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  • Schnittke: Symphony 6 / Concerto Grosso 2 / Polyansky
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Schnittke: Symphony 6 / Concerto Grosso 2 / Polyansky

5 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 27, 2004
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Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
  1. Symphony No. 6: I. Allegro moderatoRussian State Symphony Orchestra17:51Album Only
  2. Symphony No. 6: II. PrestoRussian State Symphony Orchestra 4:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Symphony No. 6: III. Adagio -Russian State Symphony Orchestra 9:32Album Only
  4. Symphony No. 6: IV. Allegro vivaceRussian State Symphony Orchestra 5:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Concerto grosso No. 2: I. Andantino - AllegroTatyana Grindenko 6:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Concerto grosso No. 2: II. PesanteTatyana Grindenko10:22Album Only
  7. Concerto grosso No. 2: III. AllegroTatyana Grindenko 6:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. Concerto grosso No. 2: IV. AndantinoTatyana Grindenko 9:45Album Only

Product Details

  • Orchestra: Russian State Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Valery Polyansky
  • Composer: Alfred Schnittke
  • Audio CD (April 27, 2004)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Alliance
  • ASIN: B0001IXRS8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #465,108 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By villegem on May 18, 2004
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Thanks to Poliansky conducting an impeccable orchestra splendidly recorded, Schnittke's enigmatic sixth symphony comes to life. Forgotten the babble of the previous bis recording of this work: now the orchestral colors are revealed. Close to the 5 aphorisms for piano, the structure is ascetic and borrow a theme from the St Florian, second symphony and expand it to the point of disjointing it with long pauses. One may think of Tarkovsky in the way Schnittke explores in this arduous work.

In fact Schnittke's Sixth is in my opinion his late period masterpiece. The language is so refined and ahead of its time.

So why only 4 stars?
Because of the Concerto Grosso number 2 hysterical rendition by Gridenko and Ivashkin. One can only recall what musicians like Oleg Kagan and Gutman brought to this wonderful music (Russian recording, USSR ministry of Culture Symphony Orch. Rozhdestvensky conducting 1986/87) to measure our loss... Here: lost the humour, the lyricism, the mystery and the music alltogether. Too bad since the pairing was quite smart, Poliansky was again amazing and the recording quality superb.

However, the sixth symphony makes this CD a MUST have. The sixth and seventh symphonies are now available conducted by Poliansky on Chandos and I can toss maestro Otaka's cacophony: Finally!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Autonomeus TOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 11, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Here is a superb performance of "late Schnittke," Symphony No. 6, composed in 1992, after the composer's second stroke. Written for a chamber orchestra, it is an elegant, streamlined, deeply tragic work. The Sixth follows a traditional form -- allegro, presto, adagio, allegro vivace -- and that introduces an element of dissonance by leading the ear to expect what it does not receive, and that is any sort of standard resolution. Instead, there is only brokenness, and tortured hope before the void.

This is the latest in the Chandos series of Schnittke symphonies with Valeri Polyansky conducting the Russian State Symphony Orchestra. I have heard four of them so far, and they are uniformly stunning. Polyansky has yet to record Schnittke's 3rd or 5th, and I hope he is the first to record the 9th, one of the last compositions before the composer's death in 1998. I look forward to these with great anticipation -- though there are recordings of the 3rd and 5th on the Swedish BIS label, I am waiting on Chandos and Polyansky.

This disc also includes a new recording of the "Concerto grosso No. 2," featuring Tatiana Grindenko on violin and Alexander Ivashkin on cello. It's not bad, but the original recording with Oleg Kagan and Natalie Gutman is much better, warmer and more compelling -- see my review of that recording in the Moscow Studio Archives series, paired with the amazing first recording of the "Viola Concerto" by Yuri Bashmet.

(verified purchase from Amoeba Records in San Francisco)
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Mostly I will review the Concerto Grosso since for me at least it's the real pull of the disc. I've listened to this "performance" so many times. At first I was upset comparing/contrasting to other recordings of the work which seem to provide a softer/tenderer approach to the violin/cello solos/duets but oh man, over time this one has grown on me. This is a real violent work of irony so to speak and this recording more than anything stresses the explosions and the crashes of the orchestra and as always in any schnittke work you can hear the harpsichord just fine. This performance of the concerto grosso is UNRELENTING and it's painful to listen to. It's all here though. I think this is the strangeness. It seems like when you listen to it every instrument is invading the aural forefront. So I mean it is most definitely not a "silent night." A musical "power struggle" as it were. And Chandos definitely presents the harshness of the "war" real clean. And I mean, at the end of the day it's Schnittke. A recording of Schnittke. Throw it in your collection. Catelogue it amongst the performances of his works. This is a keeper, no matter what they say.
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful By paul best on March 30, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Very fine performance.
I'll leave the other reviews to talk about the works and performances.
To those who do not know Schnittke, work your way through Shostakovich first, don't jump ahead.
For those who are stuck in the classical/romantic eras, avoid Schnittke, its not for you. For those who who know Varese, second viennese school, Elliot Carter, some Messiaen, Pettersson, I believe you will come around to Schnittke.
Its eclectic with a broad range of musical arrangements of ideas.
For me at least, Schnittke, like pettersson speaks the language of the modern life. Modern man is facing very tough issues and is resulting in early life stage heart attacks, cancer, and deep depression. Well God gave us music to deal with this evil.
Pettersson and Schnittke are 2 composers that can help you in life's struggles.
Also liked to make note to Schnittke fans, you definetly want to get a copy of the book, A Schnittke Reader, edited by Ivashkin. Music students as well need to read this book.
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5 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Culver TOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 16, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This Chandos disc contains two works by Alfred Schnittke, the Sixth Symphony and the Second Concerto Grosso performed by Russian State Symphony Orchestra conducted by Valeri Polyansky, with Tatiana Gridenko and Alexander Ivashkin in the solo parts of the concerto.

The four-movement "Symphony No. 6" dates from 1992, after the composer's second stroke. As with many of his late works, the symphony is grim and sparsely written, and lacks the extensive use of quotations which marked his works of the 1970s and 1980s. The symphony at its hard is an instrumental meditation on evil, it was composed at the same time that Schnittke was working on his Faust opera, but he also intended it to convey the idea of struggle and fatigue so that the audience could understand in what kind of state this sickly man was working. While some of the writing for strings is admirable, I find this work very difficult to enjoy, especially because the opening movement takes nearly 15 minutes to get anywhere. It certainly doesn't have the accessibility of most of Schnittke's oeuvre.

The second work present is Schnittke's "Concerto Grosso No. 2" for violin, cello, and orchestra, originally written for the Soviet dynamic duo of violinist Oleg Kagan and his wife the cellist Natalie Gutman. An electrifying recording of a performance with these two can be had in the Moscow Studio Archives series. Schnittke's first concerto grosso was a stately and serious piece in which a distinctly modern tone was occasionally invaded by quotation from baroque works. This second concerto grosso, on the other hand, is comical. The violin begans by playing the well-known tune "Silent Night" before the orchestra brashly interrupts with a quotation from Bach's Sixth Brandenburg Concerto.
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Schnittke: Symphony 6 / Concerto Grosso 2 / Polyansky
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