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


Polka is a dance of Czech origin and has a lively 2/4 rhythm. It appeared in the early 18th century in rural areas and then spread over the course of the century in Europe and America, about at the same time as the waltz.

Very lively, the polka is characterized by a typical half step that closes every meter, giving the movement of the couple who dances it a graceful svelte.

Very famous polkas of J.Strauss II are Tritsch-Tratsch and Pizzicato.

An also well known polka is from Smetana's comic opera The Bartered Bride.

Jaromir Weinberger's Polka from Schwanda, the Bagpiper is also a very well known polka.

Polka's popularity declined in the early 1900s with the emergence of American dances at the rate of contrattempo. Polka howerer, retains a prominent place in the world repertoire.