). A l l o f the lines are suddenly interrupted by the soloist's cadence at m. 256 [46]. D u r i n g the conclusion o f the section, the two soloists play an augmented version o f the 1.2 closing figure. However, this time, Schnittke adds a chromatic counter-melody (adapted from 7.2) in the second solo part which is transposed down by a semitone at the end, resulting i n a conclusion on the unresolved interval o f a major seventh. The final Andante is entirely built around a stretto o f the 10.1 theme, which is central to the work. Present in the Introduction, this theme is a simple rising G minor melodic scale (fig. 2-1, above). The same theme has been heard i n section 3 as a countermelody; it is one o f the most-used fragments in section 4; it returns i n section 7, this time i n a complex thematic stretto; and, it is played by the double bass i n the final fugue-like build up. In the conclusion, the 10.1 fragment is set in 8 voices, against a tritone (Fjf-C) i n the low strings, a sustained major seventh in the second soloist part, and a chromatic oscillation around E (from D to Gt) i n the first solo violin, reminiscent o f the first two figures o f the Introduction which too presented chromatic motion around a central pitch (D). A pedal C is introduced in the double bass and cello I shortly after, a tritone away from the F | o f cello II (m. 270 [48]). The combination o f all parts creates an eerie atmosphere, i n which the constant repetition o f the same phrases, in stretto against the dissonant harmony, takes the listener back to the Introduction. B y going back to the  111  beginning, the last section provides a sense o f closure to the work. There is little Mozart left at this point.  Meaning and Narrative A t the risk o f being repetitive, let me emphasize that the possible narrative offered by Mo%Art, like all narratives, resides in the listener's mind. In the present case, the fragmentary nature o f the work directs attention toward what is missing, toward the lost portions o f Mozart's fragment. The listener witnesses Schnittke's appropriation o f the original material and, from there, elaborates a narrative which includes both composers as actors and the music as the subject. But since the fragmentary nature o f Mo^Art—like  the pantomine  fragment—seems to support a succession o f undetermined and unprecise actions, multiple planes o f significations may be developed. A first narrative hypothesis is that Mov^-Art might be a simple joke using Mozart's music. The material chosen by Schnittke, however, complicates such a conclusion. If the work was merely an innocent play on classical music, he could have used better-known excerpts and attained his goal much more easily and efficiently. Mo^Art  is surely a lighter  piece than most other contemporary fare, but it is not a mere joke. Moreover, that Schnittke returned to the same material four more times should suffice to prove that he considered the piece as a serious contribution to his oeuvre. In fact, he expressed the belief that music can be serious and frivolous at the same time.  68  Alfred Schnittke and Vadim Vernik, "Interv'ju s Al'fredom Snitke," Vam rasska&vaet artist: monologiidialogi, edited by Eduard Cerkover (Moscow: Iskusstvo, 1992), 111. 6 8  112  A second possibility is that Mo^-Art offers the commentary o f one composer on another. Schnittke is building upon Mozart's work by placing stringent constraints on the whole enterprise. Using almost no new material, he nevertheless turns the material into his own; but the traces o f the transformations are apparent, the original themes can easily be identified as well as the processes applied upon them. The questions that arise are easier to ask than to answer. Here are some o f the queries that come up as the piece unfolds: (1) A t the beginning, fragments are slowly introduced one by one, just as i f they were grasped out o f the void by the musicians. Where do they come from? W h y are they transformed? W h y do the musicians play in the dark? Schnittke seems to approach the material with caution. F o r the listener, the effect is like closing one's eyes to hear distant melodies coming from many directions at once. The gathering melodies may simulate the inspiration o f the composer or portray a trip back in time to the Classical period. (2) Once each musician has something to play, diminished chords resolve to a D major tonic and the work properly begins as the lights are turned on. A t first, minimal transformations are applied to Mozart's music, and the beginning o f the Mozart original is reproduced i n a stretto, where voices, like echoes, create a blurring effect. Shortly afterwards, the voices are transposed and Mozart's music is heard through a distortion filter. H o w is Mozart's music affected by the harmonic distortion? Is there a hidden message? (3) W i t h no transition, the Maestoso theme brings forward a more  serious  atmosphere. F r o m here on in, the music alternates between identifiable Classical figures and other fragments which, by their treatment, sound relatively modern even i f they are  113  from the 18 century. Such a transformation can be heard at m. 51 [11], where the soloists' th  chromatic theme is grafted on to chromatic parallel chords (fig. 2-12). The chords are derived from the 2.4 fragment played by the solo violins. The rhythm is simplified and the C# is omitted. T h e violins play six transpositions o f the adapted theme, while the violas and cellos play the inversion o f that same motive. The result is far from the sound world o f the Classical period. What is the signification o f the themes and combinations chosen by Schnittke? Is it relevant that some themes are used more often than others? Figure 2-12. Chromatic transition at measure 51.  MOZ-ART A LA H A Y D N By Alfred Schnittke: © 1990 MUSIKVERLAG HANS SIKORSKI GMBH & CO. K G , Hamburg worldwide except CI.S. International Copyright Secured. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted by Permission.  (4) The tempo slows down when the two orchestras gradually merge. The Adagio lamentoso section which follows is unique in the work for its melancholic character. The musicians are hastily separated again when the Maestoso section resumes. The theatrical elements are so tightly tied to the music that they are not to be considered independently.  114  In sections 4 and 5, the two orchestras behave like two characters setting aside their differences to collaborate toward the same goal. The atmosphere  is suddenly more  peaceful. This section can be explained musically as the inclusion o f a slow section in the middle o f the work. However, that does not explain the on-stage movements o f the musicians or their temporary reunification. D o the theatrical actions follow the music, or is it the other way around? Maybe the two behave i n a kind o f dialectic relationship. A n eventual narrative could address any one o f the two possibilities. (5) The complexity o f the work increases  toward the  final  build-up which  constitutes a tour-de-force combination o f diverse thematic fragments. The cumulative effect o f the music at this point is very strong. Schnittke explores the combinatorial possibilities offered by the fragments and fully exploits them. However, as the music becomes more complex and dissonant, more and more o f Mozart is lost. In fact, therein lies a paradox; the more melodies o f Mozart that are added, the less they are identifiable as such. (6) The end o f the piece evaporates into an ascending, and anonymous, G minor melodic scale played as the musicians leave the stage. Does the fundamental scale mean that the work does not belong to anyone? A r e the musicians taking their music with them? Is the travel i n time coming to an end, or are Schnittke's eyes closing? A n d why does the conductor continue to beat time? T o make clear that time never stops, even when the music is gone? The reference to Haydn is rather obvious, but is there any greater significance to it?  115  The answers belong to individual listeners. There is little definitive extra-musical meaning in Mo^-Arf, but lots o f narrative triggers. The dislocated elements are numerous, the foregrounded events are evident and impossible to ignore. The sense o f a narrative is unavoidable.  Conclusion The referential complexity o f Mo^Art  is such that it is impossible to define a single  narrative. M o r e important is the peculiar use o f fragmentary writing, which in turn allows various narratives to appear, even i f the results are unclear and cannot be unanimous. The characters could be Mozart and Schnittke, but also Pantalon, Colombine, the Dottore or Harlequin. The time and location are unspecified and, in fact, the distance between the past and the future is conjugated in the present. Nevertheless, the sense that something is missing and must be completed by the listener is obvious. This is the power o f fragmentary writing which is exploited by Schnittke. Mo^Art  does not possess a clear program, but that makes little difference to the  listener. H e is compelled, on the one hand, to witness the disjunctions, the fragmentation, and the gaps in the musical texture and, on the other hand, to witness the transformations and the new arrangement proposed by Schnittke. The result is a paradigmatic scheme, made o f clearly outlined semantic entities, which, because they come from carnival music, fit conventional types. However, that result itself constitutes another fragmentary space, which can be re-ordered and re-arranged. Mozart's fragments seem to be stuck i n a perpetual interpretative circle. Schnittke's decision to use no new material is especially relevant in that it prevents the completion o f the fragment. A s a consequence, any sense o f  116  wholeness, i n the form o f a narrative or in any other form, has to be inferred by the listener. Like many o f Schnittke's pieces, Mot^Art is a work o f contrasts and oppositions. Mo^Art  embraces many relationships: between the past and the present, the old and the  new, the light and the serious, the similar and the contrasting, the personal and the universal. W i t h borrowings o f Mozart's fragment, the past is turned into the present; the old is brought into the new. With Schnittke's work upon fragments, the present is taken back i n time; the new is brought into the old. The work adopts a light tone, full o f surprises and combinatorial trickery; yet it begins and ends seriously with dramatically eerie chromatic passages. Correspondences between fragments are sometimes underlined, and r'  differences are often amplified. A t times, it seems that Schnittke's voice is predominant, while at others Schnittke seems to hide behind Mozart. That leaves a work which is neither totally old nor new, a work which is neither totally Schnittke nor Mozart, a work which plays upon the distance between the old and the new, between Schnittke and Mozart. Mo%Art is a fragmentary work where the attention is focused on what is missing, on the "presence o f an absence"; it is a work where the gaps ask to be resolved and to be explained.  117  C H A P T E R 3: C O N C E R T O GROSSO N O . 1 OR T H E "UTOPIA O F A UNIFIED STYLE'  After the turmoil surrounding Symphony N o . 1, and the generally negative consequences for his career, Schnittke relied increasingly on film and cartoon music in order to make a Hving. E v e n i f the composer was never blacklisted in the strictest sense o f the term, he still had to face numerous obstacles to the performance o f his works: scores were sent to wrong addresses or were simply refused for performance and publication. What seemed to 1  have hurt h i m the most was the restriction against traveling abroad, even to attend concerts o f his own music. In spite o f such obstacles, Schnittke's works were performed by a 2  growing number o f musicians, notably famous soloists like G i d o n Kremer and Y u r i Bashmet as well as such conductors as E r i Klas and Gennadij Rozdestvenskij. Kremer, who was already well known i n the West, would play a large role in Schnittke's career by commissioning works and by finding ways for the composer to travel outside o f the Soviet Union. In 1976, Kremer suggested to Schnittke the idea o f a Concerto Grosso, and the work was finished the following year. The Russian premiere took place in Leningrad on 21 3  March 1977. The violinist was then the leader o f the Lithuanian Chamber Music Orchestra,  1  Ivashkin, Alfred Schnittke, 95.  2  Ibid., 127.  3  Ibid., 146.  118  and hired Schnittke as the harpsichord player in the ensemble. In that capacity, he joined the group i n a foreign tour and for the first time the composer could hear his works performed i n Europe. They performed the Concerto Grosso N o . 1 i n Vienna and also visited the St. Florian Monastery, where Bruckner is buried. Meanwhile i n Moscow, 4  rumours started to spread that both Kremer and Schnittke would not return to Russia. Schnittke never had such intentions, but Kremer had planned not to return unless he was granted official permission to travel without restrictions—a privilege he eventually won, the first Soviet musician ever to do so.  5  Ivan M o o d y argues that the Concerto Grosso N o . 1 "is really a commentary on the idea o f the Baroque concerto grosso, almost as though Schnittke did not quite dare write a real one." M o o d y does not say why Schnittke would want to write a "real" one, but the 6  work does bear many characteristics o f the genre. It features two solo violins, which oppose an orchestra composed o f the standard strings section [66441] and a harpsichord which is replaced by a prepared piano at the beginning o f the work. T h e relatively small string section and the exclusion o f winds and percussion contribute to the overall Baroque  A visit to Bruckner's burial place provided the inspiration for Schnittke's Symphony No. 2, the early title of which is "Invisible Mass." One of the three musical principles upon which the Symphony is constructed is the series of natural harmonics which is also important in Concerto Grosso. During the same trip, Schnittke went to Paris as a consultant for a production of Tchaikovsky's Queen of Spades. The production of the Paris Opera was placed under the direction of Urij Lubimov and Gennadij Rozdestvenskij. They had decided to read Pushkin's text during intervals between scenes. Schnittke ultimately wrote music to accompany those readings. A devastating article about the project published in Pravda led to the cancellation of the whole project. The polemic made Schnittke's name very popular, and triggered concerts and commissions. Ivashkin, Alfred Schnittke, 141, 146-149. 4  5  Ivashkin, Alfred Schnittke, 146-149.  6  Moody, "The Music of Alfred Schnittke," 4-5.  119  sound o f the work. The work is divided into six movements: (1) Preludio, (2) Toccata, (3) Recitativo, (4) Cadenza, (5) R o n d o and (6) Posdudio.  *** Schnittke addressed the issue o f combining different styles in the Vienna program notes cited in the introduction and reproduced here. I dream of the Utopia of a united style, where fragments of ' U ' (Unterhaltung) [entertaining] and ' E ' (Ernst) [serious] are not used for comic effect but seriously represent multi-faceted musical reality. That's why I've decided to put together some fragments from my cartoon film music: a joyful children's chorus, a nostalgic atonal serenade, a piece of hundred-percent-guaranteed Corelli (Made in the USSR), and finally, my grandmother's favourite tango played by my greatgrandmother on a harpsichord. I am sure all these themes go together very well, and I use them absolutely seriously. 7  O n the surface, Schnittke's dream seems to contradict the very idea o f polystylism. H e says he wants to create a unified style, an ideal which, once attained, would seemingly annihilate the very notion o f many concurrent styles in a work. However, like other composers, Schnittke's desire is first and foremost to combine apparently irreconcilable idioms, in his case popular and serious styles. H e never says that he wants them to disappear in a synthesis; rather, he "sought a synthesis o f styles, juxtaposing different elements, that would yet allow each element to retain its individuahty." Schnittke adds that it is 8  impossible to solve musical problems such as the abyss between musical spheres through rationalism, dogmatism, or dialectical technique: "The synthesis must arise as a natural longing, or through necessity." That explains why his generation has not yet succeeded and why it "may be the challenge for the next generation." Because he does not think that a 9  7  Schnittke's notes are reprinted in Ivashkin, Alfred Schnittke, 140.  8  Schnittke and Polin, "Interviews," 10.  9  Ibid., 11.  120  synthesis o f popular and classical styles is possible, he calls it a "pure Utopia," yet that never prevented h i m from attempting i t .  10  Schnittke's Utopian ideal is a goal shared by many composers o f the 1960s, including Rochberg, Stockhausen and Pousseur, but he deals with it from a different perspective. The reaction against the rigidity o f serialism is apparent i n the return o f musical quotation, which became a way to restore what had been excluded i n the 1950s. Composers o f the 1960s tried to connect elements which were apparently unrelated and to create new links where none supposedly existed.  11  Zimmermann, for instance, considered  time as a sphere where past, present and future were equidistant from the center. In Music for the Magic Theatre, Rochberg adopted a collage technique he called "ars combinatoria," drawing his sources from the past and combining them with old and new materials. In Tiymnen, Stockhausen blended a very familiar type o f music, national anthems, with unfamiliar sounds produced by electronic means. A t the end o f the work, he uses the blends to create the image o f a perfect world, a peaceful country. Pousseur believed that a unified musical realm could be a model for social organization. Schnittke's Utopian goals 12  are o f a different sort. H i s Utopia is purely musical; he shows no consideration for social concerns or the circularity o f time. In fact, his only desire seems to be able to utilize what he called the unwanted layers o f his musical consciousness. F o r him, it is simply necessary "to experience all the musics one has heard since childhood."  1 0  13  Ross, " A Shy Frail Composer," CI3.  For a more complete description of the Utopian ideals of composers in the 1960s, see Metzer, Quotation and Cultural Meaning, 108-159. 11  1 2  Henri Pousseur, "Composition and Utopia," Interface 12 (1983), 75-83.  1 3  Schnittke and Polin, "Interviews," 11.  121  In accordance with Schnittke's ideals, the Concerto Grosso is for the most part quite the opposite o f a stylistic synthesis. In the space o f six relatively short movements, one can hear a folk-tune, a tango, Vivaldian figurations, the B A C H musical monogram , 14  and various chorale melodies set either tonally or i n clusters (fig. 3-1). In fact, at least twelve different stylistic features can be defined: Figure 3-1. Main stylistic elements A Simple, child-like folk tune: the first theme to be heard; tonal; the theme reappears i n various places, including the end o f the Toccata, just before the Posdudio  B Chromatic oscillation: oscillation around a pair o f pitches, often approached by successively larger intervals.  C Aggregates: partial cluster formations  Schnittke used the B A C H monogram in many works such as the Sonata N o . 2 (1968), the Prelude in Memoriam Dmitri Shostakovich (1975), and the Piano Quintet (1972-76), among others. In those works, even more than in the Concerto Grosso, it becomes the "center of intensive morphological modification." Ivashkin, "Shostakovich and Schnittke," 262. 14  122  D Chorale: the theme is named "Chorale" by Schnittke in the sketches; it builds upon itself i n phrases o f progressively longer lengths.  E Toccata theme A : it clearly exhibits Baroque traits, with rising scales and perpetual motion sixteenth notes.  F Toccata theme B : it features modulating sequences.  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  1 0 II  1 2 1 3 1 4 1 5 1 6 1 7 1 8 19  4 vie  4 vc  20  2 1 22  23  24  25  26  27  Vni II  28  29  30  31  Vni I  H Waltz: dodecaphonic waltz-like episodes, with reference to B A C H monogram i. 1  123  frj'  32  33 3 4  124  L Cadential figures: tonal harmonization o f a closing figuration V. R o n d o p> ---  •  r  -  \f 1  1  f f r f .r — W  Agitato  allacca  CONCERTO GROSSO NO. 1 By Alfred Schnittke: © 1990 MUSIKVERLAG HANS SIKORSKI GMBH & CO. K G , Hamburg worldwide except C.I.S. International Copyright Secured. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted by Permission.  