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Alexander Knaifel


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The composer Alexander Knaifel (Russian: Александр Кнайфель) was originally a cellist but had to give up the instrument due to a nerve inflammation. Thus Knaifel, born in Tashkent (Uzbekistan) in 1943, turned to composition. His teacher was Boris Arapov, with whom he studied in Leningrad from 1964 until 1967. Since then Knaifel has been living in St. Petersburg as a freelance composer and music editor.

Knaifel evades “valid” rules of the official musical aesthetic already in his first works. He became a member of the group of composers that arose at the beginning of the 1960s in Moscow (Alfred Schnittke, Sofia Gubaidulina, Edison Denisov, amongst others), Kiev (Valentin Silvestrov) and Talinn (Arvo Pärt, amongst others). Nonetheless he did not repudiate tradition, allowing himself to be influenced by the and by Dmitri Shostakovich. His compositions reveal, above all, a high degree of intensity and an expressive style; compositional techniques and sonorous possibilities are explored.

During the 1970s, however, Knaifel’s style changed. His rate of production slowed down in favour of larger and more structured works, with theatrical elements being sublimated or lost entirely. Now, economy of musical material and a concentration on sound as the decisive event are in the foreground: “The sounds are, for me, signs of the existence of beauty. Beauty is the most important thing for me - it is energy, unrepeatable,” says Knaifel.

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  • Assacra

    Хорош евреец

    14 Jul 2012 Reply
  • Hautuumaasaari

    emo-kun, бугага!

    30 Mar 2012 Reply
  • emo-kun

    Что за идиоты в "другие варианты написания" поставили Клинта Мансела, блядь?

    11 Feb 2012 Reply
  • redorange

    hello! Just wanted to let you know that Terry Riley, Wim Mertens, Gavin Bryars, Pascal Comelade, Talvin Singh, Arvo Part, Giya Kancheli and a few more will be playing this year in the UK at the London International Festival of Exploratory Music (LIFEM), 3-7 Nov 2010. More information here:

    3 Aug 2010 Reply
  • pornogothic

    Глупая лошадь!

    18 Apr 2010 Reply
  • daizok

    Blazhenstva :)

    7 Oct 2008 Reply
  • LuigiNono

    'Amicta sole' is amazing.

    19 Feb 2008 Reply

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