Walzer Nr. 2 aus “Suite für Varieté-Orchester” (Waltz No. 2 from 'Suite for Variety Orchestra')
Composed by Dmitri Schostakowitsch
for Flute and Piano
Arranged by Rien de Reede and Bert Mooiman
Published by Universal Editions
Includes score and flute part
Dmitry Shostakovich worked with various forms of popular music at different times during his life. The titles and completion dates of his best-known pieces in this area (Suite for Variety Orchestra and Jazz Suite) are, however, often incorrectly cited. A Jazz Suite No. 1 appeared in 1934. It was an attempt to 'use popular forms for serious music' and contained a waltz, a polka and a foxtrot (blues). In 1938, Shostakovich wrote a second suite for a commission from the USSR State Jazz Band. It was premiered in November 1938, at the band's first concert. In the meantime, however, the musical situation had changed considerably. In 1936, Stalin ordered music (along with other art forms) to follow the party line and Shostakovich was forced to compose a three-part Suite (Scherzo, Lullaby, Serenade) in keeping with the new directive. The USSR State Jazz Band was established to serve as a role model for popular music.
The work that is known as the Suite for Variety Orchestra No. 2 (or as Jazz Suite No. 2) has nothing to do with the two previously mentioned collections. It brings together some of the many works that Shostakovich composed for film and contains eight pieces: March, Dance No. 1, Dance No. 2, Little Polka, Lyrical Waltz, Waltz No. 1, Waltz No. 2, and Finale.
The present Waltz No. 2 from the Suite for Variety Orchestra No. 2 became famous thanks to its use in Stanley Kubrick's film Eyes Wide Shut. It works very well in an arrangement for flute and piano. The combination is perfect for the realisation of the piece's nostalgic irony that Shostakovich captures with a minor key.
– Rien de Reede, June 2018