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Strobel‘s Suite of Alfred Schnittke‘s Film Music “The Master and Margarita” in Slovakia

Alfred Schnittke’s soundtrack to Yuri Kara’s new film of Mikhail Bulgakov’s novel “The Master and Margarita”, written in the Soviet Union of the 1930s, was composed in 1993. Alfred Schnittke’s son Andrei Schnittke was in charge of the electronic parts. In 1997 the conductor and arranger Frank Strobel prepared a Suite of this film music that will now be given its Slovak premiere on 4 June 2015 in Bratislava. The Slovakian Philharmonic will be conducted by Emmanuel Villaume.

Frank Strobel has supplied the following comments: “What is striking about this music, Schnittke’s first composition for film in ten years, is that large sections of it use techniques generally characteristic of his style that he used in his earlier film music. Be that as it may, his recourse to these techniques is far less complex, and they are limited to essential features as is the case with other youthful works. Thus the Concert Suite, consisting of several parts of the film music, begins with the title theme ‘Master and Margarita’, the pallid mood of which is reminiscent of Gustav Mahler.”

The Suite consists of a Foxtrot, a Tango and a Funeral March that support and superelevate the individual encounters and situations in a satirical manner. The film music to “Master and Margarita” plays with a large number of musical forms in a film in which fable and legend, fantasy and grotesquerie interwoven to form a unity.

4 June 2015
Reduta, Concert Hall, 7 PM
Slovak premiere: Alfred Schnittke / Frank Strobel
Suite from the film music “The Master and Margarita”
Slovakian Philharmonic
Emmanuel Villaume (direction)


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