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

Vivaldi - "Spring" (La primavera) from the "Four Seasons", Concerto No. 1 in E major, Op. 8, RV 269

Nicolas Poussin’s painting depicts a green scenery with a couple sitting on the grass
Nicolas Poussin’s painting depicts spring, perfectly rendering the atmosphere of the season just like
Vivaldi’s Four-Seasons music.

I. Allegro

"Springtime is upon us.
The birds celebrate her return with festive song,
and murmuring streams are softly caressed by the breezes.
Thunderstorms, those heralds of Spring, roar, casting their dark mantle over heaven.
Then they die away to silence,
and the birds take up their charming songs once more."

“Spring has arrived and the birds welcome it by singing”, Vivaldi writes. The inaugural Allegro features a cool and cheerful melody. Soloists and violins mimic the singing of birds with trills. Some phrases bring to mind a stream and a gentle breeze, while a vigorous tremor, fast scales and a small rushing solo indicate a storm.

II. Largo e pianissimo sempre

"On the flower strewn meadow, with leafy branches rustling overhead,
the goat-heard sleeps, his faithful dog beside him."

The second part, Largo, which is a long, tender melody for solo accompanied by strings, paints the peaceful scene of a shepherd with his dog, half asleep under a few trees.

III. Allegro

"Led by the festive sound of rustic bagpipes, nymphs and shepherds
lightly dance beneath the brilliant canopy of spring."

In contrast, the final Allegro, is a calm “Country dance” in which the soloist plays with the orchestra, while at the same time is leading it.