Avant-garde Technique in the Conditions of Conflict Dramaturgy: "Confessiones" by Nikolai Korndorf


The article discusses the role of avant-garde technique in the musical language of Nikolai Korndorf on the example of Confessiones for 14 instruments and tape recording (1979). Korndorf’s attitude to the avant-garde was not easy, but in certain cases he uses the avant-garde techniques. So, in the central section of Confessiones atonality, chromaticity, microchromatic, aleatoric, sonoric are combined. The extreme sections are close to Russian folk music. The result is a wave dramaturgy typical of Korndorf’s musical thinking. This is an example of the synthesis in the musical language of the composer of various technical methods, as a result, an individual style of the composer is created.


1. Mikhaylov, A. (2000). Iz lektsiy [From Lectures]. In Mikhailov, A. Obratnyy perevod. Russkaya i zapadno-evropeyskaya kul’tura: problemy vzaimosvyazey [Reverse Translation. Russian and Western European Culture: Problems of Interconnections], collected and commented by D. Petrov and S. Khurumov, 669–804. Moscow, Yazyki russkoy kul’tury. (in Russian).

2. Mikhaylov, A. (1997). Povorachivaya vzglyad nashego slukha [Turning the Gaze of Our Ears]. In Mikhailov, A. Yazyki kul’tury [The Languages of Culture], Textbook for Cultural Studies, 853–70. Moscow, Yazyki russkoy kul’tury. (in Russian).

3. ________. (2015). Nikolay Korndorf. Materialy. Stat’i. Vospominaniya [Nikolay Korndorf. Materials. Articles. Memories], collected and edited by E. Nikolaeva, I. Viskova and G. Averina. Moscow, Moscow Conservatory Press. (in Russian).

4. Shul’gin, D. (1998). Priznanie Edisona Denisova. Po materialam besed [Edison Denisov’s Confession. Based on Interviews]. Moscow, Kompozitor. (in Russian).

5. Dixon, G. (2017). Polystylism as dialogue: Interpreting Schnittke through Bakhtin. In Schnittke Studies, edited by Gavin Dixon. New York, Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group), 73–99.

6. Rexroth, T. (2001). Sonnenaufgang. Der russische Komponist Nikolai Korndorf (1947–2001). Musik Texte 91, 15–20.