Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > An American Encounter with Polystylism: Schnittke's Cadenzas to Beethoven

This thesis explores the early reception of Alfred Schnittke in America. Writers on Schnittke's music have continually focused on the most distinct development of his compositional practice: polystylism. However, considerations of polystylism as a method for obtaining compositional coherence have hitherto been few. This thesis examines Schnittke's 1977 cadenzas to Beethoven's Violin Concerto because they are some of the earliest pieces that brought Schnittke to American attention from critics who felt that the cadenzas were inappropriate to the Concerto. The importance of these cadenzas as America's introduction to the composer has not yet been discussed. Furthermore, an analysis based on interpretations of the musical logic of Charles Ives's quotations suggests that Schnittke's motivic integration and compositional structure in the cadenzas demonstrate modern (nineteenth-century) musical concerns, resulting in a unified composition that adheres to the forms of traditional cadenzas.