The  twelve basic styles can be grouped under three categories:  folk/popular,  classical, and modern as shown in figure 3-2. Schnittke muddies the boundaries between the categories; the overlap is represented by the use o f arrows. F o r instance, the first movement begins with the child-like folk tune, but it is played on a prepared piano which could evoke a badly tuned house piano or the modern usage o f the instrument as made famous by J o h n Cage. The tango is played on the harpsichord, and the waltz is dodecaphonic. Other styles are developed through modern means and often lose their classical bearings. Dotted arrows on figure 3-2 represent explicit relations between styles i n the work: the waltz uses pitches o f the B A C H monogram, and the Rondo theme retrospectively seems to have been composed with the tango in mind. In general, individual styles are never set in an enclosed, autonomous fashion; rather, they permeate, contaminate and pollute each other, giving a sense o f unity to an otherwise fragmented work.  125  Figure 3-2. Categories of stylistic elements Baroque / Classical  fEl Toccata - A  Modern  TBI Chromatic oscillation  C o m p l e x stretto  F l Toccata - B  Folk / Popular  fAl Folk-tune On a ptepared piano  Aggregate  C o m p l e x stretto  fll BACH  [HI Waltz  Verticalized  Dodecaphonic  TGI C and overtones 13'" to 3 3  ra  P I Chorale  overtones  FJ1 Rondo  [Kl Tanao On a harpsichord  fU Cadential fiaure  In Chapter 2, I made a distinction between fragments and the fragmentary. In short, fragments are incomplete parts o f what was once a whole, whereas the fragmentary is a space i n which those fragments can be related together. A similar observation may be made about Schnittke's use o f styles in the Concerto Grosso. Here, each style constitutes a fragment taken from a specific realm: the tango from dance music, Vivaldian figurations from the Baroque era. The styles are used in the same fragmentary space—the work—and as a consequence o f the application o f transformational processes, new relations are created. Some o f the processes are standard musical procedures like canons, imitations, inversion, augmentation and transposition. Additional processes need to be defined or adapted to better correspond with the specificities o f polystylism. Four o f these processes were previously described in Chapter 2: shifts, stratification, stretto and morphing. One  126  more will be added here: dissolving. Moreover, many developments result i n a kind or another o f clusters which will be described below, but for the listener, they are often recognizable as a "clusterization" /wta-process.  15  Various forms o f clusters appear throughout the Concerto Grosso. Generally speaking a cluster is any group o f adjacent notes sounding simultaneously. However, as that type o f configuration abounds i n Schnittke's works, the following discussion, for the sake o f clarity, will distinguish between large clusters including all twelve tones, partial clusters, and a cluster-like texture, almost unique to Schnittke, which I call a "fabrica," the Latin equivalent o f the English word "fabric." Fabrica is created by the extreme application of processes like stretto, dissolving or stratification.  16  The resulting musical texture attains  such a degree o f complexity that a state o f harmonic stasis is reached. While the overall result, on the surface, is most often heard as cluster, each o f its constituents is finely organized following a set o f strictly applied rules, like the individual threads o f a fabric. Only with the help o f a magnifying glass can the organization be perceived. Schnittke describes the process and its outcome: The stasis arises as a consequence of the levelling influence of an abundance of homogeneous elements that could in themselves be dynamic but are neutralized by a dogmatic, total adherence to the technique. When a canon comprises five imitating voices, they are still audible. But when there are thirty or forty of them, all that can be perceived is the global result, a dense, slowly swaying web of interweaving lines. 17  Kirsten Peterson summarized four types of stylistic changes: "stylistic shifts," "stylistic collapse," "stylistic layering," and "stylistic overlap." Peterson's "stylistic shift," "layering" and "overlap" correspond to my "shift," "stratification," and "morphing" respectively. "Stylistic collapse" corresponds more or less to "dissolving" or to one or another means of "clusterization." Peterson, "Structural Threads in the Patchwork Quilt," 82-91. 1 5  16  The progressive construction of a fabrica will be designated as "clusterization."  17  Schnittke, "Static Form: A New Conception of Time (1970s)," in A Schnittke Reader, 150.  127  In his article, Schnittke was drinking about Ligeti's orchestral works (Apparitions [1956-59], Atmospheres [1961], hontano [1967] and Ramifications [1968-69]); however, such an outcome is so frequent i n Schnittke's works that they strongly characterize his o w n style. Differing from Ligeri, Schnittke occasionally uses more than one theme i n imitation, resulting i n a superimposition o f two or more strettos.  18  Concerto Grosso No. 1 What follows is not a thorough analysis o f the score; rather, it focuses upon specific events happening o n the stylistic plane that are relevant to the elaboration o f an eventual narrative. In fact, the elaboration o f the narrative depends on a double-axis process: the first axis is the recognition o f styles over time. In the present case, styles are confined to sections o f at least a few measures. Consequendy, the starting point must be what could be called a middle ground somewhere between pitch and form analysis, i n other words, a syntactic analysis o f styles. Because the meaning o f a specific style depends on the context o f its usage, the second aspect is the establishment o f relations between the many occurrences o f a same style. The result could be called a paradigmatic analysis o f the styles. References will be attached and ordered along that double-axis. In summary, the analysis o f the narrative process is divided in three stages: (1) the elaboration o f an analytic synopsis o f styles i n which the emphasis is placed on syntactic and paradigmatic aspects, (2) the exploration o f the referential aspects i n order to inform styles with meaning, and (3) the ordering o f styles and references i n a chronological narrative.  One example of pardy heterogeneous fabrica is the stratification of strettos at m. 136 [21] of the second movement. 1 8  128  Synopsis The six movements o f the Concerto Grosso play different formal roles. The preludio (1) establishes an eerie atmosphere which is reprised in the posdudio (6). Together, the two movements frame the work. M o s t stylistic development occurs i n the middle three movements. The toccata (2) is longer and can be divided in many episodes o f contrasting styles. The recitative (3) is an extended elaboration on a chorale-like theme. The orchestra is silent i n Cadenza (4). The rondo (5) is set in more or less standard form and constitutes the most stylistically diverse portion o f the work.  First Movement: Preludio The movement begins with the child-like folk-tune on the prepared piano (fig. 3-3). The "out-of-this-world"  sound produced by the modified instrument  creates a dreamy  beginning. Tonally centered on C , emphasised by the pedal tone, this tune, like many beginnings i n Schnittke's music, raises false expectations for the rest o f the piece; rarely is the innocent feeling to be found again. The soloists are introduced just afterwards, playing chromatic oscillations with inversions, sustained by a faint aggregate in harmonics by the low strings (m. 12 [l]). The soloists abrupdy break the oscillation pattern by shifting to 19  disjunct descending lines (m. 25). The chorale is introduced over the string aggregate by one o f the soloists (m. 31 [4]) and developed through the build up o f a cluster with the addition o f the second soloist in imitation, and the introduction o f double-stops, and later  The score of Schnittke's Concerto Grosso N o . 1 has been published by Sikorski Edition (SIK 6625). Even if measures are not numbered in this edition, the traditionally metered musical notation makes them easy to count for every movement but the fourth. I am starting to count from number 1 for each movement. Rehearsal numbers are given in brackets, where appropriate. 1 9  129  of three and four-note chords. Meanwhile, the addition o f the folk-tune in the harpsichord creates stylistic stratification (m. 48). The choral theme continues in the whole string section in the first jabrica o f the work (m. 55 [7]). In what could be considered a codetta, the soloists play a variation o f the oscillatory motive, now moving by descending ninth or ascending seventh instead o f half steps (from m. 60 [8]). The second movement follows attacca. Figure 3-3. Stylistic elements i n the first movement  Stretto Stratification  « 5  o CO  Oscillation [B]  fabrics >•  Chorale [D]  Folk-tune [A]  [B]  1  [D]  [Bl  [ ~ \  0>  i o  [A] 12 [1]  [2]  26 [3]  29 31 [4]  [5]  48 [6]  55  [7]  60 64 [8]  Second Movement: Toccata The square 4 / 4 o f the allegro toccata, with its Baroque figurations, creates a strong stylistic shift away from the preceding movement (fig. 3-4). The two solo violins play the Toccata A theme i n A minor, in imitation at a quarter note delay. The accompaniment soon uses the Schnittkean stretto principle, this time in 8 voices, each statement a quarter note apart (m. 6 [1]). The result is a complex texture, where the Baroque figuration is always audible, however muffled and confused. The Toccata theme B with its repeated-note motive follows, now with the soloists imitating a measure apart. It too is developed in a Schnittkean stretto, this time with each voice starting on a different pitch (m. 31 [6]). The Toccata theme A returns and is developed to create a fabrica section (m. 52-59 [11]). The dense sonority resolves to a sustained C-major chord, over which is superimposed the folk-  130  tune theme played by the harpsichord (m. 60 [12]) with the two violins playing C major figurations  that accentuate pitches from the folk-tune theme. Similarly, the sustained  strings progressively begin to play fragments from that theme in harmonics, culminating in a full cluster (m. 77). Meanwhile, the soloists become more and more frenetic and, after climactic simultaneous glissandi, they begin a twelve-tone waltz (m. 78 [14]), occasionally interrupted by fragments from previously heard materials, such as the transposition o f the toccata theme (m. 82). The pitches included in the three interrupting tremolo-like passages successively spell: B A , B A C , and finally B A C H (m. 85 [15], 93 [16] and 101 [17]). After much turmoil, the second toccata theme returns in m. 121 [19], again in a close stretto and this time alternating with the waltz melody. The movement ends with a stratified texture comprised o f the waltz played by the soloists, the second toccata theme in the violins, the first toccata theme in the lower strings (each in a chromatic stretto), and the folk-tune in the double basses (m. 139). Figure 3-4. Stylistic elements i n the second movement  Stratific. Stretto Stretto  fabrica  Stretto  T o c c a t a [E]  S t r e t t  fabrica  T o c c a t a [F]  .  fabrica  S h i f t s  I  Folk-tune [A]  m  [F]  [E]  °  S I  I  H  I  I  Waltz [H]  !  [A]  m  1  C [G]  stratific.  S h i f t s  1  I  H  I  fabrica  !  [H]  [H]  h  ; J  [E]  ! B a c h [1] !  i  Stretto  [F]  i  [A]  1  6 31 [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]  [8]  [9]  [10]  52 [11]  60 [12]  68 [13]  78 [14]  82  121 [15] ...[19]  129 [20]  136 [21]  139 [22]  Third Movement: Recitativo The third movement seems to take off where the first one ended (fig. 3-6). Twice, the chorale theme is developed in stretto by the orchestra and dissolves into partial clusters  131  (Et, D and D t , m. 13-17; B , C , D t , F , Ffl, G , m. 38-41). This movement is by far the most stylistically coherent o f the work, consisting mostly o f expanding chromatic figures o f increasing density. D u r i n g the course o f the movement, the two soloist parts become more and more aggressive and intense, with frequent outbursts (especially m. 18-25, 41-47 and 83-101). In these cadenza-like sections, the soloists imitate each other, although more i n rhythm and expression than in pitch content. Just after the last o f these outbursts, at the summit o f the last long build up, they quote short excerpts from two famous violin concertos: Tchaikovsky's and Berg's (m. 102 [11], 106, respectively).  20  In spite o f their  brevity, the borrowings stand out because they are surrounded by frenetic lines, which are partly improvised. The Tchaikovsky quotation is immediately repeated by the second soloists, albeit transposed up by a whole step. It is certainly not by chance that the Tchaikovsky fragment chosen by Schnittke alludes to the B A C H signature (fig. 3-5). Moreover, that Berg's Concerto quotes Bach is common knowledge. Figure 3-5. Quotation of Tchaikovsky and Berg's Violin Concertos Berg Tchaikovsky  CONCERTO GROSSO NO. 1 By Alfred Schnittke: © 1990 MUSIKVERLAG HANS SIKORSKI GMBH & CO. K G , Hamburg worldwide except CI.S. International Copyright Secured. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted by Permission. K  20 Schnittke's use of pre-existing material here is somewhat reminiscent of what he has done in his cadenza for Beethoven's Violin Concerto, in which a condensed history of the genre is presented. Watkins, Pyramids at the Louvre, 427-432.  132  A t the end o f the movement, over the complex quarter-tone fabrica created by the entire string section except for the double bass, the two soloists explode in two lines which have very little i n c o m m o n (m. 107-111). A l l the parts but the first soloist end with the highest playable note. Figure 3-6. Stylistic elements i n the third movement  dissolving  So/o;;  Stretto  s  Stretto  Osc. (BJ  dissolv.  [B] + [D]  [D]-»Cadenza  Chor. [D]  i  [D]  m  c3 1  13 [1]  17  col ^Stretto f fabrica  Stretto  [D] -» Cadenza  Tchaikovsky  Cluster  Berg  Cadenza  [D]  26  38 41  48  53 55  [2]  [3]  [4]  [5]  102 [6]  106  107  [11]  Fourth Movement: Cadenza In the fourth movement cadenza, the soloists begin with the oscillation material and develop it in four following phrases (fig. 3-7). In each o f these phrases, as it was the case through much o f the work so far, the second violin seems to answer the first one, roughly imitating its motives, often in an approximate inversion. The second violin then plays a whole note trill on Bt, followed by the first violin on A , and so on with C and Bt] completing the B A C H monogram (62/1/1-4 [4]). The following section consists o f rapid 21  figurations  which show no clear organisation principle and dissolve i n "improvisato  simile." A cadential figure in C ( I / G - i / G - N / G - I V - v i i ) serves as both a conclusion to the 6  07  cadenza and as an introduction to the next movement (62/5/1 [5]).  The omission of bar lines at various places in the cadenza makes measure numbering difficult in the movement. Consequendy, I use the (Page/System/Measure) system here.  21  133  Figure 3-7. Stylistic elements in the fourth movement  Imitation  Imitation Oscillation [B]  61/1/1  Oscillation [BJ  BACH  [B] -> C a d . [B] -» C a d .  Cadenza  61/2/2  61/3/1  61/4/2  62/1/1  [1]  [2]  [3]  [4]  C a d -> Improv.  62/2/1  C a d . figure [L]  62/5/1 [5]  Fifth Movement: Rondo Schnittke calls the fifth movement a rondo probably because o f the periodic return o f the rondo theme.  22  The movement begins like a prolongation o f the cadential figure played at  the end o f the cadenza (fig. 3-8). The harpsichord plays C minor chords in arpeggios (m. 115) supported by a C pedal in the strings (m. 15-33). Meanwhile, the violins begin the rondo theme consisting o f Vivaldian sequences (m. 3 [1]). The material is developed i n a polytonal Schnittkean stretto creating a progressively denser texture as more and more instruments are added. W i t h an abrupt shift, the oscillation motive and the chorale theme return (m. 33-46 [6-7]). Transposed voices are added i n a stretto increasing the level o f dissonance (m. 47 [9]). The folk-tune emerges i n the solo violin lines and other parts, sometimes over a harmonisation o f the B A C H monogram (m. 53 [10]). The rondo theme returns stated along with the folk-tune now given to the harpsichord (m. 71 [12]). The  stratification ends abrupdy when the harpsichord embarks o n the tango  (m. 91 [14]), certainly one o f the least expected genres in a "baroque-ish" concerto grosso. The soloists present the tango melodies and a counter-melody, the latter o f which draws  The form of the movement could be described as A B A C A D * , where A stands for the rondo theme at measures 3 [1], 71 [12] and 133 [19]; B for the first development section (m. 33-70 [6-11]); C for the second one, which includes the tango (m. 91-132 [14-18]); and D * for the final build up section from m. 160 [24], where the rondo theme also reappears.  2 2  134  upon the Vivaldian sequence motive in the rondo theme (vln. solo I, m . 99 [15] to 103). Retrospectively, it is as i f a part o f the tango was implicitly present i n the music from the beginning o f the movement.  23  The tango also retains the semitone motives and violin  imitation characteristic o f the preceding music. A full 12-tone cluster supports a bridge-like section (m. 106-115) leading to the return o f the main tango theme in stretto made up o f all possible transpositions (m. 116 [17] to 123). While the complex texture dissolves i n successive clusters, the two soloists reappear with the tango theme (m. 124-132). Another rondo  section emerges,  beginning with  a return  to  the initial  C  minor figuration (m. 133 [19]). The climax o f the movement builds the most complex stratification o f the entire work with the second toccata theme, the chromatic oscillations, the first toccata theme, the tango theme, and the rondo theme all piled on top o f each other (m. 174 [27]). This complex section ends with the same cadential figure presented at the end o f the cadenza, transposed up a semitone to C# major, thus framing the  fifth  movement (m. 186). The folk-tune in the prepared piano comes back (m. 190 [29]), this time over a quarter-tone cluster which dissolves slowly in an ascending motion, ending in a very high register. F o r Schnittke, those high pitches correspond to the overtones o f the fundamental C (see fig. 3-1, element "G," above). Appropriately, a final pedal C is added in the last measure by the double bass (m. 200). The return o f the preludio theme strengthens the sense o f closure. The work as a whole could plausibly end there closing the same way it  This counter-melody is also present in the tango of Life with an Idiot. Its combination with the tango melody in the Concerto Grosso is thus more than a simple superposition of two different themes: even if it is not clear from the beginning of the movement, the rondo theme is in reality derived from one of the tango counter-melody, and not the other way around. 2 3  135  began. A s Ivashkin states, the return o f the folk-tune truly adds an "extra-structural framework" to the w o r k .  24  Figure 3-8. Stylistic elements i n the fifth movement Shifts *  Stretto  111 1  fabrica  Stretto  "  "  ^  (J]  Rondo  [D]  fab. "> Stratif. diss.y fabrica  [K]  [K]  •  Tango [K]  [K]  [J]  [J]  •Dis Cad.fig.[K]  [J]  [K]  [F]  [A]  BACH  13 [1] [2]  •£ OT  tstretto  [G]  j[B]; ;[B] Folk[A]  I Stretto  [J]  [J]  Pedal C [G]  S"°  3  s  [J]  [J]  I  <* *  t S^tStratif.^ [A]  0  Toccata [F]  [G]  Toccata [E]  [A]  Chorale [D]  15 25 33 38 47 53 62 71 83 91 95 99 106 [3][4]..[6].[8][9][10] [12] ... [14] [15] [16]  116 125 [17] [18]  133 144 152 160 174 [19] .. [21] [22] [24/6] [27]  186 [28]  190 200 [29]  Sixth Movement: Postludio The postiudio begins with the cluster from the previous movement simply flowing into it (fig. 3-9). The violins play chromatic oscillations i n harmonics, and the piano, a deep low C, sometimes followed by sforzando chords i n the upper register. A brief reminiscence o f the first toccata theme appears i n unison stretto (m. 16-18), and the movement dies i n a pppp cluster, above a pedal C. Figure 3-9. Stylistic elements i n the sixth movement Stretto  [B]  [B]  [B]  [B]  [B]  Cluster (C overtones) -> [G]  Orchestra  Solois  Stratification  O s c . [B]  [G]  [G]  [B]  ""'ipp  Pedal C [G]  [G]  [B]  [G]  [G]  [G]  Toccata [E]  3  4  6  7  10 11  13  14  16  [1]  2 4  Ivashkin, "Shostakovich and Schnittke," 261, 263.  136  19 20 [2]  22 23  24  25  The thematic material o f Schnittke's Concerto Grosso N o . 1 presents an unusual diversity o f styles. The Baroque outlook suggested by the genre is present, although clearly only from the second movement on. However, the toccata and rondo themes are confronted by popular idioms like the folk-tune and the tango, modern clusters, and a dodecaphonic waltz. E v e n i f these styles often oppose each other, the result is—perhaps paradoxically— clearly identifiable as a whole. The prelude reappears at the end o f the rondo and in the postlude. The B A C H monogram is present in many movements, including i n the Waltz and the V i o l i n Concertos borrowings. E v e n the tango counter-melody exhibits a Baroque tinge. In that light Schnittke's assertion that "all these themes go together very w e l l " is hard to contradict; after all, polystylism is Schnittke's own peculiar style.  