Complete: March – Waltz – Polka
No 1: March: Allegretto
No 2: Waltz: Andantino
No 3: Polka: Allegretto
However, the set of Three Fantastic Dances (which is dedicated to a fellow student, Joseph Schwarz) received its first performance in Moscow on 20 March 1925 at an all-Shostakovich recital (which also included the first performances of the Suite for Two Pianos opus 6, the First Piano Trio Opus 8 and the Three Pieces for cello and piano opus 9).
The opening March is reasonably firmly anchored to C major, and via the leading-note (B) tends to gravitate towards the flat supertonic, producing piquant cadences. G major, the key of the central Waltz, is initially approached obliquely, and this curiously haunting little fragment is the first of many highly un-Viennese waltzes Shostakovich wrote throughout his career. The final Polka is another ‘first’, as this also later became a much-favoured dance form for the composer. But already, this is the fully formed musical character of Shostakovich, one of the most distinctive voices in twentieth-century music.
from notes by Robert Matthew-Walker © 1992