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

Claude Debussy - Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun

Waslav Nijinsky and Flore Revalles in Afternoon of a Faun.

When this instrumental work was first presented in 1894, it provoked strong criticism, that it has no form and does not follow any known tradition. It has a dreamy quality, where the melodies meet in a perpetual, carefree movement.

This work is Debussy's first characteristic and important orchestral work. The inspiration was a poem by his fellow poet Stèphane Mallarmè which describes the atmosphere and the setting of a mythical faun that falls asleep and dreams in a clearing of the forest, on a warm, drowning summer afternoon.

It begins with a long solo of the flute, an instrument that Claude Debussy loved because for him it subjected the distant and lost mythical world. The inaugural melody of the flute or parts of it, revert throughout the play, played alternately by strings and wood wind instruments. The volume of music fluctuates without ever disturbing the basic mood of warmth and chastity.

Also listen to the short harmonic section that gently play the horns. This kind of composing distinguished Debussy as one of the most inspiring orchestrators. He mixes the tonal qualities of the various instruments, as the painter mixes the colors in his palette.