German premiere of Alfred Schnittkes 1st Symphony in Berlin

Half a century elapsed between the year of Alfred Schnittkes first work on his symphonic debut and its German premiere late this summer. Schnittke's Symphony No. 1 (in four movements) was composed between 1969 and 1972 and premiered in a performance by the Gorki Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Gennadi Roschdestwenski on 9 February 1974 in Gorki.
As part of the Berlin Music Festival, Schnittkes Symphony No. 1 will be given its German premiere on 10 September 2019, or expressed more precisely, its German premiere as part of a concert. Previously, John Neumeier, director and chief choreographer of the Hamburg Ballet, used Schnittkes 1st Symphony for his legendary 1983 ballet "Endstation Sehnsucht", where it was played by a band. The ballet was first staged in Stuttgart and later to taken on by the Hamburg State Opera and staged on numerous tours in Germany and abroad.
Valery Gergiev is to conduct the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra at the German premiere on 10 September in Berlin.

Commenting on his First Symphony, Alfred Schnittke once wrote:

"(…) It is even better when (...) utility music comes into a piece through a thematic-motivic context.In (...) the 1st Symphony, where I attempted many things, I also tried that.For example, there are infinitely long, hard, aggressive and tonally very massaged variations on the Dies irae. You don't hear it clearly at first, then it grows clearer and clearer, becoming a grid for twelve-tone music, and so on. Now you hear it very clearly, and then suddenly I take two notes of this Dies irae, which coincidentally are identical with a Schlager hit, and suddenly a piece of this Schlager comes out and the whole thing tips and tumbles into banality - which is actually not so out of place here, for there is a connection with Dies irae and devilish banality (…)

10/09/2019
Berlin
Germany (concert performance)
Alfred Schnittke,
Symphony No. 1
(Munich Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor:
Valery Gergiev)
- as part of the Berlin Music Festival -

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