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Discovered after Schnittke's death: First performance of Alfred Schnittke's Variations for string quartet in Bern

In 2000, the Russian cellist and friend of the Russian composer Alfred Schnittke Alexander Ivashkin, who died in Hamburg in 1998, gave the Sikorski music publisher a copy of a manuscript of Schnittke, which was difficult to read.

The seriously ill composer had painstakingly put the variations for string quartet on paper in the last months of his life. After his death, the manuscript was found in his apartment.

A first performance, based on Ivashkin’s transcript of the score, took place on 30 April 2000 in London's Southbank Centre. From that time on the work has been repeatedly requested.

Alexander Ivashkin once described the work, which appears musically enigmatic in many respects, as a "search for a new simplicity".

On 25 September 2020, members of the Camerata Bern will give the Swiss premiere of Schnittke's Variations for String Quartet from 1998 in Berne. 

Bern Switzerland.
Premiere Alfred Schnittke,Variations for string quartet (1998)(Camerata Bern)

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