References The above synopsis describes how styles are shifted, stratified or dissolved over the course o f the individual movement and shows where the stylistic gaps occur. Because o f its polystylistic nature, Schnittke's work creates a web o f meaningful associations; it is an epistemic nexus in the fullest sense o f the term, and extra-musical references abound. However, it is when stylistic disjunctions are related together by the listener that gaps can be resolved and explained. Each style bears some connotations which are to be related to those o f other styles. Schnittke used and combined all these stylistic devices in a meaningful way for him, and an attempt to reconstitute this referential network can enrich our own interpretation o f the work. The examination o f documents, sketches and other elements o f what Gerard Genette would call the "paratext" offers insights into Schnittke's own conceptualization o f  137  his w o r k .  25  In the present case, two types o f documents are especially enkghtening: the  sketches, which include a programmatic note, and other works by Schnittke from which he borrows. These two types o f materials offer specific possibilities and consequently they demand different  treatment. Sketches and self-borrowings will thus be dealt with  successively.  Sketches A s elements o f the paratext, the sketches belong to what Genette calls the private epitext. A s Schnittke wrote sketches for his own use, the sketches suppose the presence o f a first addressee standing between the author and us: the author himself. However, it would be 26  a mistake to think that these sketches were to remain forever private; i f that was to be the case their author would have destroyed them. In the present case, the sketches are available and it would have been naive to think that no one would ever consult them. A s Genette writes: "the pre-texts available to us [...] are by definition manuscripts that their authors indeed wished to leave behind."  27  In short, sketches tell us what the composer was willing  to let us know. Schnittke's sketches  for the Concerto Grosso provide fertile seeds for  the  construction o f a narrative. According to Alexander Ivashkin, director o f the Center for Russian Music and in charge o f the Schnittke Archives, the sketches I have been able to  Evidendy, that chain of referential elements could spread even further, encompassing the realm of each listener's knowledge; however, for the purpose of this thesis, it will end relatively close to its epistemic nexus, the work. Gerard Genette, Paratexts: Thresholds of Interpretation, translated by Jane E . Lewin (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), 371. 2 5  2 6  Genette, Paratexts, 371.  2 7  Ibid., 396.  138  study at the Goldsmith College o f the University o f L o n d o n have never been examined before. They can be divided into three sets. The first set o f sketches presents general ideas about the work, its instrumentation and the order o f movements. The second set includes a tentative narrative and schematic philosophical and psychological ideas, and the third set consists o f orchestral score paper and contains mosdy musical notation, along with some schematic elements and a few textual explanations.  Sketches: Program General ideas for a program are written on a single sheet, mosdy in German with some words in Russian (LS 10, figure 3-10). The first thing that stands out is pairs o f opposed 28  concepts, clearly attributed to the original performers. Schnittke proposes three kinds o f relations between them: "dialogue," "antagonism," and the "representation o f the two sides o f an entity," i.e., "anima and animus." Following his habit o f punctuating enthusiasm, the composer set the third kind o f relationship apart with an exclamation mark. In summary, an individual is opposed to the collective unconscious and is split in two: the anima and the animus, or the person and the soul. In other words, there are two main characters, implicitly a man and a woman (here G i d o n Kremer and Tatiana Grindenko, the original performers) and the orchestra, associated with the collective unconscious. Schnittke adds that it is impossible to tell who is who, since they each bear a part o f the other in them, and thus they are alternately both.  The letters " L S " stand for "London sketches." For practical reason, I have numbered the sketch sheets of each set in the order they were presented to me. N o attempt has been made to recreate the chronology.  2 8  139  Figure 3-10a. London Sketches, sheet 10.  •  H~^vir  Tit**.  j 1  u  ^> - ~ u , . c  U  L  &VW  —> ,AvvWt*> J  ^  ^  >M>61,CyuA*^  © The Schnittke Archive at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Reprinted by Permission.  140  ————  '  e ^GM O K PJ^ TmA ^  1  ^^,  ^  Figure 3-10b. Translation of London Sketches, sheet 10.  29  Concerto for 2 violins Relation  1) dialogue (2 individuals) [orchestra - supporting rhythm [?]) 2) m m o p t i o n antagonism [ orchestra - the third force - or someone's ally) J 3) [individual and „soul" (Anima [man] Man -> Anima ! Woman -> Animus) orchestra - collective subconscious ]  Individual and ..soul". Man -> Anima 1 direct connection with G o d Woman Animus Orchestra — collective subconscious — or Church [Episode, in which the orchestra brings forward (although y indistincdy expresses) ideas that later emerge in the soloists' parts ] as  et  Who is Person and who is Anime? Both in turn. Dynamic manifestation as a growing discord between person and anima. Culmination — spiritual rupture. Solution — transfer of all discord to higher transcendental regions, where the dissonances appear as unities (dissonances are shifted into the highest octaves, a fundamental tone with overtones i inserted below so that the dissonances sound consonant). s  Change in the orchestra's function — the greater the spiritual rupture of the double-person — the more stubborn and orthodox is the attitude of the collective - leading to a pinnacle of dogmatic-religious attitude rigidity (where thus the internal rupture of the double-person is through  att h e s a m e  time  a dispute with the exterior world).  Musical Material. 1) „Resolution" - C with many overtones (up until the 32th, or the 16 . 2) „Dissonances" - Atonality, glissandi, quarter tones, aleatoric, aperiodic fty rhythm 3) Q quasi-diatonic (beginning) - # free groups of tones, with second-steps etc 4) dogmatic diatonic th  2 9  This translation is by John Roeder and the author.  141  The concepts " A n i m a / A n i m u s , " "Persona" and "Collective Unconscious" allude direcdy to Carl Jung's writings, even i f Schnittke does not mention either his name or writings in the concerto sketches or in any published interviews. According to Jung, the collective unconscious, one o f the three levels o f mind, is hereditary and includes many archetypes: the persona, the anima/animus, and the shadow among others.  30  Briefly put,  the persona is the facade one exhibits publicly; for instance, it is what enables one to be polite with people one dislikes. It is the outward face o f the psyche. In a sense, it opposes what Jung calls the anima for males, and the animus for females, which is the "inward" face o f the psyche, the hidden and suppressed complement o f the opposite sex that exists in each individual.  31  O n a separate sheet (LS 1, fig. 3-11) Schnittke notes that death is to be seen as the separation o f I (man and ratio) and II (spirit, shadow, and emotio). H e also references Papageno and Papagena, the famous characters from Die Zauberflote. In addition, the word "spirit" is accompanied by the word "shadow," and a reference  to Adalbert v o n  Chamisso's Peter Schlemihl is placed underneath. The German classic tale tells the story o f a man who sells his shadow to the devil in exchange for a magic purse, only to find out that a man without a shadow is not accepted by others. The devil agrees to give his shadow back, but this time asks for his soul in return; Peter refuses the pact. H e finally throws the purse away, and begins a journey back to salvation.  0  The two other levels of mind are the conscious and the personal subconscious.  1  Together the anima and the animus are referred to as Syzygy.  142  Figure 3-11. Excerpt of London Sketches, sheet 1.  I -  nenoBeK  II - A y w a ,  TeHb  OpK. - >KM3Hb  cat [ft CMepTb  OTAeneHwe  I  OT  ) The Schnittke Archive at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Repnnted by Permission.  In Jungian terms, the shadow is the archetype representing one's own gender i n the psyche; as such, it opposes both the anima/animus and the persona. Indeed, whereas the persona can be tamed i n order to fit the expectations o f others, the shadow presents animal instincts, and by extension creativity and inspiration, all part o f the irrational which opposes the rational. H o w the shadow archetype corresponds to Peter's shadow is open to conjecture, and the psychological and philosophical interpretations  o f the tale are  numerous. Obviously, the richness o f the tale inspired Schnittke. Schnittke's interest i n the Peter Schlemihl story mirrors his fascination with the Faust legend.  32  In both cases, a young man makes a deal with the devil i n exchange for  knowledge or wealth. The similarities end there. After the deal, Schlemihl's existence is made difficult by his missing shadow; he is rich but rejected by others. In contrast, Faust lives a fabulous life during the twenty-four years o f his devilish pact. Moreover, the  32 Schnittke and Ivashkin, "From Schnittke's Conversations," 29.  143  outcomes for each character are strikingly different: Faust refuses redemption, renews his deal two times and is ultimately put to death, his soul lost forever. Schlemihl refuses the last gift from the devil, throws away what he previously received from him, and begins to expiate his sins. Schnittke chose to save Faust for a later project, the Faust-Cantata, but he may have drawn inspiration from Schlemihl for the Concerto Grosso, especially in the way the second violin often follows the first one, behaving like its shadow. The presence o f a man and a woman as main characters may have been a consequence o f the choice o f soloists—Kremer and Grindenko. Lines in the sketches often bear the initials o f their first names, G[idon] and Tfatiana], i n the margin. Moreover, Schnittke considered using their musical signatures. Using the letters in each name, he devised two melodic fragments and combined them in a short theme (LS 8, fig. 3-12). The theme, however, cannot be found in the final work. It is thus assumed that Schnittke refrained from incorporating it in the work at an early stage o f the composition.  144  Figure 3-12. Various kind of dualities in London Sketches Ratio Man Shadow  Chamisso's Peter  Emotio  Woman  Soloists in  Schlemihl  Schnittke's  Person Soul  Anima Animus  sketches Papageno Papagena  Gidon Kremer Tatiana Grindenko  The Schnittke Archive at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Reprinted by Permission.  F r o m the sketches, the following program can be inferred. The person and anima are two sides o f a "double-person" that is separated as the music builds i n intensity. T h e divergence o f the two sides is influenced by the intervention o f an underlying force, represented by the orchestra. A l l the entities undergo some sort o f transformation. The discord between person and the anima reaches "transcendental regions," and the orchestra, representing the collective unconscious, becomes more "stubborn and orthodox," until it reaches a state o f "dogmatic-religious" rigidity. I f the two violins represent the person and the  anima, and  the  orchestra  the  collective unconscious, the  force  dividing  the  "doppelperson" is depicted by various types o f "dissonance," which, as identified by Schnittke at the bottom o f the sketches, include quartertones, atonality, glissandi, random pitches, and non-periodic rhythms. A s noted in the sketches, by pushing those dissonances  145  to registral extremes, a point o f non-differentiation is reached where the dissonances appear as unities. The sides o f the "doppelperson" are to be united again by the introduction o f a root i n the orchestra: dissonant pitches serving as the overtones o f a fundamental. Schnittke presents his "solution" as the reunification o f the person and o f the anima/us in "transcendental regions." Jung uses the exact same words in his theory.  33  The  psyche is ariimated by three principles o f operation. The first is the principle o f opposites. Every wish suggests an opposite. The tension between the two creates energy, i.e. libido, which has to be released i n some way. T h e principle o f equivalence implies that for any amount o f positive energy released through an action, a similar amount o f negative energy has to be released. I f that energy is repressed, it can build into a complex, which can be alleviated over time by the principle o f entropy, through which all systems tend to run down, their energy being equally distributed. The dissolution o f complexes attenuates the divergences between archetypes, and leads to a state o f transcendence, in which the individual can accept h i m or herself with all o f his or her contradictions through the union o f conscious and unconscious content. F o r Schnittke, the soloists should ultimately reach that "transcendental" stage.  See Carl Jung's essay "The Transcendent Function," in The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche, Vol. 8 of Collected Works, Bollingen Series 20 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1972), 69-91. Jung wrote his essay in 1916 but it was first published in 1958. 3 3  146  Sketches: Movements Schnittke's sketches describe much more than a program for the work. Various notes i n the sketches pertain to the instrumentation and to the order o f movements.  34  A m o n g the  many versions o f the name o f movements which are reproduced on various sheets, the only invariable factors are the presence o f the recitative as third movement and the posdude as the last. The first movement is sometimes called "canon" or "introductory lyrical prelude"; the second movement, "fugue" or "toccata"; the third one, "choral and recitative," the fourth one, "aria" or "dialog," and the fifth one, "drama" or "toccata."  35  E v e n i f Schnittke seems to have hesitated between many different possibilities, the ideas conveyed by some o f those tides found their way into the final version. F o r example, the prelude presents, admittedly like most o f the movements, various forms o f canons, especially between the two soloists. The tango in the fifth movement could have been an aria even i f the idea o f "dialog" is much more appropriate. O n what seems to be a very early sketch, Schnittke places a large question mark between two framing movements, here named "introduction" and "epilogue" [LS 9]. The introduction is divided i n two parts: "dialog (unified style)" and "contrast (varied style)"—both concepts are hard to pin down  The first version asks for 12 string instruments in a 43221 formation; the proportions were later changed to 66441, for a total of 21 musicians. Not all the sketches add up to the same result. O n one particular sheet, instruments are grouped in three groups of eight or ten, with a note concerning the 30 instruments that would be needed in the last case: "it drops off for lack of two contrabasses." The precise signification of those numbers is far from evident; however, it proves that Schnittke considered the number of voices as significant, and consequendy carefully planned the accumulation sections in order to reach a precise goal. As a result, additions and multiplications can be found in the margins of numerous sketches. 3 4  3 5  One version specifies seven movements, adding a "development" to the work.  147  in the final score—whereas the word "union" which qualifies the "epilogue" is obvious i n the program.  36  Sketches: QuasiThe idea o f approximation or incompleteness is present in many aspects o f the work and this is reflected in the sketches. Musical elements are developed in sections tided with the common prefix "quasi-." O n one o f the sketch sheets, four such labels are illustrated: "quasi-periodic," "quasi-serial," "quasi-diatonic," and "quasi-chromatic" (LS 8-9).  37  Each  category is followed by a short notated example. The quasi-chromatic mode inserts quarter-tones to the chromatic scale. The quasi-serial and quasi-diatonic ideas, given the number o f crossed-out versions presented, seem to have been the most problematic for Schnittke. Apparently, the quasi-serial mode has been transmuted i n "a tonal effect" that can be obtained in three different ways: "the triad," "the fourth/fifth," or by using "more  Details about the "material" to be used between the outsets are written out elsewhere (LS 9). Schnittke lists intonation, chorale, "low genres (violin with jazz, Viennese waltz, cabaret etc.," and more importandy, "tonic (only at the end!)." The idea of chorale is developed in more detail. To a simple note about a "quasi-periodic" rhythm succeeds an ambiguous note about "using the following material: 1) path, 2) at the cemetery, 3) after the torture, 4) execution, 5) before the execution." The exact meaning of these references is still unclear. They might designate excerpts of a movie for which Schnittke wanted to reuse these materials, or they could be the principal events of a tentative narrative. However, in that last case, the chronological inversion of the "execution" and "before the execution" is hard to explain. The last remarks pertain to the chorale, for which Schnittke enumerates three "intonation versions: 1) diatonic, 2) chromatic, and 3) V* t." Also possible are: "1) scale in fourths, 2) in fifths, 3) in sevenths, 4) in ninths." Finally, two modes of expression are listed: "1) chorale in precise imitations, and 2) chorale in heterophonic imitation." 3 6  In fact, the prefix "quasi-" does not always appear, there are a number of instances where only the word "diatonic" is presented. However, in that case, the musical material does not present a stricdy diatonic melody, but rather a melody based on an unusual succession of tones and semitones. 3 7  148  than three diatonic steps." T w o rhythmic figures are given for the "quasi-periodic" mode, 38  the first one showing a sequence o f attacks, some o f which are slighdy extended by the addition o f a thirty-second note, the second by placing accents on the quarter-notes that were extended i n the above line. T h e resulting rhythm resembles the one o f the chorale, but only to a certain extent (fig. 3-13). Figure 3-13. Quasi-Periodic as notated in LS 8 and the Chorale theme  J Jj|j J JJ|J J j j j | j J J JJ|J JJ|J J J j j j j j | JJ  A  |J J J |J J J | J J J J A  A  A  A  A  | J J j J J J J J |e, A  A  A  © The Schnittke Archive at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Reprinted by Permission. CONCERTO GROSSO NO. 1 By Alfred Schnittke: © 1990 MUSIKVERLAG HANS SIKORSKI GMBH & CO. K G , Hamburg worldwide except C.I.S. International Copyright Secured. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted by Permission.  Sketches: Tango Versions o f the tango, the two toccata themes, and the chorale appear on various sheets, with some enlightening annotations. F o r example, a chromatic scale which is superimposed in different octaves is described i n the margin as "the gradual stratification o f spirit." Just below it is a new statement o f the chorale pitches, and besides them the words "soloists counterpoint, resistance o f the chorale." The exact meaning o f these statements is hard to  A final category, called "quasi-statica," has no musical examples attached to it (LS 6). Schnittke simply noted "c.f. [???] Ligeti." I have shown above how for Schnittke the fabrica sections, made of multiple imitative lines, create a sense of stasis. Obviously, Schnittke is indebted to Ligeti's works. 3 8  149  assert; nonetheless, they probably refer to the end o f the third movement, where both soloists play in question-answer fashion above the complex chromatic movement o f the strings sections (from m. 53). This interpretation is supported by the mention o f a "preclimax episode" right afterwards, which corresponds well to the same location in the work.  39  Self-Borrowings A s part o f the private epitext, sketches provide insights into the compositional process. A s such, Schnittke's notes about the sources o f his inspiration can influence our own perception o f the work; his program provides departure  points and establishes a  conceptual framework from which further interpretations can be derived. The situation is notably different in the case o f self-borrowing. Here, we are not concerned with the paratext,  but rather  the intertext. The following discussion depends  on a double  hypothesis. Firsdy, it supposes that Schnittke quotes himself because the excerpts he uses carry a similar meaning in different contexts. Secondly, even i f the preceding premise proves false, the same quotation used in different contexts keeps some o f its original signification determined in large part by its intrinsic cultural associations.  40  In all cases,  whether or not Schnittke wanted us to trace these quotations back to their origins, the  Other thematic material present in the work is worked out in the sketches. The folk-tune, for instance, is sketched for four different purposes: the introduction in the prelude (m. 1), its return in the second movement at the harpsichord and violins (m. 60), in the fashion of the violins in the fifth movement (m. 53), and the conclusive one at the end of the same movement, this time on the prepared piano (m. 190). In the two cases where the piano is used, a note specifies that the instrument must be amplified, but only the last occurrence mentions that it must also be prepared: "prepared piano (with amplification) through dynamic. Timbre - dissociated 'pitches', i.e. detuned three strings." 