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Author Schmelz, Peter John, author

Title Sonic overload : Alfred Schnittke, Valentin Silvestrov, and polystylism in the late USSR / Peter J. Schmelz
Published New York, NY : Oxford University Press, [2021]
Online access available from:
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Description 1 online resource (xi, 408 pages) : illustrations, music
Contents Introduction -- Part 1 : Origins. The Soviet culture of collage ; Schnittke's path to polystylism ; Silvestrov the centaur and polystylism in the 1970s -- Part 2 : Embarcing polystylism. Kitsch ; Popular music, the devil, and aerobics ; The collage wave crests -- Part 3 : Rejecting polystylism. Eschatology ; Ghosts and shadow sounds ; The collage wave breaks : late thinking, idiots, and a final waltz ; Legacies of polystylistic tendencies (today, tomorrow, yesterday) -- Conclusion : Genre, style, oblivion
Summary Composers Alfred Schnittke and Valentin Silvestrov brought us some of the most memorable music of the late Soviet Union. Sonic Overload traces these composers' attempts to embrace all aspects of the contemporary soundscape, including influences of popular music, rock, and jazz, before they ultimately retreated to more refined sonic structures
"Sonic Overload offers a new, music-centered cultural history of the late Soviet Union. It focuses on polystylism in music as a response to the information overload swamping listeners in the Soviet Union during its final decades. It traces the ways in which leading composers Alfred Schnittke and Valentin Silvestrov initially embraced popular sources before ultimately rejecting them. Polystylism first responded to the utopian impulses of Soviet ideology with utopian impulses to encompass all musical styles, from "high" to "low". But these initial all-embracing aspirations were soon followed by retreats to alternate utopias founded on carefully selecting satisfactory borrowings, as familiar hierarchies of culture, taste, and class reasserted themselves. Looking at polystylism in the late USSR tells us about past and present, near and far, as it probes the musical roots of the overloaded, distracted present. Based on archival research, oral historical interviews, and other overlooked primary materials, as well as close listening and thorough examination of scores and recordings, Sonic Overload presents a multilayered and comprehensive portrait of late-Soviet polystylism and cultural life, and of the music of Silvestrov and Schnittke. Sonic Overload is intended for musicologists and Soviet, Russian, and Ukrainian specialists in history, the arts, film, and literature, as well as readers interested in twentieth- and twenty-first century music; modernism and postmodernism; quotation and collage; the intersections of "high" and "low" cultures; and politics and the arts."-- Book jacket
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 359-394) and index
Notes Online resource; title from digital title page (viewed on May 13, 2021)
Subject Schnittke, Alfred, 1934-1998.
Sylʹvestrov, Valentyn Vasylʹovych, 1937-
Schnittke, Alfred, 1934-1998.
Sylʹvestrov, Valentyn Vasylʹovych, 1937-
Music -- Soviet Union -- History and criticism
Soviet Union.
Genre/Form Criticism, interpretation, etc.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 9780197541265