Alfred Schnittke: let movie music first
Music today penetrates into all spheres of our life. Rather, it can be said that there is no such area wherever the music sounds. Naturally, this fully applies to cinema art. Once upon a time, those days when films were shown only in cinemas and the pianist-illustrator supplemented what was happening on the screen with their game. Silent films replaced the silent films, then we learned about stereo sound, and then a 3D image became a common occurrence. And all this time, music in films was constantly present, and was a necessary element. But moviegoers, absorbed in the plot of the film, do not always reflect on the question: who is involved in the creation of film music. And there is an even more interesting question: if there are a lot of films yesterday, today, and tomorrow, then where do you get so much music to make it enough for dramas, tragedies with comedies, and all the other films? ABOUT THE WORK OF CINEMA COMPOSITORS How many films are so much music, and you can not argue with that.
So, music needs to be composed, performed and recorded in the soundtrack for any movie. But before the sound engineer starts recording sound, someone needs to make music. And just this is what movie composers are doing. Still, you need to try to determine the types of film music: illustrative, emphasizing events, actions, but in fact – the simplest; already well-known, once sounded, often a classic (maybe popular); music specially written for a particular film may include illustrative moments, individual instrumental themes and numbers, songs, etc. But the common feature of all these types is that music in films still does not occupy the most important place. And so the film composer is forced to “be a servant” of the plot, events, heroes and all that the movie (and television) viewer sees.
These considerations were needed in order to prove and emphasize the difficulty and a certain artistic dependence of the film composer. And then it becomes clear the scale of the talent, genius of the composer Alfred Schnittke, who managed to declare himself in full voice, first through working as a film composer. AND WHY A SCREW WAS NEEDED MUSIC MUSIC? On the one hand, the answer is simple: in the conservatory and graduate school, education is completed (1958-61), teaching work is not creativity yet. And no one was in a hurry to order and perform the music of the young composer Alfred Schnittke. Then one thing remains: to write music for films and develop their own language and style. Fortunately, there is always a need for film music. Later, the composer himself will say that starting from the beginning of the 60s he “will be forced to write film music for 20 years.”
This is an elementary work of the composer for “daily bread”, and a great opportunity for searching and experimenting. Schnittke is one of the composers who managed to step beyond the cinema genre and at the same time create not only “applied” music. The reason for this is the genius of the master and the huge capacity for work. From 1961 to 1998 (the year of death), music was written for more than 80 films and cartoons. The genres of films with Schnittke music are extremely diverse: from high tragedy to comedy, farce and sports films. The stylistics and musical language of Schnittke in film works are extremely diverse and contrasting. Musical critics will write that he (A. Schnittke) embraces everything that is needed, uses everything that was invented (in music) before him. It turns out that the film music of Alfred Schnittke is the key to understanding his music, created in serious academic genres.
ABOUT THE BEST FILMS WITH MUSIC AUGER Of course, they deserve all the attention, but it’s difficult to talk about everyone, therefore it’s just worth mentioning a few: “Commissar” (dir. A. Askoldov) has been banned for ideological reasons for more than 20 years, but the audience saw the film; “Belorussky Train Station” – a song was composed specially for the film by B. Okudzhava, sounding in the form of a march (the orchestration and the rest of the music belong to A. Shnitka) “Sport, sport, sport” (dir. E. Klimov); “Uncle Vanya” (dir. A.Mikhalkov-Konchalovsky); “Agony” (dir. E. Klimov) – the main character – G. Rasputin; “White Steamboat” – according to the story by Ch. Aitmatov; “The Tale of How Tsar Peter Arapa Married” (dir. A. Mitt) – based on the works of A. Pushkin about Tsar Peter; “Little Tragedies” (directed by M. Schweitzer) – based on the works of A. Pushkin; “The Tale of Wanderings” (dir A. Mitt); “Dead Souls” (directed by M. Schweitzer) – in addition to the music for the film, there is also the “Gogol Suite” for the performance of the theater on Taganka “The Revizsky Tale”; “The Master and Margarita” (directed by Y. Kara) – the fate of the film and the path to the audience were difficult and contradictory, but today you can find a version of the film on the net. The titles give an idea of the themes and plots. More discerning readers will pay attention to the names of the directors, among them many famous and significant. And there is also music for cartoons, for example, Glass Harmonica, where through the children’s genre and music by A. Schnittke, director A. Khrzhanovsky begins a conversation about masterpieces of fine art.