"Walking the Dog" is one of many songs written by George Gershwin in 1937 for the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers film "Shall We Dance" ("Dance with Me"). The song was later released as "Promenade."
Aaron Copland is a composer with two faces. On the one hand, there is the artist who wants to express himself clearly and understandably, addressing a large audience with easily accessible works. On the other hand, there is Copland the avant-gardist. In his work, he combines influences ranging from Jewish music to Anglo and Latin American folk music to jazz with the European tradition, and in this diversity he is a central exponent of American music. The Clarinet Concerto was written in 1947/48 for the "King of Swing," Benny Goodman.
Like hardly any other composer, Dmitri Shostakovich embodies the ambivalences and fractures of his time: avant-garde composer, reactionary, court composer of the Soviet power, fool hiding the truth behind the mask of simplicity? The roles ascribed to Shostakovich are manifold. In any case, he was like a mirror of the whole Soviet epoch. And a great mocker. He had learned gallows humor from Mahler, tragedy from Tchaikovsky - they saved him from the persecutions of the Soviet state. And created the possibilities to see in the Fifth Symphony both a piece of external adaptation and "purification", and a work of inner resistance and felt tragedy.