3 9  4 0  Chapter 4 will examine that possibility in more detail by using the tango as case study.  150  narrative experience will depend on the listener's own familiarity and competence to deal with them. A s with the First Symphony, the Concerto Grosso is direcdy indebted to some o f the composer's music for films and cartoons: the B A C H harmonisation comes from Glass Harmonica (Andrej Hrzanovskij, 1968), the tango from Agony (Elem I<limov, 1975 and 1985), the Vivaldian sequences and the cadential figure from Butterfly (Andrej Hrzanovskij, 1972). In each o f the films, the styles are given a precise function and definite meaning. In Glass Harmonica, a film about greed and authority, the B A C H motto appears as a magic formula bringing good feelings and relief to people. In Agony, the tango is heard each time the protagonist, Rasputin, has to choose between good and bad deeds, between virtue and sin. In Butterfly, the Vivaldian sequences accompany the love dance o f two butterflies and the cadential figure marks a turning point in the plot. These thematic elements which also play fundamental roles i n the Concerto Grosso will be approached as examples o f intertextuaUty. F o r each, I will show how Schnittke relied on the inherent connotations o f the borrowings to support extra-musical ideas in the Concerto Grosso, whether they originate from a film scenario or, in the present case, become part o f the Jungian inspired narrative o f a polystylistic work.  BACH The B A C H monogram appears in many works besides the Concerto Grosso No. 1, and trying to understand which images prompted Schnittke to use it i n an animated movie can certainly help to understand the meaning he attributed to those four notes. A s mentioned in Chapter 1, Schnittke's collaboration with Hrzanovskij on Glass Harmonica is one o f the principal inspirations o f polystylism. T h e film borrows from paintings o f Brueghel,  151  Magritte and others. It uses visual quotations i n the manner o f a collage with the borrowed images meant to be recognized as such and their respective origins identified. M u c h like Schnittke's later music, Hrzanovskij's movie uses borrowings as referential elements, forcing the viewer/listener to refer to other artworks and to construe meaning from them. A short summary o f the plot will show how this goal is achieved. There is no dialogue in Glass Harmonica but the film begins with a written prologue on the screen: "Although the events o f this film are o f a fantastic character, its authors would like to remind you o f boundless greed, police terror, the isolation and brutalisation of humans in modern bourgeois society." The first images o f the film show people counting, hiding or asking for money. The glass harmonica is heard playing the B A C H monogram right afterwards when the story continues: " L o n g ago a craftsman created a magical musical instrument, and called it: T H E G L A S S H A R M O N I C A . The sound o f this instrument inspired high thoughts and fine actions. Once, the craftsman came to a town whose citizens were in thrall to a yellow devil."  41  The craftsman loses the glass harmonica when he is arrested by a policeman whose image is taken from Magritte (fig. 3-14). In this film, the man represents the "police terror" and by extension, state oppression. H e controls the people with his money. Incidentally, greed and envy are portrayed as transfiguring people, even turning some into animals. The people begin to walk to the sound o f an atonal march, marked by the beating o f a giant drum conducted by Magritte's man, resulting in a grotesque procession.  Andrej Hrzanovskij, Steklannaa Garmonika (1968), from the D V D Masters of Russian Animation, vol. 1 (Chatsworth, C A , Films by Jove: 1997). 41  152  Figure 3-14. Borrowings in Glass Harmonica  Magritte's Policeman and Brughel's Tower of Babel © Film Fund of Animation Film Studio "Soyuzmultfilm" © 1997 Films by Jove Reprinted by Permission  After a shot o f the man in front o f Brughel's Tower o f Babel, dead butterflies displayed o n a wall are revived by a ray o f light coming from the sun to the music o f the B A C H monogram. Apparendy, the power o f the glass harmonica is now diffused by the sun. A young boy returns with the magical instrument and begins to play. People slowly return to their human state and follow the young man and his instrument in a procession. M e n declare their love; the rich give to the poor, flowers are thrown i n the air. Magritte's  153  man, though, comes back. H e arrests the boy and destroys the glass harmonica; however, this time, people are no longer controlled by his money. They repair the city's giant melodic clock making it play the B A C H theme. This time there is nothing Magritte's man can do to silence it. Schnittke held Bach's music in high esteem, he even conferred upon it a mystical power. Bach's music produces its own form of physical effect, although not one of loudness or harshness. In fact, one could call it a spiritual effect. But in Bach's music one ceases to be conscious of the boundary between what is spiritual and what is physical, or, to be more precise, the spiritual is a continuation of the physical, not something quite distinct from it. 42  That Schnittke chose to portray a cluster o f good sentiments by using the musical transliteration o f Bach's name is thus not fortuitous. In the movie, this theme is a character in itself; it represents goodness, collaboration and sharing. It is a positive force, able to counter "police terror." It frees people from slavery to money, the "yellow devil." Schnittke thought the B A C H monogram would be the best representative o f such a positive force. The theme also undergoes a very important transformation. A t first, it is the invention o f a single man, whose power is not sufficient to counter oppressive atonal forces. A t the end, it is shared by all in such a way that the people do not need the craftsman's invention anymore; they can build one on their own together. In a sense, the glass harmonica and its melody have become part o f the collective. A s demonstrated below, the two soloists in the Concerto Grosso experience a similar transformation. D u r i n g the course o f the Concerto, the B A C H monogram sounds four times. In the second movement, it appears in a sequence o f sixteenth-note chords that  4 2  Schnittke and Ivashkin, "From Schnittke's Conversations," 9.  154  interrupts the waltz, successively spelling B A , B A C , and B A C H (m. 85, 93, 101, fig. 3-15). Between these occurrences, the soloists exchange the waltz theme, beginning with a different permutation o f B A C H as the first four notes o f a twelve-tone series.  43  The  sequence clearly refers to a note in the sketch where Schnittke states that it is impossible to tell which is which o f "Person" and " A n i m a " ; they are both in turn.  44  In this context,  B A C H might denote the influence o f the collective unconscious upon the protagonists. It is slowly emerging from the orchestra and finding a place in the most incongruent position, in a dodecaphonic waltz, as remote from Bach as possible.  Although every line completes a 12-tone series, it is impossible to fit the different series into the same dodecaphonic matrix.  4 3  The exchange of roles also points back to two interleaving lines drawn besides the words "Ratio" and "Emotio" on LS 1 (see fig. 3-12, above)  4 4  155  Figure 3-15. Exchange of the waltz theme and B A C H aggregate spelling.  f j * f fTT^r r r r r + + 4.4. B  H  c  Lr'V C  A  B  H  r.,r  T  T  P  ?  ?  T  r  P  T ? ? ? i  etc  H  C  rm an  A  CONCERTO GROSSO NO. 1 By Alfred Schnittke: © 1990 MUSIKVERLAG HANS SIKORSKI GMBH & CO. K G , Hamburg worldwide except CI.S. International Copyright Secured. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted by Permission.  In the Recitativo, the B A C H monogram is a faint reminiscence, a shadow among the quotations o f the Berg and Tchaikovsky's concertos (m. 102, fig. 3-5, above). In the fourth movement, the B A C H motto returns i n a more recognizable form, pitches spread out over different registers, but emphasized by trills and crescendos (62/1/1-4). The theme is also placed i n evidence: it is preceded and followed by a few seconds o f silence (fig. 316). Moreover, that appearance in the soloists is markedly different from the previous ones: instead o f being hidden i n the works o f other composers or i n a waltz, it appears here i n a deliberate fashion, i n whole notes, separated by pauses forming parentheses that seem to have no other function than to emphasize the motto.  156  Figure 3-16. B A C H in the Cadenza, mvt. IV, from 62/1/1  CONCERTO GROSSO NO. 1 By Alfred Schnittke: © 1990 MUSIKVERLAG MANS SIKORSKI GMBH & CO. K G , Hamburg worldwide except CI.S. International Copyright Secured. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted by Permission.  Before the appearance in the Cadenza, the B A C H monogram has been presented as a subtle but nevertheless unmistakable presence. Considering Schnittke's program, the theme may act as an effect, or symptom, o f the collective unconscious: it emerges from clusters i n the orchestra, it is used as the first four pitches o f a dodecaphonic series, and it is subdy referred to by the Berg and Tchaikovsky's V i o l i n Concertos. The role o f the motto is different in the Cadenza. It triggers a rare moment o f collaboration i n a movement where the soloists are clearly divided. When it returns in the fifth movement, the B A C H monogram, with the same harmonization used i n the Glass Harmonica movie, accompanies a polytonal canon built from the folk-tune melody by the soloists and harpsichord. F o r this last appearance, the B A C H monogram appears exclusively in the orchestra. Retrospectively, it seems that the collective unconscious, represented by the monogram, is closely linked to the orchestra. Schnittke's sketches association clear.  157  also make that  Tango W i t h the tango, another rich relationship develops between the Concerto Grosso and an earlier film.  45  The exact same theme that Schnittke describes as "his  favourite tango played by his great-grandmother"  46  grandmother's  appears at various times i n Agony, a film  about the life and death o f Rasputin, the famous mystic who played a role in the fall o f the Romanov dynasty  47  The character o f Rasputin is ambiguous. H i s doctrine combines  aspects o f spirituality and religion with depravity: for him, humility can be attained by the expression o f sins. The duality o f this character is depicted by having the spiritual Rasputin succumbing to his sexual desires. The melody appears in two guises, either as orchestral background or as the song o f a woman. The first time it is heard, Rasputin, coming back from talking to the Tsar's advisors, sees the Baroness and is instantly attracted to her. H e jumps o n the stairway, climbs toward her and forces her to kiss him. T h e tango begins as soon as Rasputin lays his eyes on the woman and becomes very prominent when an officer frees her from his embrace.  48  In the second guise, the theme is sung by a woman's voice  when Rasputin learns that a motion against him will be submitted at the D u m a . H e leaves by a side door and picks up the phone, saying that a lady "sings to seduce him." Just a few seconds later, the lady is there and undresses. Rasputin goes from attraction to repulsion and ultimately rejects her. In the second part o f the movie, when Rasputin is asked to place the Tsarevich on the throne, he receives another phone call and hears the same tango  4 5  Schnittke's use of the genre of the tango will be discussed in more details in Chapter 4.  4 6  Schnittke quoted by Ivashkin in Alfred Schnittke, 140.  4 7  The same tango melody also appears in Schnittke's opera Life with an Idiot (1991).  The situation quickly degenerates with most people taking sides with Rasputin. Finally, the colonel is arrested, and Rasputin leaves as a free man. 4 8  158  melody sung by the same woman, who now agrees to meet him. In the next scene, he is seen with the singing lady but, just as Rasputin is taking the.lady to bed, a group o f priests enter the r o o m and put him to trial. It turns out that the lady and her song were a lure. Later, the tango is played at the organ in a dissonant fashion, just before Rasputin is invited to eat a poisoned meal. It is heard again when Rasputin recognizes the singer on a portrait at Prince Feliks Usupov's house. The mysterious woman is the Prince's wife Irina, the tsar's niece, and the whole setting is a trap. Rasputin tries to find Irina and the tango is heard once more. Instead, he finds the men who have plotted against h i m and who will soon kill him. H i s last words are that "angels are singing." It comes as no surprise that Schnittke chose the tango to capture seduction. F r o m its obscure origins, the genre was associated with sexual desire, being used in dances in the brothels o f the poor areas o f Buenos A i r e s .  49  The tango expresses ideas o f masculinity,  even machismo, but also o f sensitivity, eroticism, and desire. In the movie, it is used as a leitmotiv, as the chant o f a seductress who pulls the self-proclaimed priest toward his fate. Rasputin, succumbing to a sensual slavery, is seduced by the music o f the lady who serves as bait. The tango symbolizes his inner demons, his attraction toward sin, and the desires he cannot resist.  50  A s far as the Concerto Grosso is concerned, it is not immediately evident that the tango symbolizes evil, or that it acts as some sort o f bait, or even that it should be seen as a negative force. When the tango is heard in the fifth movement, it resembles more a  Gerard Behague, "Tango," Grove Music Online, ed. L. Macy (Accessed 18 May 2005), <http://www.grovemusic.com>.  4 9  Schnittke often uses the tango to portray evil, metaphorically or literally. This will be discussed in Chapter 4. 5 0  159  solution than a problem. F r o m the beginning o f the fifth movement, the soloists seem to be trying to join forces: they are like the butterflies o f the Hrzanovskij's movie, moving together in a love dance. However, as in the movie, their desire to unite will face numerous obstacles, be it the young boy who catches the butterflies, or i n this case, the increasing dissonances o f the orchestra... and the tango. A s the tango episode progresses, it becomes clear that the music is not heading toward a synthesis, but rather toward fragmentation.  51  When the strings play the tango melody in a complex chromatic stretto that dissolves into a cluster, there is no place left for the innocent feeling o f the beginning o f the movement. The texture becomes more and more dissonant and forms a complex fabrica in which all other styles melt away. After all, the tango was a dream. Like the woman i n the movie, it is the image o f an unattainable goal. It is evil in disguise.  Films: Cadential Figure The cadential figure first heard at the end o f the Cadenza .and the conclusion o f the fifth movement comes from another movie by Hrzanovskij, Butterfly. It serves to introduce the pastoral music accompanying the flight o f butterflies. The movie offers a fable about freedom and about the opposition between civilisation and nature. It begins with a young boy i n the middle o f his mechanical toys, distracted by the arrival o f a butterfly through his  If one section of the Concerto portrays Schnittke's "dream of a Utopia," it is probably the tango episode. Here is the idea of stylistic symbiosis epitomized by the Baroque tango, which is followed by the superposition of many styles: the rondo theme, the two toccata themes, the tango and the chromatic oscillations (m. 174-186). The result of that accumulation of styles is not a "unified style" in the sense that they should be merged in a single synthesized unity. Rather, it is a "unified style" like the one Schnittke dreamed of, an encompassing style in which all musics, high and low, fit together while preserving tiVdr identity. This setting is also coherent with the attitude which, according to Schnittke, should be adopted in front of the Evil. He believed that the Evil must be acknowledged and confronted. Schnittke, "From Schnittke's Conversations," 22-23. 51  160  window. H e decides to follow it through the city, trying and finally succeeding in catching it. Placed i n a jar with others, the butterflies become the boy's toys and move to the sound o f a music box melody. The young man falls asleep and has a dream in which the roles are reversed: he is chased and captured by a giant butterfly, raised high into the sky and finally released, falling down in the river below. W h e n he wakes up, he decides to release the butterflies, which then cover his face and his body, at which moment the cadential figure is heard again. Thus tamed by the butterflies, the boy is transformed, now understanding the beauty o f freedom. W i t h this borrowing, Schnittke carries forward both the formal effect and the symbolic content o f the excerpt. In the movie, the cadential figure marks significant turning points i n the story, especially the inversion o f the roles played by the boy and the butterflies. In the Concerto, the figure is heard for a first time at the end o f the fourth movement, where it acts as both a conclusion and an introduction to the fifth movement. In the narrative, the figure corresponds to the moment when the soloists, separated by the dissonances and frenetically playing their own material, suddenly come together and engage • in the cadential figure, which leads to the Rondo. The theme reappears at the end o f the fifth movement. A t this point, the orchestral chords fit in with the progression in the figure, but it quickly becomes dissonant with the introduction o f quarter tones when the folk-tune theme returns. The cadential figure then marks the end o f the complex stylistic stretto.  A Tentative Narrative Placing all the associations created so far between the music, the sketches, the films and the genre references i n a linear sequence is the last step in the elaboration o f a narrative. What  161  follows is the framework o f one possible narrative. It is obviously one out o f many. After all, i f gaps are to be related by the listener, different listeners will necessarily achieve different results. M y version encompasses what I have learned from the score, the sketches, and self-borrowings. In the first movement, the soloists are introduced. The sketches present them as the anima and animus o f a single being. The orchestra is associated with the collective unconscious. The folktune played by the prepared piano encompasses two extremes: the folkloric and the modern. In the sketches, Schnittke uses the expression "dissociated pitches" to describe the sound o f the prepared piano, perhaps foreseeing the "dissociated" state o f the mind when anima and animus are separated. O n the whole, the movement presents the background o f the work against which interpreted.  further  development will  be  .J  The sketches describe the second movement as a "fugue," a description reinforced by the two soloists often chasing each other. It is in this? movement that the exchanges between the orchestra and' the soloists are the most sustained. They share the toccata A and B themes as well as the folk-tune melody. In the waltz episode, the soloists exchange two  themes which begin with the pitches o f the B A C H motto, alternating with the  orchestra which also spells it out. The behaviour corresponds to the idea expressed in the sketches that it is impossible to tell which is anima and which is animus: "they are both i n turn." It also establishes the role o f the B A C H musical equivalent as a symbol o f the collective unconscious, manifesting itself in the most unusual locations, infiltrating the lines o f the protagonists.  162 7  The third movement  grows more and more dissonant.  