Johann Strauss II - Kaiser-Walzer (Emperor Waltz), Op. 437

Strauss often played in the glittering Imperial balls, conducting the orchestra and playing the first violin at the same time.   The majestic launch of this fascinating waltz presents the backdrop of the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the hegemony of the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph in 1888. Johann Strauss II was Music Director of the Dance Hesperides of the Imperial Court from 1863 to 1872 and composed on occasion for the celebration of an imperial anniversary. The ingenuity of the melody of the Emperor Waltz, which was originally orchestrated for a full orchestra, is such that it was easily adapted for the four or five instruments of a chamber ensemble by the Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg in 1925. This waltz is a tender and somewhat melancholic work, which at times turns its gaze nostalgically to the old Vienna. The waltz praises the majesty and dignity of the old monarch, who was fully devoted to his people. It begins with a majestic, magnificent march, which soon re

Claude Debussy - La Mer (The sea, three symphonic sketches for orchestra)

"Under the Wave off Kanagawa (kanagawa oki nami ura)", also known as "The Great Wave".

The Sea is Claude Debussy's orchestral masterpiece. When he was a child, he wanted to be a sailor, and the charm of the sea never abandoned him. Debussy was fascinated by the movement and power of the water. He was inspired by artists such as Turner and the Japanese genius Hokusai, who his masterpiece "Under the Wave off Kanagawa (kanagawa oki nami ura)", also known as "The Great Wave" embellished the cover of the first edition of "The Sea". It was regarded as one of the best French symphonic works. Debussy composed much of it on vacation with his then mistress, Emma Bardac, in the summer of 1904. It was first performed in October 1905.
The work consists of three parts - never before has it come so close to the symphonic form - each of which is made up of a distinct sonic image of the sea.


I.From dawn to noon on the sea

The first part begins very quietly, subjecting the fibrillation of the first light to the cold surface of the water. Gradually the music develops as the day dawns and the sea comes alive with light and movement. A strong impression is caused by a section where the cellos play in relative harmony. The part ends with a grandiose phrase of brass reminiscent of choral.

II. Play of the waves

The second part has the movement of mercury while infinitely thin spikes of orchestration and rhythm, submit a world of dazzling light, wind and sparkling water.

III. Dialogue of the wind and the sea

In the final part  the music develops reminiscent of the brutality of the storm. There is a moment of peace and tranquility when the main melody of the part (the only real melody of the whole work) is played gently by the woodwind over a very high, persistent note of violins. Then the storm returns and it ends with large sound outbursts of the entire orchestra.