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

Gershwin - Three Preludes for Piano

Gershwin's Three Preludes for Piano form a satisfying set: two fairly short and vivid parts on each side of a more extensive, slow center piece.

- Allegro ben ritmato e deciso

The first prelude has a playful lyrical rhythm and an appealing melody, which hints at Latin American rhythms such as the rumba and their close relationship with those of jazz.

- Andante con moto e poco rubato

The second prelude is the best known of the three. It is an other example of Gershwin's special way of editing the blues, with the slow, sluggish melody sounding over a canvas of repetitive chords for the left hand. A central part changes from minor to major and also transfers the melody to the left hand or bass line.

- Allegro ben ritmato e deciso

The rhythm of the final prelude takes us to the living world of dance, inspired from jazz.