After releasing the highly successful sets of Shostakovich symphonies (the award-winning cycle of Rudolf Barshai) and the string quartets ( highly acclaimed performances of the Rubio Quartet), this set presents the Jazz Suites, Ballet Suites and Film Music.
Shostakovich lived a live full of tension and controverses in the Stalin era. As a modernist he was reprimanded and threatened to be banned. As a sign of good behaviour, he wrote music for mass audiences, in a popular style. But Shostakovich being Shostakovich, he managed to suggest under the surface of the sometimes nearly vulgar music his unique sense of bitter irony and revolt.
The Jazz suites enjoy a huge popularity. The 'Second Waltz' from the first Suite gained world reputation through the arrangement of Andre Rieu. The film music for the Gadfly is famous for its Romance, which was used in a popular television series.
Excellent, idiomatic performances by the Ukrainian Orchestra under Theodore Kuchar.