It is here that the  "separation o f the soul" begins. A n i m a and animus are progressively torn apart by increasing tensions in the orchestra. A t the end, the B A C H motive returns but it is hidden in the quotations o f Berg and Tchaikovsky; it is only a faint reminiscence. The chorale melody i n the orchestra becomes more and more dissonant as a consequence o f the use o f complex polyrhythm and quarter-tones. A s suggested by the program o f the sketches, pitches constantly push upwards until "a point o f non-differentiation is attained,"—that is, until it is impossible to distinguish individual pitches. This time, no fundamental is introduced, and no solution is provided. The movement ends by the upward outburst o f the soloists' lines, which, in light o f the program, symbolizes the explicit "rupture o f the soul." In the Cadenza, the soloists communicate and their lines imitate each other. B u t their statements are more and more frenetic, until they together expose the four pitches o f the B A C H motive in whole notes. Only for this one time is the motto explicitly stated, and therefore impossible to ignore. It is an idea that had been momentarily grasped from the unconscious, an incarnation o f the good. However, the momentary coordination between the soloists comes to an end. They begin to play incoherent lines which soon become improvised until the sudden appearance o f the cadential figure. Like a magical formula, in a way  reminiscent o f the movie, the unexpected cadence turns the soloists into two  complementary characters. The fifth movement begins innocently enough; good sentiments are prevalent, dissonance  banished. The violins behave like the Hrzanovskij's butterflies,  dancing  together. A s the movement progresses, however, what looks like Schnittke's Utopia turns  163  out to be merely a mirage. In the tango, anima and animus dance together but are progressively separated by the negative influence o f the dissonant orchestra. The lascivious dance reveals its true nature: a dividing force rather than a unifying one. In a stylistic stretto of increasing dissonance, Schnittke's "unified style" turns into chaos. The mention i n the sketches about the gradual "stratification o f spirits" and the "resistance o f the chorale" seems to apply here. The anima and animus fight for reunification until the very end, when the cadential figure closes an episode which now looks like a nice dream turned bad. Y e t all hope has not vanished. The folk-tune returns above the overtones o f fundamental C , which does not appear until the very last measure o f the movement. In the sketch program, the introduction o f the fundamental tone corresponds to the solution, the final reunification o f the anima with the animus. The reunification appears almost magically after all energy has been exhausted. The postlude returns to the eerie atmosphere o f the first movement, i n which it is difficult to distinguish which soloist is playing what. L o w Cs in the piano emphasize the "solution" idea. But all is not like before: the brief return o f the toccata melody sounds like a memory, like the unmistakable trace that something had happened and that it could start all over again.  Conclusion It will always be impossible to explain everything in a score, as it will always be impossible to provide a story showing a perfectly coherent causality, but this should not be an objective. The fact is that stylistic gaps ask for an explanation and that, as far as musicological research is concerned, an explanation can be found in documents, i n other words, i n the paratext. In order to judge o f the appropriateness o f a given explanation, the  164  criteria should be that o f plausibility: the correspondence between the extra-musical sources and the musical work. The narrative is thus the result o f a hermeneutical process engaging both the listener and his or her representation o f the composer's knowledge, o f all cultural associations and o f the work itself. F r o m the small number o f events it contains, the composer's program may seem simple, but  these events concern  philosophical concepts  which  cannot  be easily  summarized. There are the characters representing a pair o f complementary beings, man/woman, anima/animus, soul/person, man/shadow, etc. Whichever one o f these pairs is chosen, the components are progressively separated, before being reunited again. The orchestra plays a role i n both events. A t first, it produces the dissonances intended to represent the negative force tearing the couple apart; later, the introduction o f a fundamental beneath those dissonances renders them consonant, reunites the parts into a single whole. But even then, it is more obvious in theory than in practice, as it is far from obvious that the brief introduction o f a low C in the double bass will be perceived as creating consonance by all listeners. Nevertheless  there  is  a  striking conceptual  resemblance  and  a  definitive  psychological affinity between all the literary, cinematic, and philosophical references chosen by Schnittke. The sentiment o f duality is present in many sources: 1. Peter Schlemihl: The man and his shadow. G o o d and evil. 2. Agony: G o o d and evil are both embodied in the person o f Rasputin. 3. Butterfly: The young boy who is chasing butterflies; they eventually exchange roles. 4.  Glass Harmonica: Altruism and greed. B y extension, it also opposes Magritte and Brueghel, the Modern and the Baroque, the selfish individual and the collective.  165  5. Jungian philosophy: A n i m a / A n i m u s ; Persona vs. Shadow. The score provides a range o f musical oppositions: 1. The serious and the banal: "serious" music opposes waltz and tango. 2. T h e o l d and the new: the 12-tone Waltz, the Baroque tango, the Modern folk-tune. 3. The few and the many: The soloists confront the orchestra. 4. Dissonance and consonance: The many forms o f dissonances are alleviated by the imposition o f a fundamental root. The conceptual network surrounding the work is dense and multi-faceted. B y creating it, Schnittke conveys the idea o f duality in many different ways and demonstrates its richness and conceptual fertility. The narrative presented above is clearly not the only possible one. After all, Schnittke's Concerto Grosso relies on many conceptual systems, which function as starting points for archetypical stories, like the many seeds o f possible narratives.  166  CHAPTER 4: TANGO  In the previous chapters, polystylism was considered mosdy on the intra-work level, with styles opposing each other within a single work. Schnittke, however, frequendy uses similar styles i n different pieces. In each composition, the styles contrast with  the  surrounding materials and typically trigger extra-musical responses. Although those styles always refer to something, it is less clear whether or not they always refer to the same thing in different works. The context in which they are used can modify their meanings and influence the listener as well. Using the tango as a case study, this chapter examines how one particular style is placed in different contexts. A s discussed in Chapter 3, the tango is one o f the central borrowings in the Concerto Grosso N o . 1, where the dance melody comes from his score for the movie Agony. It is also briefly alluded to in the Symphony N o . 1. O n e more case will be examined here: the tango o f Seid niicktern und wachet (1983), or the "Faust Cantata," which was incorporated into the opera Historia von D. Johann Fausten (1991/94). Finally, the usage o f the tango by Schnittke in other works will be briefly examined. A s Schnittke has stated, the inclusion o f a tango i n Nikolaj Karetnikov's opera Mystery of Paul the Apostle {Misterid apostola Pavla, 1972-87) to accompany Nero's suicide  167  inspired him to draw upon the style for the first time i n the Concerto Grosso N o l .  1  He  later reprised the style in the "Faust Cantata," a borrowing that Karetnikov considered to be direct plagiarism. However, as Schnittke notes, K u r t Weill used the tango in a similar 2  fashion before both Karetnikov and himself in Die Dreigroschenoper (1928). Schnittke states other examples emphasizing the fateful role associated with the tango. H e mentions "written music o f the Argentina Death Tango" in Vladimir Maakovskij's poem Vojna i mir (1915)  and Bernardo Bertolucci's film Last Tango in Paris (1972).  3  4  Moreover, other  composers featured the tango in their works before Karetnikov and Schnittke; including E r i c Satie, Sports et divertissements, "Tango perpetuel" (1914); Igor Stravinsky, Les cinq doigts, N o . 5, "Pesante" (1917) and L'Histoire du soldat (1918); and Darius Milhaud, Le bccuf sur le toit (1919). F o r Schnittke, the tango is an evocation o f popular culture, which he considered to be "the most direct manifestation o f evil in art." H e even adds that he "can see no way o f 5  expressing evil i n music other than by using elements o f pop culture." T o understand why 6  Schnittke emphasizes evil to such a degree in his music, one must keep i n mind that he believes in a dualistic nature o f the world, in which everything is good and evil at the same time. A s he once said: "the essential thing is not to try to escape into some kind o f purified  1  Schnittke and Ivashkin, "From Schnittke's Conversations," 15-16.  2  Ibid, 16.  Two staves from Angel Villoldo's famous tango Et Chock (1898?, premiered in 1903) were inserted in Maakovskij's poem. The first use of tango in Russian poetry dates from 1913, in a poem tided "Tango" by Joseph Brodsky. Roman Timenchik, "1867," in Joseph Brodsky: The Art of a Poem, edited by Lev Loseff and Valentina Polukhina (New York: Palgrave, 1998), 63-64. 3  4  Schnittke and Ivashkin, "From Schnittke's Conversations," 16.  5  Ibid., 22.  6  Ibid., 22.  168  space but to live with the D e v i l and engage in a constant struggle against h i m . " Such 7  drastic language is typical o f Schnittke's thought. It also explains, at least in part, what triggered the profusion o f oppositions in Schnittke's music, which, as Taruskin has appropriately noted, "tackles life-against-death, love-against-hate, good-against-evil and (especially i n concertos) I-against-world."  8  "Faust Cantata" and Historia von D. Johann Fausten Faust is a recurrent topic i n Schnittke's life and music. F o r him, the story reveals the struggle between the rational and the irrational and between the human and the satanic which exists in everyone. H e read Thomas Mann's version o f the story for the first time in the late 1940s. Throughout his life, the character o f Faust fascinated him, so much so that 9  he first planned to write an opera on the topic as early as 1959. A cantata, Seid nuchtern und wachet, emerged almost 25 years later in 1982-83, as a preparation for a future opera.  10  Schnittke chose to adapt the libretto from the first published edition o f the History of Dr. Johann Fausten, the well-known Magician and Black Magician, printed and possibly written by Johann Spiess in 1587. The spelling o f the volksbuch is modernized but the text is faithfully transcribed; passages are omitted, but all o f the scenes appear in the original order. The adaptation involves mostly the careful selection o f lines.  7  Schnittke and Ivashkin, "From Schnittke's Conversations," 31-32  8  Taruskin, " A Post-Everythingist Booms," H20.  Mann's novel Doktor Faustus had just been published when Schnittke's father bought a copy in Vienna, where they lived for about two years, from 1946 until 1948. Ivashkin, "From Schnittke's Conversations," 27-28. 9  A first performance of the opera, led by Christoph von Dohnanyi was abandoned when he departed from his role of music director of the Hamburg Opera. The 1983 cantata was commissioned by the Vienna Festival, which wanted a choral work that could show off their newly installed organ. Weitzman, "Schnittke's 'Faust' in Hamburg," Tempo 194 (October 1995), 27. 1 0  169  Consistent with his idea that everything is good and evil at the same time, Schnittke was fascinated by characters that inhabited this dualistic position. Faust is among them, as are Peer Gynt, Salome, Peter Schlemihl, and Josephus Flavius (as portrayed by L i o n Feuchtwanger).  11  The character Faust captivated Schnittke because he had been so much  "loaded by the future."  12  A s he explains, since Faust appears i n many works written over  the course o f four centuries, he became a mirror reflecting changes i n society. In the volksbuch, he is concerned by magic and travel, but not so much by knowledge. According to Schnittke, Goethe's Faust is different on that last point: he is "an ideal image" driven by the human race's "insatiable thirst for knowledge." In the volksbuch, D o c t o r Faust appears 13  as a selfish character, acting for his own pleasure. Goethe softened that side o f the character through additions like the romance with Margarita, her redemption, his visit to the Brocken on Walpurgisnacht, the birth o f poetry, and his salvation. F o r Schnittke, Faust is doomed and there is no happy ending. After writing the "Faust Cantata" and starting the opera, Schnittke confessed that "Faust is the theme o f my whole life, and I am already afraid o f it. I don't think I shall ever  Feuchtwanger's best-known novel is Jud Siiss (1925), the story of Josephus Flavius (b. circa 37), a Jewish historian and priest who became a Roman citizen. Schnittke and Ivashkin, "From Schnittke's Conversations," 28-30, 35. The correspondence between Faust and Peer Gynt has been underscored by Gerd Albrecht in the Hamburg production of the Faust opera, in which excerpts from Schnittke's ballet Peer Gynt were used as transitory music: Weitzman, "Schnittke's 'Faust' in Hamburg," 29. 11  Schnittke and Ivashkin, "From Schnittke's Conversations," 29. Solomon Volkov adds Dante's Divine Comedy as a milestone reading for Schnittke, especially the passage from Hell to Purgatory which symbolized the passage from darkness to light for Schnittke. Volkov, "The ABCs of Alfred Schnittke," 37. 1 2  1 3  Schnittke and Ivashkin, "From Schnittke's Conversations," 29.  170  complete i t . "  14  In a sense, he never did. T w o acts were to be added to the body o f the  Cantata i n 1991, this time with Jurgen K o c h e l (who worked under the pseudonym o f Jorg Morgener) as librettist. They were revised in 1994. T h e two acts closely follow the story 15  line o f the volksbuch, adding 24 scenes before the events depicted in the Cantata.  16  The  version premiered i n Hamburg was severely truncated and rearranged by G e r d Albrecht. It was never officially approved by Schnittke. F o r the Hamburg production, 503 lines out o f 17  the printed libretto's 1216 vanished, and the order o f scenes was changed so much as to obscure the action. The most significant omission is that no reference to the 24-year span 18  o f the Devil's contract is ever made. Consequendy, the sense o f urgency felt by Faust as time advances is lost. The nature o f the pact that he has made is unclear; that he must renounce his Christian faith and resist all temptation to repent is never mentioned. The depictions o f Faust's epicurean way o f life in the second act are obliterated, and almost all o f the recitatives are abridged. Whereas the Cantata was generally acclaimed by the critics, the reviews o f the Hamburg production were mixed at best.  19  1 4  Ivashkin, Alfred Schnittke, 208.  1 5  Most of the vocal part was written before 1991. Weitzman, "Schnittke's 'Faust' in Hamburg," 27.  The only modification to the Cantata, which serves as the third act, is the addition of 13 bars at the end of scene 26, when Faust tells his students: "I die both a bad and good Christian: a good Christian for that I am penitent, a bad Christian for that I know the Devil will have my body." That text appears in the 1587 volksbuch but was initially discarded. 1 6  Gerd Albrecht insisted in a radio interview that Schnittke gave him the permission to interpolate and to make a montage i f necessary. Weitzman, "Schnittke's 'Faust' in Hamburg," 28. When Schnittke, recovering from a stroke, was presented with a video recording of the performance, he said that this was one possible way of presenting the opera. Obviously, there must be others. Weitzman, "Record Review: Schnittke: Historia von D . Johann Fausten," Tempo, 198 (October 1996), 55. 1 7  1 8  For more details about the modifications see Weitzman, "Schnittke's 'Faust' in Hamburg," 29.  1 9  Weitzman, "Schnittke's 'Faust' in Hamburg," 27-29. Ivashkin, Alfred Schnittke, 214.  171  The "Faust Cantata" is built like a Passion, with.a narrator (tenor), Faust (bass), Mephistophiles/Mephistophila ("an hypocritically servile counter-tenor and [a] triumphant deep female voice" ), and chorus. In fact, it is perhaps better described as an anti-passion. 20  Indeed, the stories o f Christ and Faust run counter to each other: Christ is illuminated by G o d , Faust by the Devil; Christ wants to deliver people from sin, Faust is the very incarnation o f sin; Christ creates miracles for the love o f humankind, Faust uses magic for his own benefit.  21  A s the third act o f the opera, the "Faust Cantata" consists o f six scenes  and picks up the story after the 24 years o f the devilish pact. The fourth scene o f the third act (or the 2 8 in the opera) includes the tango. Here, th  Mephistophila, the feminine equivalent o f Mephistopheles, Faust died at the hands o f the D e v i l .  23  22  sings a tango recounting how  Perhaps to enhance the relationship o f the tango  with popular culture, Schnittke at first planned to cast a pop singer as Mephistophila, but he refrained from doing so when Alia Pugaceva, the pop star that he had invited, began to take her role too seriously and "turned it into her show, improvising and dancing."  24  The  Schnittke in the liner notes for Alfred Schnittke, Ritual — (KJEiti Sommernachtstraum — Passacaglias — Seid nuchtern und wachet. Malmo Symphony Chorus (BIS CD-437, 1989), Compact Disc. 2 0  Galina Ajvazova and Elena Spirina, "Funkcii zanra v kantate Al'freda Snitke Istorija doktora Ioganna Fausta: K voprosu novoj interpretacii zanra v muzyke X X veka," in Problemy istoriko-stilevoj evoljucii: Garmonija, forma, %anr, edited by L. Aleksandrova (Novosibirsk: Novosibirskaia gos. konservatoriia im. M.I. Glinki, 1995), 262. 2 1  Heinrich Heine also travestites Mephistophiles into its feminine equivalent in his own version of the story; the devilish woman seduces Faust. Henrich Heine, Doktor Faust, a Dance Poem; Together with Some Rare Accounts of Witches, Devils, and the Ancient Art of Sorcery, translated by Basil Ashmore (London: P. Nevill, 1952).  2 2  In Heinrich Heine's Der Doktor Faust, the Devil, Mephistopheles, becomes a dancer named Mephistophila in order to lure Faust. It is not known if that version influenced Schnittke. 2 3  According to Ivashkin, Alia Pugaceva stepped down before the premiere because she did not want to be associated with the devil. Ivashkin, A Schnittke Reader, xxiii. 2 4  172  five-minute  episode lasted more than half an hour.  25  The instrumentation includes an  electric guitar, which, with the percussion and the amplified solo voice, strongly emphasizes the popular music aspect.  26  Although the tango is featured in the 2 8  th  scene, the tango rhythm appears at the  begmning o f the third act. It is soon joined by the tango melody in the piano and a melody later presented by the choir and the organ. The resemblance between the tango and the choir melody and the way they fit together seems more than coincidental (fig. 4-1). Both melodies present four-measure phrases built like an arch. They both rise conjuncdy with a triplet motive until they reach the cadence, after which they are repeated, almost note for note. The text later sung by the choir announces the end o f Faust and sends a warning: "There doth follow now D o c t o r Faustus' hideous and frightful end, against which to sufficiency every Christian man should see his own reflection and be upon his guard."  27  The cautionary aspect o f the Faust story is already present in the volksbuch text, but it is amplified i n the tango by Schnittke through the use o f a melody everybody can sing. The tango will become the equivalent o f a chorale in a Passion or cantata.  2 5  Ivashkin, Alfred Schnittke, 180.  The association between popular elements and the evil sphere has been noted by some commentators. Alex Ross wrote: "In an inspired anachronism, Mr. Schnittke casts the climax in the form of a diabolically melodious tango, with a contralto croaking in Brechtian style into a microphone and an electric guitar thundering underneath." Ross, "The Twins of Modernism, in Light and Dark," New York Times (6 July 1995), C13. Claire Polin notes: "The Tango of Death was written for a cabaret-style singer. The main theme clearly represents the exposure of evil. Here, as in the First Symphony, the composer reveals his apocalyptic vision." Polin, "The Composer as Seer, but not Prophet," Tempo 190 (September 1994), 14. 2 6  The English translation of the libretto, by John C. Constable, is from the booklet of the C D , Alfred Schnittke, Historia von D. Johann Fausten. Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg, Chor der Hamburgischen Staatsoper, directed by Gerd Albrecht (RCA Victor, 1996). 2 7  173  Figure 4-1. Beginning of the third act.  "Historia von Dr. Johann Fausten" by Alfred Schnittke: © 1994 by Musikverlag Hans Sikorski, Hamburg und Universal Edition A.G., Wien www.universaledition.com Reprinted by Permission.  The character o f Mephistophiles/Mephistophila is two-faced from the start. O n the one hand, he/she is the seducer and servant who lures Faust into signing the 24-year contract and fulfills all o f his desires; on the other hand, he/she is the torturer who will kill him i n due time. The male and female sides o f the character are opposed musically, Mephistophiles is sung by a high-voiced countratenor while Mephistophila is sung by a low-voiced alto; paradoxically, this opposition places them i n a similar register. The tango is sung by Mephistophila, whose role is played by the same singer w h o plays the nonsinging roles o f Grafin v o n Bayern, Fair Helen, and the K o n i g i n v o n Griechenland.  