Although Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich is now best known for his orchestral and chamber music, he also devoted a significant proportion of his time to writing for film. Always fond of the cinema, the composer was in fact fired from one of his earliest jobs as a piano accompanist in a movie house because he was so amused by a Hollywood comedy that he neglected to continue to play.
Overall, Shostakovich composed the music for 36 films, including what is perhaps his best known soundtrack for King Lear in 1971. These four waltzes use material from Shostakovich’s earlier works for film. Titled Spring Waltz, Waltz-Joke, Waltz, and Barrel-Organ Waltz, they are light-hearted, lyrical and charming.