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Schnittke: Film Music Vol 4 / Strobel, Et Al


Release Date: 05/26/2009 
Label:  Capriccio Records   Catalog #: 5002   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Alfred Schnittke
Conductor:  Frank Strobel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  
SuperAudio CD:  $17.99
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.

3352880.az_SCHNITTKE_Adventures_Dentist_Sport.html

SCHNITTKE Adventures of a Dentist. Sport, Sport, Sport Frank Strobel, cond; Berlin RSO CAPRICCIO 5002 (SACD: 57:39)


Take equal parts James Bond, ’70s soft porn soundtrack, and Henry Mancini, and you should get something akin to the concert suite derived from Alfred Read more Schnittke’s music for the 1970s film Sport, Sport, Sport . Mocking the exertions of sportive Russians in pursuit of athletic activity and excellence, Sport won a sort of Soviet silver merit badge: It was immediately banned by the censors. (Gold would have gone to those eminently deserving censorship but subtle enough to slip through.) I am sure that with that in mind, and the film screened, the whole package would turn this silly, sometimes saccharine, and flamboyantly ethnic music into poignant accompaniment. Unfortunately we don’t have the film to go with it.


Adventures of a Dentist is more indicative of Schnittke’s polystylism with its many Baroque and Classical quotes, and where he cuts and pastes Tchaikovsky (on the accordion) in Sport, Handel and Bach are his subjects in Dentist . There is no way to avoid a broad smile when Schnittke serves up the catchiest two minutes of Charleston between all this (I probably hit the repeat button half a dozen times), but altogether it’s difficult to think that Schnittke’s own arrangement of one suite from both films might not be more satisfactory than Frank Strobel’s exhaustive arrangement of each. Great film music—Rozsa, Korngold, Rota in the West, Prokofiev beyond the Iron Curtain—is great because it remains superb music independently of the film it was written for.


The Berlin RSO doesn’t seem to mind, though—it plays through the bopping and bubbling score sounding fully convinced and engaged under Russian film-music veteran Stroble’s baton. If I were a Russian expatriate, I’d grab this Volume 4 and perhaps another in Capriccio’s SACD series of Schnittke’s film music (James Reel reviewed Volume 1 in Fanfare 29:3), always to be at hand for a vodka-infused evening of melancholia and laughter-through-tears. I, meanwhile, might check out some more Charleston, instead.


FANFARE: Jens F. Laurson
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Works on This Recording

1.
Sport, Sport, Sport by Alfred Schnittke
Conductor:  Frank Strobel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1970; USSR 
2.
The Adventures of a Dentist by Alfred Schnittke
Conductor:  Frank Strobel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1977; Russia 

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