28  By  doing so, Schnittke underscores the correspondence between Helen, whose capture resulted i n the destruction o f Troy, and the person who is responsible for Faust's fate. Mephistophila first appears in scene 17, "The mocking Jests o f the Devilish Spirits." The scene takes place after Faust has been shown a glimpse o f paradise, which triggers his first lamentation. In the next scene, Mephistophiles, for the first time, drops his  2 8  O f the three characters, only the role Fair Helen was cast in the Hamburg production.  174  servile role and appears as himself, making fun o f Faust with Mephistophila. After another lamentation,  Faust  refuses  to  repent  and  renews  his  contract  with  the  Devil.  Mephistophiles returns to his role o f servant and Mephistophila disappears until A c t Three. In scene 27, the third one o f the third act, the choir o f Faust's students unsuccessfully tries to convince liim to pray to G o d for salvation. Mephistophiles appears and, in a disingenuous consolation, announces that the hour has come when Faust must die. The consolation takes the form o f an unusually lyrical recitative, which is imitated and commented on by Mephistophila. Again, Schnittke emphasizes the duality o f the Devil's discourse and o f the male/female split. O n the surface, Mephistophiles takes the guise o f a friend on Faust's side, a friend who will soon kill him in the most horrible way. The tango appears in the following scene and, at that point, Mephistophiles vanishes; Mephistophila sings the tango alone. The most striking characteristic o f the tango, as opposed to most o f the score, is its unequivocal lyricism. It is a simple, natural, almost predictable, melody. Like Ravel's Bolero, it is repeated with different instrumentation and a gradual increase in dynamics and textural complexity. It infiltrates the m i n d and, 29  even for a musically unskilled audience, it is easy to grasp. Indeed, according to Weitzman, people leaving the premiere i n Hamburg were humming the tango melody. F o r Schnittke, 30  it was important to give a popular appeal to the Devil, who is in each and every one o f us. H e wanted to subject the audience "to a kind o f stylistic humiliation.''  31  Schnittke later on adapted Maurice Ravel's Bolero in the score of the movie The Master and Margarita (1993-4). 2 9  3 0  Weitzman, "Schnittke's 'Faust'," 27.  3 1  Ivashkin, Alfred Schnittke, 178.  175  Attractive and accessible, the tango embodies the danger o f evil hiding under the surface o f pop culture. Schnittke's developed that idea: "It is natural that evil should be attractive. It has to be nice and tempting; it has to take the form o f something that can creep into your soul without difficulty, something pleasantly comfortable. Whatever it is, it must be fascinating." F o r him, there is a difference between the symptoms o f evil, which 32  can be expressed musically with splintered textures or melodic lines, and its cause, better conveyed by pop elements.  33  In the score, that distinction shows up i n the difference  between the vocal part o f Faust, made up o f broken lines frenetically ascending and descending, and the smooth tango melody sung by Mephistophila. The former is the expression o f a possessed spirit, whereas the latter is the embodiment o f the Devil. F o r Schnittke, the D e v i l has to look and sound good. A s far as the musical,, form is concerned, the deployment o f the tango is pretty much straightforward. In the score, the "tempo di Tango" begins over whole-note clusters in the strings and keyboard instruments  (piano, celesta, harpsichord), while only a  syncopated tam-tam pattern subdy alludes to the style (m. 3 4 3 / 1 / l ) .  3 4  T h e clusters i n the  keyboard instruments become stronger and denser. They are cut off by the piano, the bass guitar, and the brass which establish the key o f G minor (m. 345/1/1). The tango scene, which then begins, can be divided i n three main sections, each built around  the  A A A ' A " B B ' form o f the melody (fig. 4-2). The A and B sections are each eight bars long. The A , A ' and A " phrases feature the same rhythm. The principal difference among them is  3 2  Schnittke and Ivashkin, "From Schnittke's Conversations," 22.  3 3  Ibid., 22-23.  3 4  O n the recording, the performers added a drum part to better mark the tango rhythm.  176  the melodic progression; the A phrase moves upwards (from G to D ) , while the A ' and A " phrases first descend (from G to D and from D to G , respectively) before rising up a major seventh (from D to C | and from G to F#, respectively). In both cases, the expected conclusion on the octave is satisfied by the following phrase o f the voice or by the orchestra. The B section is set in contrasting style, with duple instead o f triple subdivisions o f the pulse and the introduction o f staccatos giving a more energetic m o o d to the melody. Figure 4-2. The tango melody, as of 345/1/5 [65].  o J j i j j JJ J JJ j j viju 1  17  1  1  ^ »• J1  V Choir: (gepfijjen)  "Historia von Dr. Johann Fausten" by Alfred Schnittke: © 1994 by Musikverlag Hans Sikorski, Hamburg und Universal Edition A.G., Wien www.universaledition.com Reprinted by Permission.  The orchestration follows the overall division o f the scene into three main sections. The first section emphasizes the keyboards instruments with the notable addition o f the baritone saxophone and the electric guitar, both more readily associated with jazz or pop music than opera (from m. 345/1/1). The melody sung by Mephistophila is first doubled by the baritone and alto saxophones. Other instruments are progressively added, creating a  177  complex texture which is made all the more dense by quarter-tone trills i n the strings. T h e first A phrase concludes with a rising glissando i n the strings, underlined by the imprecise oscillation o f a flexatone.  35  The introduction o f the oboes, bassoons, and the English and  French horns, marks the begmning o f the A ' phrase o f the melody (348/1/3). The melody continues, now doubled by the oboe and English horn, with progressively louder dynamics until it reaches the summit o f the first main section, strongly accentuated by a 12-tone cluster in the strings, which is added to a sustained G minor chord (352/1/3-4) i n the rest o f the orchestra. The B section follows, and the melody, doubled by a solo violin, is punctuated by a few pizzicato string clusters. A counter-melody, the same that will later be sung by the chorus, is played by the alto and baritone saxophones. The repeat o f the B phrase, whisded by the entire choir i n suddenly soft dynamics, is accompanied by strange effects produced by glissandos i n the bass guitar and by the flexatone.  36  T h e combination  o f these odd sounds makes the passage sounds rather bizarre, almost out o f this world (from 355/1/1). T h e text o f the tango comes directly from Chapter 68, the last one o f the volksbuch (fig. 4-3). Only a few sentences are omitted, with no significant changes to the course o f the depicted action. In the first section, Mephistophila sets the scene by describing the house enduring strong winds. The B theme is presented as a vocalise, which points back to scene 27 i n which Mephistophila sung a vocalise to wrap Mephistophiles's consolation to Faust. Since it is not imitating another melody, the vocalise lacks a mocking tone. O n the  35 The flexatone is a modern percussion instrument consisting of a small flexible metal sheet suspended on a wire frame. 36 O n the recording, the melody is played on sliding flutes instead of being whisded by members of the choir. The effect is still stranger.  178  contrary, the use o f a vocalise at this point strengthens the initial innocent feeling o f the scene, paradoxically associating the tragic events described i n the text with lightness and pleasantness. The choir whisdes the B theme, perhaps to imitate the wind or to accentuate the hypocritical tone o f the description. The second main section repeats the entire melody with a different orchestration (from 357/1/1). Mephistophila starts again on a low G , while the basses o f the choir recite the text with open fifths (G-D). The piano and the celesta are silent, only the harpsichord continues, this time playing simple arpeggios. The strings present motives that turn slowly around superimposed quarter-tones.  The rest o f the orchestration consists o f tuba,  trombones, glockenspiel, and drum set. F o r the second A phrase, the woodwinds appear and take over the now silent string parts (m. 359/1/1). A s in the first main section, the orchestral texture grows more diverse and unruly, especially with the entrance o f the electric and bass guitars and the flexatone. Just before the B section, a second climax is reached, once again reaffirming the overall G minor key. This time, the melody is answered by unison strings (m. 367/1/1) and later by the harpsichord (m. 369/1/1). When Mephistophila sings "aber kaum mit halber Stimme - Bald hernach horte man ihn nicht mehr" the first allusions to the chime clock motive are made by the celesta. The motive will become important at the very end o f the opera. F o r this passage, the orchestration is suddenly lighter, to allow the celesta part to come through. In the rest o f the second section, Mephistophiles continues her story, with specific words emphasized by the choir. The students gather outside Faust's study, hear strange noises, and repeat over and over the words "whistling and hissing," and later on "snakes and adders." The students witness Faust crying for help but do not intervene. A t that  179  point, the choral exclamations convey the astonishment, fear and disgust felt by the students in facing the developing horror. The deployment o f the third main section is similar to that o f the previous two. The melody appears about exactly the same and most o f the development occurs i n the accompaniment.  Overall,  the  ascending melody is counterbalanced  chromatic scales played by a large part o f the orchestra  by  descending  (m. 371/1/1). Glissandos  prominendy return, especially in the choral exclamations (for example, m. 376/1/2). The triplet motive also comes back in the piano. The strings play sustained trills over a pedal G until the third and last climax, just before the final B phrase (380/1/2). Again, the textural complexity and dissonance give way to a G minor chord. The following B phrase is characterized by a series o f brass punctuations (m. 381/1/1). In the B ' phrase, the countermelody is played by the brass at the unison (m. 383/1/2). The textural density reaches its apogee with the organ presenting a glissando cluster and the strings playing clusters to the tango rhythm. A t the end o f the tango scene, the organ and the piano play a G minor chord over a 12-tone cluster in the strings (m. 387/1/4). The third section takes place on the following morning, when the students enter the house to find the gory scene. F r o m then on, the choir shares the role o f narrator with Mephistophila. The choir begins a sentence o f the text with the tango melody and she finishes it. A t the end, the choir laughs. The exclamations heard before i n the second section, which sounded fearful at first, retrospectively sounds like satisfactory acclamations, as i f the choir had already taken sides with Mephistophila. A s Schnittke explained, E v i l is in everyone.  180  Figure 4-3. Libretto adaptation of the 1587 Volksbuch. Sect. Themes Measures Intro.  1587 Volksbuch  Mephistophila and Choir*  7  345/1/1 [64] A  345/1/5 [65]  [224] Es geschahe aber Mephistophila: Es geschah aber zwischen zwolft und ein I Jhr in zwischen zwolff vnd ein Vhr in der Nacht, [It came about between twelve and one o' the clock in der Nacht / the night,]  A  346/1/3 [66]  daB gegen dem HauB her ein grosser vngestummer Wind gienge /  daB gegen dem Haus her ein groBer ungestumer Wind ging, [that a great storm of wind came against the house]  A'  348/1/3 [67]  so das HauB an alien orten vmbgabe / als ob es allcs zu grunde gehen /  so das Haus an alien Orten umgab, als ob es alles zugrunde gehen [that it gripped the house in all places, as though it would have all go to ruin]  A"  350/1/3 [68]  vnnd das HauB zu Boden reissen wollte /  und das Haus zu Boden reiBen wollte. [and raze the house to the ground.]  B  353/1/1 [69]  A h . . . (Vokalise)  B'  355/1/1 [70]  Mephistophila: A h . . . (Vokalise)  A  357/1/1 [71]  1  Choir: (ffpfiffen) [whistling] darob die Studenten vermeynten zuverzagen / sprangen auB dem Bett  Mephistophila: Darob die Studenten vermeinten zu verzaren. sprangen aus dem Bett [Hereupon the students were minded to despair, leaped out from their beds] Choir: Die Studenten meinten zu verzagen, sprangen aus dem Bett und  A  359/1/1 [72]  vnd huben an einander zu trosten / wolten auB der Kammer nicht /  Mephistophila: und huben an. einander zu trosten. wollten aus der Kammer nicht. [and began to comfort one another, yet would not stir fom their chamber.] Choir: huben an, einander zu trosten, wollten aus der Kammer nicht.  { Der Wiert lieff auB seinem in ein ander HauB. Die Studenten lagen nahendt bey der Stuben / da D. Faustus jnnen war / } 2  A  '  361/1/1 [73]  sie horten ein greuwliches  Mephistophila: Sie horten ein grauliches Pfeifen und Zischen.  Pfeiffen vnnd Zischen /  [They heard a hideous whistling and hissing] Choir: Sie horten ein greuliches Pfeifen und Zischen, (4X)  A"  363/1/3 [74]  als ob das HauB voller Schlangen / Natern vnnd anderer schiidUcher Wurmc were /  Mephistophila: als ob das Haus voller Schlangen. Nattern und anderer schiidUcher Wiirme ware, [as if the house were filled with snakes, adders, and other pestilent worms.] Choir: als ob das Haus voll Schlangen und Nattern, (Schlangen und Nattern [5X|), und anderer schadlicher Wiirme ware. A h . . .  3 7  B  367/1/1 [75]  in dem gehet D . Fausti thiir vff Mephistophila: Indem pehet Fausti Tiir auf. der hub an zu in der Stuben / der hub an vmb schreien um Hiilf und Mordio, [With that the door of Faustus Hiilff vnnd Mordio came open, who began to cry for help and shouting murder,] zu[225|schreyen / Choir: A h . . . A h . . . O h . . .  B'  369/1/1 [76]  aber kaum mit halber Stimm / Mephistophila: aber kaum mit halber Stimme. Bald hernach bald hernach hort man jn nicht hortc man ihn nicht mehr. [but with hardly half a voice. Soon mehr. thereafter, they heard him no longer.]  As mentioned above, the English translation is by John C. Constable.  181  Figure 4-3. Libretto adaptation of the 1587 Volksbuch. Sect. Themes Measures 371/1/1 [77]  1587 Volksbuch  Mephistophila and Choir*  Als es nun Tag ward / {vnd die Studenten die gantze Nacht nicht geschlafffen hatten} / sind sie in die Stuben gegangen / {darinnen D . Faustus gewesen ward} /  Mephistophila: Als es Tag ward, sind die Studenten in die  7  Stuben gegangen. [When it had grown daylight, the students entered into the chamber.] Choir: O h . . . O h . . .  373/1/1 [78]  sie sahen aber keinen Faustum Mephistophila: Sie sahen aber keinen Faustum, nichts, denn die mehr / und nichts / dann sie Stuben vol] Bluts gespritzt. [They espied though no Faustus, Stuben voller Bluts gespriitzet / nought save the chamber besprinkled with blood.]  375/1/1 [79]  Das Hirn klebte an der Wandt / weil jn der Teuffel von einer Wandt zur andern geschlagen hatte.  Choir: A h . . . A h . . . A h . . .  377/1/1 [80]  Mephistophila: A h . . . A h . . . A h . . . A h . . . .. .weil ihn der Teufel von einer Wand zur andern geschlagen. [for he Devil had beaten him from one wall against another.] Choir: Das ITirn klebte an der Wand... [His brains cleaved to the walLl O h . . . O h . . . O h . . . O h . . .  Es lagen auch seine Augen vnd Mephistophila: A h . . . A h . . . A h . . . A h . . . A h . . . etliche Ziien allda / ein greulich ...ein greulich und erschrecklich Spectakel. [a hideous and vnd erschrecklich Spectackel. terrible spectacle.] Choir: lis lagen auch seine Augen und etliche Ziihne alda... [His eyes and numerous teeth too lay there,] A h . . . A h . . . A h . . . {Da huben die Studenten an jn zubeklagen vnd zubeweynen / vnd suchten jn allenthalben / }  381/1/1 [81]  Letzlich aber funden sic seinen Mephistophila: Letztlich aber funden sie seinen Leib herauBen Leib heraussen bey dem Mist bei dem Mist, [Last though they found his body out of doors ligen / aside the dung,] Choir: ... aber letztlich... fund man drauBen .. .Lciche bei dem Mist,...  B'  383/1/1 [84]  welchcr grcuwlich anzusehen war / dann jhme der Kopff vnnd alle Glieder schlotterten.  seine...  Mephistophila: welcher greulich anzusehen war, denn ihm der Kopf und alle Glieder schlotterten. [the which was a hideous sight to behold for his head and all his limbs hang slack.] Choir: ...hahahahaha ...hahahahaha (2X)...hahahahaha (2X) schlotterten, (5X) oh...  Note: German spelling has been kept as published.  The Feminine, the Exotic and the Devil A s a dance originating from brothels o f the poor areas o f Buenos Aires, the tango is historically connected with the feminine and the idea o f seduction. The popular dance has long been associated with scandal. In its glorious days i n the late 1910s, the tango became so much associated with lurid temptation that it was banned by Pope Pius X . In Russia, the tango appeared before the October Revolution o f 1917, introduced to the upper classes by foreign visitors. After the Revolution, it remained associated with bourgeois society and  182  counter-revolutionists. In the  1920s, dancing the  tango was clearly antithetical to  Bolsheviks' ideals; it became a symbol o f dissidence.  38  The popularity o f the tango  eventually declined i n the 1930s. The tango is a public display o f passion, symbolized by the tight embrace between the couple and footwork suggesting the tensions o f the seduction process. The dancers are playing a game where they must keep their erotic impulses under control. F o r the European public, the tango was exotic. A s Savigliano explains, exoticism is produced by the sentiment o f "otherness" generated by the dance: Tango expresses, performs, and produces Otherness erotically through exoticism, and in doing so, it plays seductively into the game of identification—an attempt at 'selving' by creating anti-selves. Tango is simultaneously a ritual and a spectacle of traumatic encounters, and of course 'it takes two': two parties to generate Otherness, two places to produce the exotic, two people to dance. 39  The tango is a display o f excess, a threat to the imperial civilized world that must be controlled.  40  Marta Savigliano describes how the exotic threat is contained: "for the Other  to become an Exotic, this threat needs to be tamed, tilted toward the side o f the pleasurable, the disturbingly enjoyable: the erotic."  41  In the cantata and i n the opera, the  shift toward the erotic is embodied by Mephistophila, the only singing female character i n  3 8  Marta Savigliano, Tango and the Political Economy of Passion (Boulder: Westview Press, 1995), 11.  3 9  Savigliano, Tango, 73.  Anne E . Gorsuch, Youth in Revolutionary Russia: Enthusiasts, Bohemians, Delinquents (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2000), 121-124. 4 0  4 1  Savigliano, Tango, 81.  183  the work. She appears as a pop singer, as an object o f desire. Mephistophila is the exotic 42  femme fatale, the erotic turning into fate, and the tango begins precisely when fate strikes after 24 years have passed. In the "Faust Cantata," the tango is sung by the female incarnation o f the Devil. Other composers have made a similar rapprochement between the dance and the fallen angel. In the "Tango perpetuel" o f Sports et Divertissements (1914), Satie noted that "the D e v i l dances the tango when he wants to cool off."  43  In Stravinsky's Histoire du soldat, after  the soldier wins his old fiddle back from the D e v i l in a game o f cards, he uses it to heal the Princess with a series o f three dances, one o f which is a tango.  44  The D e v i l is not playing  the violin, but the power o f the instrument clearly comes from him. A s we will see, the ideas o f the feminine and evil will recur in many o f the works described below.  The Tango in other Works by Schnittke Mephistophila's tango scene is not the most musically complex one o f the opera. In fact, it is quite simple, both i n terms o f form and harmonic content. The various orchestral effects and clusters produce a kind o f harshness that ultimately remains superficial. Given its simplicity, the tango scene stands out from the rest o f the opera. The repetition o f the  The association between an "exotic" feminine character and eroticism is also explicit in the famous habanera of Carmen in Bizet's opera. In both cases, the appeal of the exotic has fateful consequences. The habanera is an Afro-Cuban dance and song that influenced the Argentinean tango. It was in turn influenced by development of the latter style. Bizet drew on Iradier's HI arreglito for Carmen. Frances Barulich, "Habanera," Grove Music Online, ed. L. Macy (Accessed 12 October 2006), <http://www.grovemusic.com>. 4 2  Satie's note appears on the score. For more on Satie and the tango, see Steven Moore Whiting, Satie the Bohemian: From Cabaret to Concert Hall (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 406-407. 4 3  Glenn Watkins, Proof through the Night: Music and the Great War (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003), 151-153. 