Shostakovich's Cello Sonata is an earlier work, written in 1934 during upheaval in his personal life. "He wrote the Cello Sonata to fulfill a request from Viktor Kubatsky, the principal cellist of the Bolshoi Theatre. Shostakovich began work on the piece in August 1934, and premiered it with Kubatsky on December 25. Rostropovich was a child when the Cello Sonata was written, but was the dedicatee of the composer's 1959 Cello Concerto and recorded the Sonata with the composer at the piano in that same year.
"Shostakovich felt that Soviet composers neglected chamber music in favor of orchestral music, and the Cello Sonata was partly an effort to counter that tendency. Stylistically, it is a bit of an outlier for Shostakovich: classical in form, more subdued than much of his early output, but still without the harrowing atmosphere of his later style... The first movement is in sonata form, modeled on older Romantic music and atypical of Shostakovich. Still, there are surprises: tempos grind to a halt at dramatic transitions, and in the end the original theme is transformed into a dirge. The second movement is a raucous scherzo, making extensive use of glissando harmonics. The slow movement is dusky and resonant, with an endlessly unfurling cello line that grows more and more discomforted: if Shostakovich grieves for his marriage in this piece, it would be here. The brisk finale is filled with dense counterpoint which is repeatedly brought back to a rather rigid dance theme." ("Sonata for Cello and Piano in D Minor, Op. 40," Benjamin Pesetsky, benjaminpesetsky.com, 2019)(19366)