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

Liszt - Hungarian Rhapsody No. 5

Liszt's love of Hungarian gypsy music initially inspired him to publish a series of works entitled Hungarian National Melodies. Much of the material was transformed into Hungarian Thapsodies and produced over a long period of time, starting in 1846. These works were first written for piano. Some, like this one, the composer later orchestrated them.

The music begins darkly, with the deep strings playing in unison. Then the violins evolve the original melody, sad and nostalgid, followed by a solo of the cello.

For a very short time, the key changes from minor to major, but emotional relaxation is temporary.

The atmosphere of the work is generally melancholic and sceptical. The tragic mood, created by the strings that often play on the substrate of the dark chords of the wood and brass instruments, prevails until the last sad note.