4 4  184  melody is almost pedagogical. It easily infiltrates the mind o f the auditors. F o r these reasons and for the connotations carried by the tango as a style, the choice o f the tango to recount the fateful end o f Faust is strikingly effective. Schnittke used the tango in various works over a period o f more than 25 years. In fact, the dance became one o f his trademarks, so much so that Efrem Podgaits's homage piece, Fantasia in Memory of Alfred Schnittke, makes extensive use o f the tango. Obviously, Schnittke was especially fond o f the style. Examining how he employed the tango in different contexts will clarify the ways in which he conceived o f it, the roles he attributed to it, and its meaning and relevance for musical narrativity.  Symphony No. 1 (1968-72) In the Symphony N o . 1, the tango is one among many styles constituting the sphere o f the banal.  45  It is used to oppose serious styles and appears alongside the fox-trot and march.  The tango, however, is rarely exploited extensively enough to be singled out from the other popular styles. The one exception is perhaps in the final march (178/1/1) at the end o f the last movement, before the "resurrection" o f the work. Short fragments o f a tango-like figure alternate with march patterns in a fanfare. Considering the role o f popular styles i n the Symphony and the fateful character o f the tango for Schnittke, the dance accentuates the tragic conclusion o f the work, the idea that the symphony as a genre is dead.  4 5  See Chapter 1.  185  Agony (1974/81) In the movie Agony, the tango melody is the lure which ultimately undoes Rasputin, the inner demon that he cannot resist.  46  Each time it appears, the tango is clearly associated  with the devilish side o f Rasputin's personality. In the film as a whole, the tango is almost a character in itself, the instrument o f Rasputin's death, the bait that lured him.  Concerto Grosso N o . 1 (1977) The tango from Agony is used i n the Concerto Grosso N o . 1  4 7  The function o f the tango  in the latter is different from that in the former as it bears no clear associations o f death or tragedy. Schnittke himself acknowledged that the difference in context changed  the  meaning o f the excerpt. [...] the actual treatment of the inferior material dictated by the cinema may prove useful for a composer [...]. I can transfer one or another of the themes into another composition, and by contrast with the other material in that composition, it acquires a new role. For example, my Concerto Grosso N o . 1 includes a tango taken from the film The Agony, about Rasputin. In the film it is a fashionable dance of the day. I took it from the film and by giving it a contrasting context and a different development tried to give it a different meaning. 48  The tango takes on a different role. It briefly unites the two soloists, but their union will ultimately collapse in face o f numerous obstacles, notably the increasing dissonance i n the orchestra. Schnittke does not specify what the new meaning is, but, considering what he thought o f popular styles in general, the style may represent a lure, a temptation, at the very least, an impossible solution. The tango is set in the middle o f a "utopia" movement in which a languorous violin answers the rigid tango rhythm played on the harpsichord  4 6  See Chapter 3.  4 7  See Chapter 3.  4 8  Schnittke, " O n Film and Film Music," 51.  186  alongside allusions to the B A C H motive, Baroque styles, and serialism. L o w and high styles are united in the same texture, i n a synthesis which "juxtaposfes] different elements, [.. .]yet allowfs] each element to retain its individuality." The Utopia, however, does not last; it is 49  pushed to an extreme and lost in chaos. The tango, like the other styles, becomes nothing more than the memory o f a dream.  Polyphonic Tango (1979) Schnittke composed Polyphonic Tango for Gennadi) Rozdestvenskij and the Orchestra o f the Bolshoi Theatre. It appeared on a concert held on 15 September 1979 as the last o f four pieces composed for the occasion, the others being by Rozdestvenskij, E d i s o n Denisov, and A r v o Part. Schnittke described what he attempted: "It concerns an attempt to find the middle between tonality and atonality, between banal consonance and banal dissonance, between the pub and the concert hall (but in both cases in a tailcoat!)." The tango i n this 50  work is unrelated to death or tragedy, but, as in the Concerto Grosso N o . 1, it is caught in the middle o f oppositions. The style is placed in the middle o f the "commercial abyss" mentioned by Schnittke. The work presents and develops a tango theme i n an attempt to 51  find a middle ground between extremes. The theme is first played pizzicato by the low strings before being stated by other instruments in a very loose fugal fashion, a hallmark o f learned styles. The percussion plays a tango pattern accompaniment throughout the piece. A developmental section follows, using motives from the main theme as material. It is in  4 9  Schnittke and Polin, "Interviews," 10.  Reproduced by Eckhardt van den Hoogen in the liner note of Bohuslav Martinu and Alfred Schnittke, Concertos for Two Pianos, perf. by Piano Duo Genova & Dimitrov and the RadioPhilharmonie Hannover des N D R directed by Eiji Oue, C D (CPO, 2002), 10. 5 0  51  Schnittke and Polin, "Interviews," 11.  187  this section that modern procedures like clusters and dissonances become more prevalent, but they never obscure the tango enough to render it unidentifiable. The tango theme returns as a whole i n the last section, now i n between the poles mentioned by Schnittke.  Life with an Idiot (1991) The first completed opera by Schnittke is Life with an Idiot. The libretto was prepared by V i k t o r Erofeev, the author o f the story upon which the work is based. It is the story o f a man, known only by the name " I , " who has problems at work. A s a punishment, he has to take an idiot into his home. The character o f the idiot resembles Vladimir Lenin and his name is V o v a , the diminutive o f the dictator's first name. Throughout the opera, the only sound that comes out o f his mouth is "eh." Underneath its comic surface, Life with an Idiot is both a satire o f the Soviet regime and "a cruel drama o f the absurd concerning unstoppable Satanic e v i l . "  52  It includes quotations o f Revolutionary songs i n the parts o f  the four main characters (I, Wife, V o v a , and Marcel Proust) and it ends with a Russian folktune, " A Birch Tree Rusded i n the Field" [Vo pole berioza stoyala].  53  Tango rhythms appear for the first time, in a vaguely recognizable form, in the scene re-enacting the murder o f I's second wife who was beheaded by V o v a . Wife and V o v a dance a few tango steps to the sound o f distorted harmonies just before he accomplishes his deadly deed. In a grotesque development, I, who witnessed the whole  Just before the premiere Schnittke said that "Life with an Idiot vs. not a self-contained narrative but an open-ended one; although the material has a beginning, it does not have an end." Ivashkin, Alfred Schnittke, 203, 207. 5 2  The same song is quoted in the Finale of Chaikovsky's Fourth Symphony and in the first Overture on Russian Themes (1858) of Balakirev. Taruskin, Defining Russia Musically: Historical and HermeneuticalEssays (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997), 7, 124-125. 5 3  188  scene, is sexually aroused by the violence. Right afterwards, while sitting "soaked in tomato juice and sperm,"  54  he listens to the second tango episode, which constitutes  Intermezzo by which the first scene ends.  55  the  Schnittke uses the same tango heard i n Agony  and the Concerto Grosso N o . 1, with only slight changes in the orchestration from the latter, a piano replacing the harpsichord. In the opera, the tango hides a gruesome nature within a beautiful dance. Schnittke chose the style to underline the tragic and absurd aspects o f the drama. The tango, as mentioned above, appears when V o v a , the Idiot, dances with his victim and then kills her. It is associated with murder. The tango is also linked with the feminine. But i n this case, the woman is a victim and not a lure as in Agony. The tango is also associated with evil. In such a role, it underscores the main event o f the story, the axis around which the exchange of roles occurs. I, as it is explained later in the opera, succumbs to Vova's sexual advances and progressively loses his mind. In the end, he will be interned i n an asylum while V o v a will escape as a free man. The two characters exchange places. The structure o f the opera emphasises the metamorphosis: in the first act, we witness how V o v a became I, and in the second act, how I became Vova. The criminal nature o f V o v a is transferred to I; evil is "unstoppable." The tango marks the point o f no return.  5 4  Schnittke and Viktor Erofeev, libretto of Life with an Idiot, scene one.  As the plot of the opera unfolds out of order, the second tango corresponds to one of the last dramatic development of the story. The actions of the second act take place before " I " kills his second wife.  5 5  189  The Master and Margarita (1993A) Schnittke wrote his last film score for The Master and Margarita, directed by Urij Kara and based on the novel o f the same name by Mihail Bulgakov. Loosely inspired by Goethe's 56  Faust, Bulgakov's novel intermingles three story lines: the D e v i l comes to M o s c o w i n the 1930s, Matthew the Evangelist conducts an investigation o f Pontius Pilate, and Margarita bargains with the D e v i l to be reunited with the Master, a writer who is interned in an asylum. Accordingly, the action o f the film is divided between the 1930s and the time o f Christ. Schnittke's score makes use o f many borrowings, including a reference to Richard Strauss's Also Sprach Zarathustra for the introduction o f Satan (who appears under the name o f Voland) and o f a distorted version o f Ravel's Bolero for the Satanic ball scene featuring Margarita as queen. The scenes in which Voland and his retinue accomplish their sinister deeds i n M o s c o w are accompanied by a foxtrot, a funeral march, and a tango, once again a symbol o f evil.  57  Conclusion: The Tango as a Sign A s Schnittke's use o f the tango demonstrates, a specific style can serve as a sign i n a variety o f contexts. Its meaning is the result o f a dialectical process between the style itself and its  Although the movie was one of the most expensive of the Post Soviet era, Vladimir Skorij, the producer, never released the film, claiming that Yuri Kara's cut was unacceptable. Paul Sonne, "With Eagerness and Skepticism, Russians Await a Cult Novel's Film Debut," The New York Times (Monday, December 19, 2005), E3. 5 6  As the film has never been released, this description is freely adapted from Frank Strobel's liner notes for his compact disc of Schnittke's film music. In those circumstances, it is unfortunately difficult to say more about the role played by the tango. Frank Strobel, RundfunkSinfonieorchester Berlin, Alfred Schnittke - Musicfor the Movies, compact disc C P O 999796-2 (2001), 13-14. 5 7  190  context. In other words, the tango influences the meaning o f its surroundings i n the same way that its surroundings influence its inherent meaning. F r o m its use in Schnittke's works, the various meanings o f the tango are o f two complementary types: core and peripheral. The core meaning is the one carried forward i n all works; it is entrenched in the dance itself and radiates toward the new context. The tango is the banal and the popular; it is a force o f seduction. The core meaning is defined by the history o f the dance, its origins, and the cultural associations it triggers. O n the other hand, the peripheral meaning changes according to the context. It is a more specific meaning, defined in part by its relationship to other meanings present in a work. In the Symphony N o . 1, the tango is the easy solution to the problem o f writing a symphony for a young Soviet composer; in Agony, it is the lure which appeals to Rasputin's inner demons; in the Concerto Grosso N o . 1, the tango is part o f a stylistic Utopia combining the popular and the serious; in Faust, it is the feminine and the song o f the Devil; in Fife with an Idiot, it is the violence and the evil present in everyone (fig. 4-4). The meanings o f the tango are not always precise but they are nonetheless well delimited. Figure 4-4. The tango melody, as of 345/1/5 [65]. Works  Core meaning  Peripheral meaning  Symphony No. 1  The easy which tempts the composer.  Agony  The lure that looses Rasputin. Symbol of his inner demons. ' Duality of the anima/animus. Stylistic Utopia.  Concerto Grosso No. 1 Polyphonic Tango "Faust Cantata"/Opera  Banal Popular Seduction  The instrument of dualities between tonality/atonality, consonance/dissonance. The song of Mephistophila, the Devil. The feminine.  Fife with an Idiot  Underscores the absurd violence. The death of Wife.  The Master and Margarita  Accompanies the Devil as he feasts in Moscow  191  The tango imposes extra-musical meanings upon Schnittke's works. A s a musical borrowing, its inherent meanings help the listener to elaborate a narrative, thus bridging gaps in the musical texture. F o r example, the banal aspect o f the tango is evident i n the Symphony N o . 1 and, as such, it becomes a character playing a role in the work's narrative. In Agony, the tango conveys the idea o f seduction, underscoring the fateful role o f the mysterious lady. Because the tango is inherendy associated with the ideas o f banality and seduction, its presence may be explained and included in the listener's narrative; it ceases to be only an extraneous style and becomes a meaningful part o f a larger construction. The associations o f the tango take part in the narrative course o f the whole work, which is built across the gaps in the stylistic and semantic textures. This bridging happens even i f there is no program, even i f there is no narrative suggested by the composer. In Polyphonic Tango, no program is needed to realize that the tango melody is developed with the technical devices of serious music. N o program is necessary to witness the attempts to balance the tango with learned styles, the temporary dominance o f one over the other, the reversal o f the situation, and the fragile equilibrium obtained in the end between the popular and the serious. The narrative is possible because the style carries forward its connotations into a new context. What is true about the tango is also true about the other borrowed materials, like the Dies Irae, which is firmly tied to the idea o f death. F o r Schnittke, those associations are the seeds o f an embryonic musical narrative. The series o f harmonic overtones symbolizes nature, Gregorian chant represents religion, the B A C H motive is part o f the collective unconscious, and popular styles are a manifestation o f E v i l , o f which the tango is perhaps  192  most representative. The force behind Schnittke's polystylism, its narrative potential, lies those stylistic associations.  193  CONCLUSION  In each o f the previous four chapters, Schnittke's polystylism has been addressed with a different set o f tools. The analytical apparatus has been determined i n large part by the individual specificities o f the works and, as a result, different kinds o f narratives have emerged. This conclusion addresses two aspects o f Schnittke's polystylism. First, the works studied i n the previous chapters will be compared on the narrative level. Second, the works will be placed in the context o f Schnittke's oeuvre, allowing us to chart a chronology o f the evolution o f polystylism. Schnittke searched for and found his own original path as a young Soviet composer with the Symphony N o . 1, his polystylistic manifesto. The result is a blunt and stylistically disjunct work in which Schnittke, frustrated by the question o f how to write a symphony, puts the genre to death before resurrecting it. The Symphony presents a double narrative. O n the one hand, there is the "immanent" narrative, a general idea that can be expressed i n many different ways. In the case o f the Symphony, that idea could be the future o f the genre. The immanent narrative sets the interpretative limits; it is the semiological background. O n the other hand, there is the "temporal" narrative, defined by the series o f events. In the Symphony, it begins with a burst o f musical chaos upon which order is imposed by the conductor. The temporal narrative also includes the brief victory o f Beethoven's Fifth, the fight against banality, the serial experiment, and finally the death and resurrection o f the symphony as a genre. Events within the temporal narrative are gauged  194  against the norms o f the immanent narrative according to their plausibility: the Symphony can proclaim the "death o f the symphony" because it is about "the symphonic genre." Composed only a few years after the Symphony N o . 1, Mo^Art  a la Haydn is  radically different. The work asks no fundamental questions. O n the contrary, it is a tongue-in-cheek piece, which, despite its humorous twists, triggers a serious reflection on fragmentary  writing.  Schnittke  navigates  between  Mozart's  music  and  his  own  contributions. H e establishes a rigid set o f implicit rules governing the use o f the source material: almost every note is from Mozart's fragment, but the arrangement and reordering o f the material is new. Musically, Mo^-Art  is diametrically opposed to the  Symphony N o . 1: i n the former, all the music is borrowed, whereas i n the latter, borrowings stand out, but they do not prevail over original material. In fact, the two works contrast i n many areas: genre, form, size, orchestration, nature o f the borrowed materials, and so on. O n the narrative level, though, Mo^-Art bears a few similarities with the Symphony. In both cases, there is no explicit program, yet both works cannot hide the sense o f one. B o t h pieces exhibit gaps and disjunctions. They include stylistic features from the past and the present. The concept o f immanent narrative, developed i n the Symphony, may also be applied to Mo^Art.  In this case, it is a reflection on the possibilities o f  fragmentation, and an exploration o f the concepts o f old and new, o f past and present. The fragmentary nature o f Mo^Art  opens the work up to narrative interpretation,  although the conceptual play takes place on a different plane than i n the Symphony N o . 1. In the latter, stylistic gaps emerge between borrowings o f pre-existing compositions excerpts that precede the new work. In Mo^Art,  with only one exception (Mozart's  Symphony N o . 40), all the fragments come from a single source, which itself is a fragment.  195  The Mozart pantomime does precede the new work, but, at the same time, it is the sole source o f that piece. Moreover, by its nature as pantomime music, the source is so stylistically diverse that it already resembles a collage. Whereas the borrowings i n the Symphony are characterized by the style o f their respective composers, the original diversity o f the fragments in Mo^Art  derives from just Mozart. It is by re-working  borrowed material to a much greater extent than i n the Symphony that Schnittke puts his imprint on Mo^-Art. H i s role as composer is limited to cutting and pasting, underscoring the correspondences and the divergences between fragments. In doing so, Schnittke transforms the themes. H e transposes, combines, elongates, or shortens them. In Mo^-Art, Schnittke appears as a shadow behind Mozart's music, he is the foreign aspect o f the work, whereas in the Symphony, his music dominates that o f the borrowings, which remain foreign to the whole. Polystylism in Mo^Art  takes on a very different guise. In effect, it does not result  from the contrast between many quotations, but rather from the distance between two poles: Mozart and Schnittke. In fact, Schnittke shows us that polystylism may reside in the work o f a single composer from the Classical period. H e proceeds from one fragment to another while emphasizing the fragmentary nature o f both the original work and his own. Fragments create space; they open up the interpretative layer. They ask questions and confront listeners, but they rarely provide answers. In the case o f Mo^Art,  the narrative is slightly different than i n the Symphony. The  work does not provide precise events, characters or associations. The cultural background o f the source material and its pantomime characteristics are preserved by the addition o f theatrical cues, like the turning on o f the lights or the change o f seating plans. The work is  196  about large concepts like musical styles, the past and die present, the old and the new. Besides the distant presence o f Mozart and the general idea o f the past, no passage may be related to specific meanings, which leads the temporal narrative to appear as an empty shell, ready to be filled by individual listeners. The Concerto Grosso N o . 