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

Ave Maria

Prayer to the Virgin Mary, consisting of two parts. The first part comes from the Gospel (Lukas 1,28 and 42) and the second part was added in the 13th century (at the end from “Santa Maria”). For this reason, the entire text is only set to music in a relatively late era. Mainly great composers of the polyphonic music of the 16th century (Joaquin des Prez, Orlando di Lasso, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Claudio Monteverdi and others) were enchanted by this prayer and they offered us wonderful compositions.

The prayer returned to the pinnacle of its glory in 1800 when F.P.Schubert set Ave Maria to music:

Also interesting is Gounaud’s Ave Maria, who was set to music according to the harmonious basis of a prelude of J.S.Bach.