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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A solid account of Schnittke's life, written by a friend, 13 May 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Alfred Schnittke (20th-Century Composers) (Paperback)
Phaidon specializes in beautifully made books about modern composers, and this one is no exception. Ivashkin, a friend of the composer's, provides a fascinating account. He dramatizes Schnittke's ethnic, national, and religious complexity, making him seem like the quintessential composer of the late 20th century. He includes details about Schnittke's background, friends and colleagues (and enemies), and personal and social life that might have been unavailable to someone who didn't actually know the composer. The publisher throws in many photos and illustrations, which themselves tellingly portray Soviet life--both the context of and the counterpoint to Schnittke's varied music. I would have preferred somewhat more analysis of the music itself (much of the commentary verges on the anecdotal--fun to read but often insubstantial), and more careful proofreading would have saved the pages from some pretty obvious mistakes. Overall, however, this book offers an enjoyable evening's read, and includes a comprehensive work list and select discography for shoppers. Recommended.
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Alfred Schnittke (20th-Century Composers)
Alfred Schnittke (20th-Century Composers) by Alexander Ivashkin (Paperback - 25 Sep 1996)
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