Friday, September 12, 2014

A Little Night Music

Born on this date: Dmitri Shostakovich.

After Shostakovich and Nikolai Malko had listened to an old 78rpm disc of Vincent Youman’s “Tea for Two” in 1927, Malko bet Dmitri 100 roubles that he couldn’t come up with an orchestration of the song, entirely from memory, in less than an hour. Shostakovich went into the next room and returned 45 minutes later, having made his own orchestration, and duly won the bet. In its new guise, the piece was called ‘Tahiti Trot’ and here it is, as played at the 1997 Proms by the BBC Philharmonic under Vassily Sinaisky.