The Glass Harmonica - Alfred Schnittke

Alfred Schnittke had a Jewish father and German mother. He was born in the USSR, his family moved to Vienna in 1946 because of his father’s work. No wonder Schnittke’s compositions are polystylistic. He was a brilliant orchestrator and arranger and also a kind of an expert in modern compositional techniques. A good entry point to Schnittke’s world could be his music for film. He said it was a field of experimentation for him, maybe implying that the works written as pure music for performance and listening are better.  

There is a touch of genius in everything he did. Here is a short animation from 1968, that was actually banned for sometime, though the statement in the beginning says the fable is against Capitalism and money. “Glass Harmonica” is a fable. A story about the power of music and how it wins the fight against money and heals human souls. But soviet censorship probably couldn’t ignore the feeling that there is something in the content of the story that is just not right. Every work of art that encourages freedom of thought, that is a bit strange, artistic and unconventional evokes a sense of danger in those who are in charge and have power. No matter what are their political views are. 


Leave a comment