Composer search

Search by surname

Detailed search

Repertoire search

Catalogue search

A Secret Tip for Cellists: Schnittke and Kancheli in a New Printed Edition

In the current issue of the specialist magazine "ensemble", Michael Rsler writes the following about the Sikorski New Edition "Alfred Schnittke / Giya Kancheli: Musica nostalgica / 'With a Smile for Slava' for Violoncello and Piano" (Ed. 1981; 16 Euros 50):

"With these two pieces for the great Mstislav Rostropovich, his two composing fellow-countrymen tread the thin ice of salon music - and turn elegant pirouettes where lighter spirits threaten to break in. Schnittke's 'Musica nostalgica' turns out to be a minuet, the banal, eye-winking theme of which is always illuminated in new ways through excessive material and the introduction of tonal battle scenes. Besides the two Cello Sonatas and the 1993 adaptation of the Peer Gynt epilogue, it is Schnittke's only other work for violoncello and piano.

"Kancheli's 'With a Smile for Slava' is an homage written for the occasion of Mstislav Rostropovich's seventieth birthday. More modern than the Schnittke opus, it nonetheless also skirts the fringe of charming salon music. 'Con estreme eleganza' is the playing instruction, and the piece does indeed remind one of comparable occasional pieces of Faur or Elgar. A secret tip, absolutely to be recommended to advanced cellists!"


The Epilogue for violoncello, piano and tape is an adaptation of the large Epilogue for orchestra and tape from the ballet "Peer Gynt" created by Alfred Schnittke and John Neumeier in 1986 and 1987 for the Hamburg State Opera. The enclosed CD recording of the choral vocalise was also written for this orchestral version.

The world premiere of this chamber version of the Epilogue took place on 20 May 1993 in Evian, performed by Mstislav Rostropovich (violoncello) and Irina Schnittke (piano).