Dmitry Kabalevsky stands alongside Shostakovich and Prokofiev as one of the most important Soviet composers, but regrettably his works are neglected today, often for reasons that have nothing to do with his music. He is still regarded as a writer of "music for learners" and derided by many Russians as a "boy scout" musician; apart from that, his position as a regime-friendly, arch-conservative critic did nothing to win him friends. As a composer he was neither a philosophical seeker after truth nor an innovator; he was more of a music-maker. His natural talent for catchy tunes, clear structures and audience-pleasing rhythms helped him to write music that even at first hearing was "easy on the ear" while standing up to critical analysis. It is beautifully crafted, eminently accessible music, full of wit and charm.