Gennady Rozhdestvensky-Alfred Schnittke-Dead Souls – Orchestral suite – The Past Plushkina and the Mazurka
Victoria Postnikova: piano
Academic Symphony Capella of Russia
Alfred Garrievich Schnittke (November 24, 1934 – August 3, 1998) was a Soviet and German composer.
The Ninth Symphony was first performed on 19 June 1998 in Moscow in a version deciphered – but also ‘arranged’ – by Gennady Rozhdestvensky, who conducted the premiere.
Here a guide to the music of Alfred Garrievich Schnittke from theGuardian>
Gennady Rozhdestvensky (4th May 1931 – 16th June 2018) was one of greatest conductors of the last half century. Born in Moscow, he studied the piano with Lev Oborin and conducting with his father, Nikolaï Anosov, at the Moscow Conservatoire. At the age of 20, he was engaged at the Bolshoi Theatre where he made his début conducting Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty. His was to be a long term relationship with the Bolshoi: he became their principal conductor between 1964 and 1970, and in 2000 was appointed their General Music Director.
For many years, he also headed the Moscow Radio Orchestra and became the first Soviet conductor, ever to be appointed principal conductor of various foreign orchestras: the BBC Symphony Orchestra in London, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, and the Stockholm Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Gennady Rozhdestvensky also conducted an impressive number of performances at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden (Boris Godunov and new productions of The Golden Cockrell and The Nutcracker), at the Paris Opera (The Queen of Spades), at La Scala (The Legend of Tsar Saltan by Rimsky-Korsakov and Der fliegende Holländer) among others.
He has also participated in dozens of world premieres of new or newly found works, some of which were dedicated to him: works by composers including Prokofiev, Shostakovich, John Tavener, Alfred Schnittke, Rodion Shchédrine etc. In 2001, he gave the first performance of the original version of Prokofiev’s opera The Gambler at the Bolshoi Theatre.
His prolific discography reveals his insatiable curiosity and makes him one of the most recorded conductors of all time. His present catalogue features well over 400 records comprising the astounding number of 786 different works.
In 2011, he celebrated his 80th birthday together with the 60th anniversary of his conducting debut with a special evening at the Bolshoi Theatre (New Stage) in which he conducted scenes from The Sleeping Beauty, the Coronation scene from Boris Godunov and Rachmaninov’s 2nd Symphony.
Rozhdestvensky is the recipient of the French Legion of honour, of the Japanese Order of the Rising Sun, and an Honorary Member of the Stockholm and British Academies.
In 2014, he received an honorary CBE for his services to music and led the Bolshoi Opera in concert performances of The Tsar’s Bride at Lincoln Centre, New York. Sedgwick Clark in Musical America referred to him as ‘this great conductor’ and called for his return. He did indeed return to the US to conduct six performances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra last season which also saw him celebrate his 85th birthday in a month-long series of concerts in Moscow.
In 2016, Gennady Rozhdestvensky was awarded the 7th International Shostakovich Prize by the Staatskapelle Dresden. The award is given in association with the orchestra’s annual Shostakovich Festival in Gohrisch (Saxonian Switzerland), which Mo Rozhdestvensky opened in June 2017.