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

Beethoven - Für Elise

The beauty moved Beethoven and used to dedicate the music to his beloved. His work Für Elise was believed to have been written for his student Therese Malfatti.

This work belongs to the musical genre "bagatelle" - short work, light, with simple technique, usually for piano. Beethoven is the first to highlight the genre, having composed three series of such works.

Für Elise is the most popular work of the composer in this musical form. Some of Beethoven's biographers believe that the work was not dedicated to Eliza but to Therese and the change of title is due to a copycat error. If so, then Beethoven almost certainly dedicated the work to his student Therese Malfatti. Beethoven was in love with his young student at the time and wrote the play taking into account his student's limited piano skills. The work was written in 1810 but was not published until 1867.

This simple, unpretentious work is one of the composer's most sensitive. The opening theme is unusual because the melody is spread out in both hands - a blend of the resonant low part of the piano and the higher more vocal expanse of the instrument. The original music ends and follows an antithetical part with a more assertive character. The mood becomes more lively with the quick playing of the right hand. But suddenly the music reaches a sudden leap and we are again led to the serenity of the opening part.

At this point, as the music heads to a completion, Beethoven adds a final section with repetitive notes of bass. This section has its own few final meters, the glowing canvas of notes for the right hand that elevates the music to the largest extent of the piano. A descending scale then leads to a repeat of the original melody, which quietly completes the work.