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A recent "On the Media" segment identifies the background music as Shostakovich's "Second Waltz." I'm certain it's not the "Second Waltz" - at least not the famous one. But ... what is this music?

The segment starts around the 1-minute mark:

http://www.wnyc.org/story/what-eu/

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Both pieces (the one you heard and "Waltz #2") are from the varyingly called "Jazz Music" "Jazz Albums" or "Jazz Suites", I suppose from a difficulty in precisely translating the russian original title.

The On the Media piece is the opening of suite #1. "Waltz #2" is segment VI of the second suite (apparently this title is also disputed, and the 2nd Jazz Suite is actually called "Suite for Variety Orchestra"; what do I know, I don't speak russian...)

The two themes (initial theme of Jazz Suite #1 and Waltz #2) are indeed quite similar, in fact they seem to be a reworking one of the other or both derived from the same basic theme.

The confusion is thus understandable (congrats on your attentive hear), although from a first rate media show like OTM (I listen frequently to their Podcast), inexcusable none the less :-)

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