As accessible as "Entrance of the Gladiators", Moskva Chermushki came out of the so-called "Khrushchev Thaw" of the late 1950's. Indulging his penchant for put-on and burlesque, Shostakovich worked send-ups of Tchaikovsky, Glinka, Mussorgsky, Offenbach, von Flotow, around the unlikely premise of young Muscovites trying to find apartments--with a bit of Gilbert & Sullivanesque patter thrown in. A kids-out-of-school exuberance predominates and the composer's original lyric and Big Circus predilections are given full rein. There's the manic "Excursion Around Moscow"; a yearning account of a neighborhood called Tyopli Lane that could be out of "Ivan Susanin"; a campy, languorous tango-for-two that would somehow not be amiss at all in the ball scene of "Onegin". The performers are excellent. It's a great, tuneful romp--if sometimes a bit rinky-dink; possibly the perfect gift for the person who thinks he has everything.