Альфред Шнитке - Мастер и Маргарита
Alfred Garryevich Schnittke (1934-1998) was a Russian composer from the former Volga-German Autonomous Republic and studied music in Vienna and Moscow.
He started studying music in 1946 in Vienna, where his father worked as a journalist and translator. From 1948 he studied in Moscow, at the Moscow Conservatorium P. I. Tchaikovsky, where he would be a teacher himself. As from the seventies he devoted himself totally to composing music.
At first his style was avant-garde and strongly influenced by composition techniques coming from the west like serialism and aleatoric music. In the early seventies he developed a new style, which he called himself polystylism.
The life of Schnittke in the Soviet Union was rather tough. Although the Soviet government was less severe against artists in the sixties and seveties than it was under Stalin, it looked at the works of Schnittke in a rather suspicious way, because they were considered "avant-garde" or "western". Therefor his performances were often thwarted, and Schnittke had to write film soundtrachs to earn just enough for subsistence. In 1990 Schnittke settled with his family in Hamburg, where he died on August 3, 1998.
In 1993, the Russian director Yuri Kara asked Alfred Schnittke to make the soundtrack for his film Master i Magarita. The film was planned to be the most expensive post-Soviet production ever. For various reasons, however, it took 17 years before it was shown in the cinema theatres. The CD with Schnittke's soundtrack was released in 2005 though. However, when the film was released in 2011, it seemed to be greatly reduced in time and in various scenes Schnittke's was left out or replaced by other, not necessarily more appropriate, music. Like, for example, Woland's ball, for which Yuri Kara used Maurice Ravel's Bolero.
Music for the Movies (CD)
Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin directed by Frank Strobel
Listen here to the leitmotiv from the film Mas-ter i Margarita by Yuri Kara, which was ne-ver officially released