Johann Straus II - Vergnügungszug (Pleasure Train), op. 281

Johann Strauss II , known for his waltzes and lively compositions, had a unique approach to his creative process. He consistently sought contemporary and relevant themes to serve as the driving force behind his new musical compositions. This approach ensured that his work remained fresh and connected with the audiences of his time.  One notable instance of this creative approach was the composition of this polka, composed in 1864. This piece of music was specifically crafted for a summer concert held in the picturesque Russian town of Pavlovsk. It's fascinating to note that Strauss drew inspiration for this composition from the world around him. In this case, he found it in the emerging technology of the time, namely, the steam locomotive. The composition itself is a testament to Strauss's ability to capture the essence and energy of the subject matter. The rhythm of this dance piece mirrors the rhythmic chugging and movements of the old-fashioned steam trains that were prevale

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.