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

Georges Bizet - Carmen Suite No. 1

Carmen is not only Georges Bizet's mastercpiece, but also one of the most important operas of the 19th century. It takes place in Spain and it tells the story of a fiery young gypsy who falls in love with a young soldier. But as soon as he abandons everything for her, she abandons him, with tragic consequences. The orchestration of the suite does not betray the fascinating atmosphere of the original opera.

Carmen Suite No. 1 was published in 1882.

- Overture (Prelude)

The Prelude of the suite begins with a theme from the cello wich is introduced from the background of the fibrillation of the violins above and the splash of strings below. So the atmosphere of the history is directly presented - its tensions, drama and passions.

- Aragonaise

The next part, Aragonaise, is a sound scene from the sunny world of southern Spain, where the drama is placed. The brass instruments convey the lively rhythm with slump. Only towards the end does the music darken momentarily, as strings, clarinets and bassons hint at the upcoming tragedy, before returning to the wavy Mauritanian rhythm.

- Intermezzo

Intermezzo is an unforgettable melody of great beauty. It begins with a flute solo with harp accompaniment. Flute joins with the clarinet, then with the horns and strings. Everything adds warmth and richness, without disturbing the absolute tranquility of this wonderful part.

- Seguidilla

Then there's Seguidilla, a traditional Spanish dance, where the flute introduces the melody and then flirts briefly with the wood and brass instruments, before the rest of the orchestra joins in Carmen's famous and seductive dance.

Les Dragons d' Alcala 

The Dragons of Alcala begin with the bassons, but the clarinet quickly takes the lead. Parts of the theme are adopted by the wood instruments, but essentially this march is a witty dialogue between the clarinet and the bassons.

- Les Toreadors 

The Toreadors (Matadors) begin with a gypsy dance where brass and cymbals play a major role. The dance ceases as a repetitive chord announces the entrance of the matador. It is represented by a rugged and virtuous melody - suited to the hero of the arena. Soon, however, the music returns to the vortex of gypsy dance, as Carmen charms the matador with her beauty.