Language Switcher

Shostakovich: The Jazz Album (Chailly, 1993/1988–1991)


“The Jazz Album” is a collection of humorous and witty musical compositions composed by Soviet Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich under the influences of Western popular and dance music. 

The album was recorded at Concertgebouw, Amsterdam in 1988–1991 by Riccardo Chailly (conductor), Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Ronald Brautigam (piano), and Peter Masseurs (trumpet), and it was released in 1993 by Decca Records.

Though the album title is “The Jazz Album”, it contains light pieces in the dance music style, and it has little element of jazz.

Track Listing

Jazz Suite No. 1

“Suite for Jazz Orchestra No. 1” is a suite composed by Shostakovich in 1934.

It is composed of three movements: Waltz, Polka, and  Foxtrot.

It is a popular-oriented piece like a promenade concert.

A performance takes about 8 minutes.

Shostakovich used the waltz of this piece in his ballet “The Limpid Stream” (1935).

Piano Concerto No. 1 In C Minor, Op. 35

“The Concerto in C minor for Piano, Trumpet, and String Orchestra”, Op. 35, is a piano concert composed by Shostakovich in 1933.

It is a rhythmic and roaring composition full of cynical humor and wit.

Though it comprises either three or four movements, it can also be interpreted as a one-movement composition.

A performance takes about 20 minutes.

This concerto is characterized by numerous quotations from works by Shostakovich himself and other composers.

It includes quotations from Shostakovich’s own works, such as incidental music “Hamlet”, Op. 32 (1931–32) and incidental music “Hypothetically Murdered”, Op. 31(1931).

This concerto parodies many other musical works. It begins with a reference to Beethoven’s “Appassionata” Sonata, and ends with quotations from Beethoven’s “Rage Over a Lost Penny” and Haydn’s “Piano Sonata in D Major”, Hob. XVI:37.

It also quotes Austrian folk song “O du lieber Augustin” and English nursery rhyme “Poor Mary” or “Poor Jenny”.

Jazz Suite No. 2 (Suite for Variety Orchestra No. 1)

Though the title is incorrectly written as “Jazz Suite No. 2”, the correct title is “The Suite for Variety Orchestra No. 1” .

This piece had been misidentified as the lost “Suite for Jazz Orchestra No. 2” (1938) until a piano score of “Jazz Suite No. 2” was rediscovered in 1999. 

It is a suite in eight movements arranged by Levon Atovmyan after 1956, based on the composition by Shostakovich.

Each of the suite’s movements is arranged from Shostakovich’s scores for the ballet, theater, and cinema.

A performance takes about 20 minutes.

The Waltz 2 movement of “Suite for Variety Orchestra” of this recording was used on the soundtracks to “Eyes Wide Shut” (1999) directed by Stanley Kubrick and “The Luzhin Defence” (2000) directed by Marleen Gorris.

Tahiti Trot

“Tahiti Trot” for orchestra (1927), Op. 16, is an arrangement by Shostakovich for symphony orchestra of the song “Tea for Two” from the musical comedy “No, No, Nanette” (1925) by Vincent Youmans.

A performance takes about 4 minutes.

Shostakovich: Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 35 – I. Allegretto