1 is unique in that there is a succinct program attached to it, albeit a secret one. The conceptual network surrounding the work is rich and diverse. It appeals to other artistic works and to psychological concepts. Like the Symphony, the Concerto Grosso provides an immanent narrative. It is a musical exploration o f dualities: good and evil, serious and banal, anima and animus. Both in its conception and its interpretation,  the  Concerto  Grosso  narrative  is  determined  by  extra-musical  considerations. These considerations are o f two kinds: the relationships explicitly triggered by the program and the implicit connotations provided by self-borrowings. Using the program as a departure point, we can personify the two soloists into two characters who undergo a transformation. They are the anima and animus, who are torn apart by the dissonances o f the orchestra. The last pedal C becomes the "resolution," through which the soloists are re-united. F r o m the self-borrowings, the B A C H motto (as orchestrated in the movie Butterfly) appears as a force o f good, perhaps part o f the collective unconscious, whereas the tango (as borrowed from the movie Agony) is a temptation or a dream. The sum o f these associations creates the temporal narrative o f the work, which depends on the immanent one. In effect, the specific event o f "the separation o f being" is plausible because the Concerto Grosso expresses the general idea o f "duality." Similar elements i n different works can have similar narrative outcomes. F o r example, there is a special resemblance between the second movements o f the Symphony  197  and o f the Concerto Grosso. The second movement o f the Symphony is initially set in a Baroque style, with a smaller orchestra and an imitative melody in perpetual-motion rhythms. The second movement o f the Concerto is a Baroque toccata, with typical harmonic sequences  and steady sixteenth-note  rhythms. In both cases, the past is  progressively infiltrated by elements o f the new, like modern harmonies or passages i n popular styles. In the Symphony, the past periodically returns, each time sounding farther away; in the Concerto, the toccata melody returns  at the very end, again like a  reminiscence. In both works, a window is opened onto the past: the past o f orchestral music i n the Symphony, and the past o f the dualities in the Concerto. A s a recurring style i n Schnittke's oeuvre, the tango reveals the diverse roles a style can play in a narrative. It is set against serious music as a recurring stylistic motif in the Symphony N o . 1. It appears in a moment o f the temporal narrative when the composer confronts the popular sphere and rejects it. The tango possesses a rich cultural background that is carried forward to new contexts. In Agony, the tango represents the feminine, the lure, the bait that awakes evil in Rasputin. In the Concerto Grosso, it is part o f Schnittke's stylistic Utopia, depicting the unreal, the dream, the unattainable. A narrative depends on the amalgamation o f meaningful associations, like those provided by the tango. A s a style, the tango possesses core meanings determined by its history (eroticism, seduction, roughness) and also more specific meanings, which may v?.ty depending on the immediate context (the feminine, the devil). These two levels o f meaning are also found in other borrowings. F o r example, the Dies Irae generally represents death, but as quoted i n the Symphony, it more specifically points to the death o f the Symphony. The  BACH  monogram refers to Johann Sebastian Bach, but i n the Concerto, it also refers to the  198  collective unconscious. It is by bringing both core and specific meanings together that a narrative takes form.  Evolution of Polystylism Polystylism takes many different guises in Schnittke's oeuvre. Generally speaking, it evolves from the blunt opposition o f sharply contrasting elements to more subtle allusions. Figure 5-1 provides a chronology o f Schnittke's works. It identifies works that can be considered polystylistic. The following discussion describes  the changes in Schnittke's use o f  polystylism. T h e first polystylistic work by Schnittke is probably The Eleventh Commandment (1962), an early opera that he never orchestrated. The piece presents a rather naive mix o f styles i n which consonance emphasizes good sentiments, and dissonance stokes bad ones. Polystylism does not appear again until 1968 with the Sonata N o . 2 for V i o l i n and Piano, "Quasi una Sonata." Between those two works, approximately from 1963 to around 1966, Schnittke composed mostly serial works (Prelude and Fugue for Piano [1963], Music for Piano and Chamber Orchestra [1964], Variations on a Chord [1965], V i o l i n Concerto N o . 2 [1966], and the String Quartet N o . 1 [1966], for example), an approach that he would later reject as too strict for his own needs. H e was especially dissatisfied by what he considered to be the inability o f twelve-tone technique to provide the depth o f perspective that tonal music could: "There is no far and near, everything resides in a micro-universe." However, 1  it is that precise feature that Schnittke would exploit in the Sonata N o . 2 by opposing tonality and serialism as the two contrasting themes o f a sonata form:  Alfred Schnittke, quoted by Dedef Gojowy in the liner notes for Alfred Schnittke, Kremer Plays Schnittke, perf. by Gidon Kremer, Tatiana Grindenko and The Chamber Orchestra of Europe, dir. Heinrich Scruff, C D (Deutsche Grammophon 445520-2,1986), 2. 1  199  We know that Webem understood the basic principle of sonata form as a contrast between Strict and Free, and I found that idea convincing. I thought that such a contrast might also be possible between Tonal or Atonal and Serial. In this case Tonality would be "free" and Serialism "strict." I tried it out, and it seems to me that a certain condition of music history was reinstated on a new level (perhaps the opposition of two styles can be experienced in a similar way to the interaction of two themes in a sonata form). 2  Despite these two early pieces, it is not until the Symphony N o . 1 that Schnittke fully explored polystylism. Influenced by his work with Hrzanovskij on Glass Harmonica, he composed his polystylistic manifesto. The Symphony features many kinds o f stylistic borrowings, including the quotations o f pre-existing works and allusions to different styles (Baroque, march, tango, etc.). It also creates oppositions around abstract features o f styles: consonance versus dissonance, serial versus tonal, unison versus clusters. In fact, there seems to be no limitation to the kind o f material that Schnittke might use; he simply employs whatever style he needs to. Later works will rarely appeal to such a broad conception o f polystylism. Figure 5-1. Evolution of polystylism in Schnittke's works Year  Major works  Polystylistic?  1958-9  Nagasaki [Oratorio, conservatory graduation piece]  No.  1962  The Eleventh Commandment [early opera]  Yes: uses unusual, dissonant sonorities to represent negative images and more traditional, tonal language for positive ones.  1963  Prelude and Fugue, for Piano  No, mosdy serial.  1964  Musicfor Piano and Chamber Orchestra  No, serial.  1965  Variations on a Chord, for piano.  No, serial, but attempts to bring quasiClassical chord structures into twelvetone music.  1966  Violin Concerto N o . 2  No, serial.  2  Ibid., 2-3.  200  Figure 5-1. Evolution of polystylism in Schnittke's works Year  Major works  Polystylistic'?  String Quartet No. 1  No.  Glass Harmonica [animated movie]  Yes.  Violin Sonata N o . 2, "Quasi una Sonata"  Yes, the most innovative polystylistic piece so far, quotes from Glass Harmonica.  1968-72  Symphony N o . 1  Yes.  1971-2  Suite in the Old Style  Yes.  1974/81  Agony [movie]  Includes the tango.  1975  Requiem  Yes.  1976  Mo^-Art, for 2 violins  Yes.  1977  Concerto Grosso N o . 1  Yes.  1979  Symphony N o . 2, "St. Florian"  Yes.  Polyphonic Tango, for orchestra  Yes.  1981  Symphony No. 3  Yes.  1983  String Quartet No. 3  Yes.  1968  SeidNiichtern und wachet, "Faust Cantata" Generally not, but includes the tango. 1984  Symphony No. 4  Not obviously, uses many "modes of intonation."  1985  Concerto Grosso N o . 3  Yes.  1987  Sonata N o . 1, for Piano  Not obviously. Opposes various types of chords.  1988  Peer Gynt [ballet]  No.  Concerto Grosso N o . 4/Symphony No. 5  Yes. The second movement is based on an unfinished sketch for a piano quartet by Gustav Mahler.  A Feast in the Time of Plague [movie]  Not really, but it includes two folk songs.  String Quartet No. 4  Very litde, ethereal atmosphere, mosdy atonal with a brief return to tonality.  1991/94  Historia von D. Johann Fausten  Mosdy uniform, but still includes the tango.  1992-4  Symphonies N o . 6, N o . 7, No. 8  No.  1994  Minuet, for violin, viola and violoncello. [Composed as an encore for the first performance of the Concerto for Three].  One of Schnittke's last works.  1989  201  A l m o s t all o f Schnittke's works composed between 1968 and 1983 bear at least some polystylistic characteristics, often the result o f intensive self-borrowings from film scores. A l l five movements o f the Suite in Old Style, for example, are adapted from scores: the Pastorale and the Ballet come from The Adventures of a Dentist [Poho^denid %ubnogo vraca] (1965, directed by E l e m Klimov), the Pantomime and the Minuet from animated films for children, and the Fugue from a documentary, Sport, Sport, Sport (1971, directed by E l e m Klimov). Moreover, many o f the works discussed i n the previous chapters, the Concerto Grosso N o . 1, Agony, the first version o f Mo^Art,  Polyhonic Tango and the "Faust Cantata,"  date from this period. In the evolution o f polystylism, Mo^-Art and the Concerto Grosso N o . 1, both composed in the mid-1970s, represent a golden age. E v e n i f these two works contrast in terms o f the breadth o f stylistic sources—the Concerto includes many different styles which might have been composed by as many different composers, whereas the themes o f Mo^Art  were all composed by Mozart—they both present a great variety o f styles i n  unexpected  juxtapositions. In the Requiem (1975), Schnittke uses various styles to  underscore the religious themes o f the work. A contemporary instrumentation, including electric guitars and drums, is employed in the Credo to accompany simple modal melodies, clearly reminiscent o f Gregorian chant. The inclusion o f instruments used i n popular styles in the Credo, where the assembly reaffirms its faith, might be a way for Schnittke to emphasize the contemporary relevance o f the Mass. Later, the Dies Irae opens with a unison chorus for the first two verses. The melodic lines emphasize the interval o f a tritone, a clear reference to the diabolus in musica. A t the same time, the organ builds an  202  eight-note cluster by sustaining pitches as they are sung, creating a dissonant background evocative o f wrath. The Symphony N o . 2 (1979), "St. Florian," composed about a decade after he began work on the Symphony N o . 1, restricts the number o f styles to three main elements. The first consists o f direct quotations o f Gregorian chant melodies. They are 3  sung as incipits to each o f the six movements, which bear the titles o f the sections o f the Ordinary o f the Mass: (1) Kyrie, (2) Gloria, (3) Credo, (4) Crucifixus, (5) Sanctus and Benedictus, and (6) Agnus D e i . The second element, which strictly speaking is not a musical style, is the series o f natural overtones, as Schnittke once heard it i n the w i n d . The 4  serial technique is the third element. According to Schnittke, the three elements symbolize the three forces o f the world. The Gregorian chants refer to religion, the series o f natural overtones to nature, and the serial principles to humanity and culture. The first movement 5  reveals these forces without giving precedence to any one o f them. Each o f the following three movements concentrates on one o f the forces: natural overtones in the second movement, Gregorian chant i n the third, and dodecaphonic series in the fourth. E a c h time, the material is developed to an extreme, and each time chaos ensues. The equilibrium between the three elements returns in the last two movements. In one passage toward the  Other secondary characters in the Symphony N o . 2 are major and minor chords and a Classical theme played by the oboe d'amore in the fifth movement.  3  One of the working tides of the Symphony N o . 2 was Invisible Mass. Schnittke recalls the visit of St.Florian Monastery which inspired him the work: "We arrived at St. Florian in the dusk, when Bruckner's tomb could not be visited. [...] Somewhere behind the wall was a small choir singing the mass — 'Missa invisible'. There was no one in the church but us." Reproduced by Alexander Ivashkin in the liner notes for Alfred Schnittke, Symphony No. 2 'St.Florian," perf. Russian State Symphony Orchestra, dir. by Valery Polyansky (CD Chandos 9519, 1997), 4. 4  The associations between musical elements and the forces of the world as defined by Schnittke are reported by his friend, Alexander Ivashkin, in Alfred Schnittke, Symphony No. 2 'St.Florian," 4. 5  203  end o f the sixth movement, the forces come together: the natural overtone series emerges in a solo violin, joined by dissonant harmonies in the strings, triads i n the flutes, the serial theme played by the oboe, Gregorian chant melodies by the organ, and even the first note o f a "Classical" theme by the glockenspiel (m. 100/1/1-9). The obvious narrative is that all three forces are essential and that a blind belief in just one o f them can only lead to failure, an ideal not far from the conception o f Utopia expressed about the Concerto Grosso No. 1 The kind o f polystylism developed in the Symphony N o . 2 differs from that employed i n the Symphony N o . 1 and the Concerto Grosso N o . 1. The latter two works feature a wide range o f styles, whereas the former piece has a more restricted palette, a characteristic that will prevail in a majority o f later compositions. A t some point in the first half o f the 1980s, direct quotations disappear in favour o f indirect allusions, or even abstractions o f styles. The Symphony N o . 4 (1984), a work in one movement, pushes this tendency to an extreme. The polystylism is reduced to four types o f "intonation modes," three representing branches o f Christianity—Orthodox, Catholic, and Lutheran—and the other one Judaism. Important sections o f the work are limited to only one tetrachord, from which a scale is developed. F o r example, the first development section is devoted to Catholicism and uses a scale based on the step-step-half-step pattern; as a result, the whole passage is based upon a modified major mode. The Orthodox scale is defined as step—half-step-step patterns (the minor tetrachord), whereas the Jewish mode is based on an old synagogic chant: three successive half-steps, a whole step and a half, and three successive half-steps. Because o f its cyclic nature, the Jewish mode leads to diminished and augmented octaves. In fact, the interval o f the perfect octave in avoided until the coda  204  where the different modes are combined in Utopian whole. A s in the Symphony N o . 2, Schnittke pleads for equilibrium. After 1985, polystylism almost entirely disappears. This is the case i n Peer Gynt (1988), a ballet by John Neumeier freely adapted from Henrik Ibsen's play. The score is devoid o f anything immediately suggestive o f the dance. In fact, the music and the dance evolve i n two independent dimensions, and Schnittke's work is an autonomous whole which develops many themes from a single germinating cell, resulting i n a stylistically homogeneous  score.  6  The last three symphonies, N o s . 6, 7, and 8 (1992-94),  are  characterized by a new economy o f means that leaves very little place for stylistic allusions. Other works, however, occasionally return to a more blatant polystylism. F o r example, the Concerto Grosso N o . 4/Symphony N o . 5 combines the two titular genres; it starts like the former and ends like the latter. While the first movement is a parody o f a Baroque concerto, the second movement is based on an unfinished sketch for a piano quartet by Mahler. Schnittke develops fragments o f the sketch before presenting it i n full at the end of the movement. Polystylism is less apparent in the last two movements, which develop a cataclysmic symphonic language reminiscent o f Mahler's own symphonies and include a gloomy funeral march. Another example o f late polystylism is the incidental music for A Feast in Time of Plague (1989), a televised adaptation o f a work by Pushkin. The script includes the lyrics for two songs, which Schnittke composed i n the fashion o f folk songs. The first one is a lament in memory o f the deaths caused by the Plague, while the second one is a satiric glorification o f the disease. The score also includes an obsessive dance to  A detailed musical analysis of Peer Gynt, by Ronald Weitzman and Richard Traub is reproduced in the booklet of Alfred Schnittke, Peer Gynt, perf. by the Orchestra of the Royal Opera, Stockholm, dir. E r i Klas (BIS CD-677-678, 1994), 11-28. 6  205  accompany the speech o f Louise, who mocks the dead and pleads for a joyful feast. If stylistic allusions in other works are nevertheless generally much subde, the Minuet (1994), composed as an encore for the Concerto for Three (1994), represents another exception. This 7  short work, one o f Schnittke's last, goes back, perhaps not without nostalgia, to pieces from the 1970s, especially to the Minuet o f the Suite in Old Style.  Polystylism and Narrative Potential Polystylism threatens continuity. It opens up gaps in the musical fabric. It interrupts the stylistic flow in an unexpected fashion. A style by itself entails an ensemble o f possible developments that usually allows listeners to predict, to a certain extent, what will come next. PolystyHsm disrupts that scheme. B y refusing the satisfaction o f expectations, Schnittke's music directs the listener's attention to something beyond strict musical styles and forms. The presence o f this inherent symbolism has been felt by many. F o r Ivashkin, "it is impossible to listen to this music against an abstract rational design. The listener unwittingly senses the latent symbolism o f the music. [...] Schnittke and Shostakovich works require interpretation; they are not self-explanatory." Rothstein adds that, whatever 8  Schnittke may say about his works, his comments "can't hide the sense o f a program— political, spiritual or autobiographical—that exists in his works." Schnittke's  polystylism triggers  a  narrative  reflex.  9  The  listener  constructs  relationships to extra-musical concepts i n order to explain the numerous stylistic gaps. In  The Russian slang tide of the work, "na troikh," invokes sharing a bottie a botde of vodka among three people.  7  8  Ivashkin, "Shostakovich and Schnittke," 266-267.  9  Rothstein, "Masur Introduces Schnittke," 11.  206  this thesis, the connections that were established had to be supported documentary  evidence,  like  Schnittke's  sketches,  or,  at  least,  by  by either conceptual  correspondences made through intertextuality or cultural associations. Such exigencies, however, limit the range o f interpretations and restrict the narrative possibilities. In other words, for each borrowing interpreted according to the above approach, there were many for which no obvious meaning could be found either in sketches or i n their cultural connotations. F o r example, i n the Symphony N o . 1, the presence o f Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto N o . 1 and Strauss's Tales from the Vienna Woods among quotations o f funeral marches is hardly explainable; it threatens the narrative. The sudden appearance o f Mozart's Symphony N o . 40 in Mo^-Art was ignored, at least as far as a possible narrative was concerned. Moreover, many events occurring on a smaller scale have been neglected in each work. That they do not influence the narrative as much as the principal events addressed here does not mean that they are insignificant. F o r other listeners, they might even redefine important portions o f the proposed narratives. Because the score is an epistemic nexus, and because it cannot denote in the same way that words do, a narrative depends on the listener adopting many possible strategies, ranging from the intuitive to the scholarly. The relative imprecision o f polystylism is both its main weakness and its main strength. Schnittke never released a program with a work. H e never wanted to impose an extra-musical meaning on a piece. Nonetheless, as we have seen, his works cannot hide the sense o f a program. They are stylistically disjunct, they are fragmented. They ask questions. Schnittke's works are open; i n a sense, they are incomplete. Schnittke's polystylism invites listeners to shape the meaning o f a work through their knowledge o f the composer, and the cultural references raised by the  207  different  styles. Because o f this openness, polystylistic works resist  straightforward  interpretations. The stylistic richness forces listeners into interpretation cycles, going from the work to extra-musical meanings and back to the work, and so on. Therein lies the narrative potential o f polystylism.  208  BIBLIOGRAPHY  Adamenko, Victoria. " 'Faith through Skepticism': DesacraHzation and Resacralization i n Schnittke's Symphony N o . 1." Paper read at the 2005 American Musicological Society Annual Meeting, Washington, D . C . Ahnert, Sven. "Alfred Schnittke: Geschichte einer Metamorphose v o n der Filmmusik zur abstrakten Klangdramatik." In Jeder nach seiner Fasson: Musikalische Neuansat^e heute, edited by Ulrike Liedtke, 310-314. 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