Wednesday, June 8

Shostakovich: Jazz Suite Waltz 2 (Suite for a Variety Orchestra)

At the end of a tiring day, this music set me in a good and relaxed mood... Shostakovich has written some really superb music, and I am particularly fond of his piano music - especially his 48 preludes & fugues; I was actually fortunate enough to perform three of them.

The interesting thing about this Suite is that, although it is generally known as "Jazz Suite no 2", the actual and correct name is "Suite for a Variety Orchestra". The material comes, to a great extent, from another work - a soundtrack written by S. in the 1950s. So, this is mostly
recycled material, but it is obvious that S did not just copy the music but developed it in a most creative manner.

This particular waltz (probably the best part of this suite) has a particular ligthness and elegance but this is not the clue to its success; the secret, I think, lies in the melodic line - it has a natural charm, I mean, it comes out so effortlessly, as if no other melodic path or choice is conceivable.

And again, the eternal question - where does a melody come from?

Which hidden force brings it to light?
What kind of instinct "decides" on the way the melodic line will follow?
And what makes one melody more succesful than another?...

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