ALFRED SCHNITTKE (1934-1998): Symphony No. 9 (reconstr. Alexander Raskatov [b.1953]), Concerto Grosso No. 1 for Flute, Oboe, Harpsichord, Prepared Piano and String Orchestra (world premiere recording).
Catalogue Number: 08L096
Description: The 1977 Concerto grosso, a familiar example of Schnittke's polystylistic idiom, is recorded here in the composer's version with winds replacing the two violins of the original. This work is so delightfully, nonchalantly and playfully inclusive a divertimento that its entertainment quotient remains high, even as it flits dizzyingly between Baroque pastiche, popular melody, borrowings from Shostakovich and frank atonality. This version of the symphony is a reconstruction of Schnittke's almost indecipherable, post-stroke manuscript, prepared after the composer's rejection of Rozhdestvensky's edition which attempted to make a polystylistic work out of a piece composed long after the composer had moved in other directions entirely. The work exudes an atmosphere of somber asceticism, the orchestral resources used sparingly, though tellingly, in an idiom firmly based in Shostakovich-like tonality, shadowy but intense and full of pent-up energy. Sharon Bezaly (flute), Christopher Cowie (oboe), Grant Brasler (harpsichord), Albert Combrink (piano), Cape Philharmonic Orchestra; Owain Arwel Hughes.