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Alexander Shchetynsky

Seven Screen Shots
for Contrabass and Piano
(2005)

1. Mystical dream (Ballade)
2. That obsessive remembrance (Arioso)
3. ...as a bee (Scherzo)
4. Uneven utterance (Monologue)
5. Star scintillation (Intermezzo)
6. Down the highway (Perpetuum mobile)
7. Relaxation (Aria)

The work is a cycle of seven short pieces. Programmatic titles should give the first emotional impulse for perception of sound images which, in fact, are far removed from direct illustration. Sometimes strange confrontations of different textural elements, frequent interruption of  development, utilization of extreme registers, and other features of musical language refer to surrealistic aesthetics and create an atmosphere of a mystical rite. Despite atonality and dissonant harmony, expressive melodic substance and narration of rather vocal nature play the leading role, hence the subtitles of the pieces borrowed mostly from an opera field. The whole cycle may be defined as a sequence of brief operatic scenes.

The parts of both instruments are written in virtuoso style. The performers have many opportunities to show their mastery and imagination, so that another genre connotation sophisticated instrumental cadenzas is quite obvious.

The work has been written on suggestion of American contrabassist Allan von Schenkel.

Alexander Shchetynsky


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2005 by Alexander Shchetynsky