The studio is rarely silent. The sometimes violent slicing of an Xacto knife is droned out by the stereo – late nineties ambient music or classical symphonies and compositions. Some weeks ago I rambled into Alfred Schnittke, a Russian composer whose work runs the gamut from traditionally styled romantic work to avant-garde anti-Communist diatribes. His “Symphony No. 1″ (actually his second symphony, as his true first is numbered zero,) is a ~75 minute work that is choreographed for the orchestra, leaving the stage at various moments of the work, among other surprises.
A shorter work, Sonata No. 2 for violin and piano “Quasi una Sonata”, is a beautiful and shaking ~20 minute work that caffeinates oneself beyond any morning crisis of faith. The work is scored for violin and piano and begins with stark appearances.