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  • Schnittke: Symphony No. 9 / Raskatov: Nunc dimittis
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Schnittke: Symphony No. 9 / Raskatov: Nunc dimittis

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Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Schnittke: Symphony No. 9 - AndanteDresdner Philharmonie19:58Album Only
listen  2. Schnittke: Symphony No. 9 - ModeratoDresdner Philharmonie 8:25Album Only
listen  3. Schnittke: Symphony No. 9 - PrestoDresdner Philharmonie 8:32Album Only
listen  4. Nunc Dimittis - In Memoriam Alfred SchnittkeDresdner Philharmonie16:11Album Only

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Product Details

  • Performer: Hilliard Ensemble
  • Orchestra: Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Dennis Russell Davies
  • Composer: Alfred Schnittke, Alexander Raskatov
  • Audio CD (March 31, 2009)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: ECM Records
  • ASIN: B001OBML2E
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #311,567 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Includes the world première recording of Alfred Schnittke s posthumous last work. Schnittke s ultimate symphony is paired with a work by Alexander Raskatov, the composer picked by Schnittke s widow to complete the 9th symphony. A must-have for anyone interested in Schnittke s music and an intriguing document of artistic independence beyond schools and trends. Performances of highest artistic standards bringing together long-standing figureheads of ECM s New Series in the form of Dennis Russell Davies and the Hilliard Ensemble. CD-package includes an illustrated 28-page booklet with an essay by Helmut Peters on the genesis of the manuscript and an interview with Alexander Raskatov in English and German

Customer Reviews

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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Philippe Vandenbroeck VINE VOICE on April 11, 2009
Format: Audio CD
A release of a recording of Schnittke's Ninth Symphony has been eagerly anticipated. The work preoccupied him until shortly before his death and the widow Irina Schnittke considers it his musical testament. As such it has, however, a somewhat dubious status. The CD booklet leaves no doubt that the composer was able to finish the work but a partial paralysis due to a stroke forced him to write with his left hand, resulting in a manuscript that was difficult to decipher (two quite astonishing facsimile pages from the manuscript have been reproduced in the CD booklet). Hence a "reconstruction" of the manuscript proved to be indispensable. However, there are other sources that claim Schnittke left the work simply unfinished. So rather than a reconstruction we are dealing here with a completion by another hand.

Whatever the exact nature of the task, it was commissioned by the Dresdner Philarmonie, the Bruckner Orchester Linz and the Juilliard School in New York. First Russian composer Nikolai Korndorf took on the challenge to prepare the work for performance but he soon contracted a brain tumor and passed away (another example of the "curse of the Ninth?"). Then Alexander Raskatov accepted the task and completed it in 2006. Raskatov also wrote a composition of his own ("Nunc Dimittis"), also featured on this disc, in response to his confrontation with the score of Schnittke's Ninth. Again, the status of this work and its relationship with the Ninth is, frankly, ambiguous. At one point the text in the booklet mentions that Raskatov "added" his own work, suggesting that there is a formal connection between his 16-minute vocal composition and Schnittke's valedictory symphony.
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Format: Audio CD
Alfred Schnittke's Symphony No. 9 is an incomplete final testament, with the ailing composer writing three movements with his non-dominant left hand in 1997-98 before abandoning it. Gennady Rozhdestvensky hastily prepared a performable version that same year for a Moscow concert, but Schnittke suppressed it after hearing the radio broadcast. It then took nearly a decade before the composer's estate had Alexander Raskatov decipher the score and produce a completion. This authorized version was premiered on 16 June 2007 by the Dresden Philharmonic conducted by Dennis Russell Davies, and these same musicians appear on this ECM recording. The disc is filled out by one of Raskatov's own compositions, "Nunc dimmitis" which is intended as a sort of coda to Schnittke's symphony.

Schnittke's Ninth generally follows the previous three symphonies in that it lacks the polystylic extravagance that marked his earlier work. However, it's by no means as bleak, and what impresses me about the symphony is its sense of variety and momentum, something lacking from the Sixth through the Eighth, which were often compared to musical representations of what being a stroke victim feels like. The three movements of the Ninth are progressively faster, the woodwinds are more prominent than is usual for Schnittke and at times sound even carefree. There's also a palpable sense of drama here, where instead of just pure misery winds and strings develop towards something beautiful only to be confronted by brass and drums.

But it's a frustrating piece. In spite of its abundant richness, the ultimate impression of the symphony as heard here is a meandering, uncertain work. Yes, the chords at the end of the third movement finish something, but do they finish the piece as a whole?
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By villegem on April 18, 2009
Format: Audio CD
De front soyons clairs: les 4 etoiles se rapportent a l'interpretation academique de Dennis Russell Davies qui dirige la Philharmonie de Dresden. Academique car offrant une sorte de panorama que je qualifierai d'objectif de la partition de la neuvieme symphonie de Schnittke -en fait sa dixieme si l'on compte la symphonie "0" recemment enregistree sur BIS grace aux efforts d'Alexander Ivashkin-. Un peu pour dire ecoutez comment cela sonne mais ne me demandez pas ce que cela signifie...

Le travail de Raskatov fut long et fastidieux mais a la difference de la dixieme de Mahler recomposee, il est clair que l'ont sent la patte de Schnittke a 99% et c'est un choix judicieux qu'Irina Schnittke, la veuve du compositeur fit. On sait que lorsque Alfred Schnittke presque mourant ecouta un enregistrement de Rozhdestvensky dirigeant la premiere de sa neuvieme symphonie, le compositeur s'opposa a ce qu'il entendit fut consideree comme la version definitive de son oeuvre. Donc la n'est pas l'issue.

En fait la musique est remarquablement complexe et les textures beaucoup moins ascetiques que pour sa sixieme par exemple. Il est clair qu'il s'agit d'une oeuvre vaste et a la fois tellement personnelle, intime et universelle. Les forces en question sont imposantes et les orchestrations subtiles. Des lors on peut dire que Russell Davies a fait son travail honnetement. Mais cela est un peu court pour cet auditeur et voila la raison des 4 etoiles alors que la musique est largement digne des 5 etoiles et le pouce...
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Topic From this Discussion
classical music
Alan Pettersson is actually the musician I'm the most listening, especially 6 and 7 symphonies. You have to try this music.
Aug 27, 2010 by Jérémie Garrot |  See all 2 posts
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