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Alfred Schnittke’s 75th Birthday: Little-Known Statements of the Composer Who Died in 1998

Alfred Schnittke’s 75th birthday on 24 November will be commemorated worldwide with concerts, festivals and special events. The NDR will broadcast a memorial programme on 25 November starting at 9:27 PM under the motto “Inspired, Pulsing Scores,” in which Schnittke’s own spoken words will also be heard on historical recordings.
The German Alfred Schnittke Society is organising a memorial concert on 24 November at the Alfred Schnittke Academy on Max Brauer Allee 24 in Hamburg, at which “Drei Lieder” for tenor and piano and the Piano Quintet of Alfred Schnittke will be performed.
During the course of the musicological documentation and evaluation of Schnittke’s production by the Alfred Schnittke Society in Hamburg, among others, statements made by the composer himself have turned up which are to be successively published. Among other things, Schnittke once said the following during the course of the “Encounter with Contemporary Music” in July 1990:

“After my illness I now have a completely different conception of music. It formerly seemed to me – and was so throughout my entire life – to belong to a crystalline world, and the task that I always had was to find the definitive version, which was long and difficult work.”

“One often thinks one is not the creator of what one makes, but only a servant. One makes something that was already there, and the actual work consists in capturing what already exists.”

 

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