Dmitri Kabalevsky’s suite from The Comedians has become one of the composer’s most popularly recognized works, despite its origin in the less-prestigious compositional arena of children’s theater. Kabalevsky had a unique position.
Although a high-profile Soviet composer, he was considerably less troublesome than colleagues such as Prokofiev or Shostakovich, and his music escaped the serious government censures which had beleaguered these composers, among many others.
Although distanced from many of his colleagues by his rejection of modern harmonic practices, Kabalevsky found perhaps his best audience in his works for children. He was a passionate supporter of musical education, writing both for a young audience, as in “The Comedians,” and writing copious amounts of choral and instrumental music aimed at student performers.