by Toby Nathaniel in New Music on Sunday 9 December 2007

When you’re a musician, people like to ask you who your influences are. If I were asked to choose only one, it would be the Soviet composer Alfred Schnittke. I generally tend to like a few specific pieces from each composer, but not their entire catalogue of work. Schnittke is the only exception. His music is very soulful and listenable on the surface, yet supremely complex upon closer examination. He incorporates ideas from pretty much every genre of music and does it with class and taste. [see also the part-operatic, part vaudeville performances of Coco Rosie]