Since Saturday night's experience with the 8th Symphony at the BSO, I've been getting reacquainted with some of Shostakovich's lighter (?) music. Riccardo Chailly recorded these three albums on Decca/London with the Philadelphia and Concertgebouw orchestras during the 1990's:
-- The Film Album, which I'm listening to this evening, and it's the kind of movie music that stands up very well to hearing without the visual element (The Romance from "The Gadfly" will be recognized by some as the theme for the old British TV series, "Reilly, Ace of Spies".)
-- The Dance Album, suites from various works;
-- The Jazz Album, such lovely waltzes in the Jazz Suite No. 2, and the album ends with the composer's interpretation of "Tea for Two".
I sometimes put these discs on as background music while I'm busy at home, but they invariably draw me to stop and pay attention to the music.
Another change of pace, a favorite non-classical album:
-- "Salamat: Mambo El Soudani": Nubian Al Jeel music from Cairo, on the Piranha label, 1994. My favorite track is "Salam Cairo Salam", a kind of concertante arrangement for accordion and Al Jeel music's special brand of brass and percussion and other instruments.