Johann Strauss II - Kaiser-Walzer (Emperor Waltz), Op. 437

Strauss often played in the glittering Imperial balls, conducting the orchestra and playing the first violin at the same time.   The majestic launch of this fascinating waltz presents the backdrop of the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the hegemony of the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph in 1888. Johann Strauss II was Music Director of the Dance Hesperides of the Imperial Court from 1863 to 1872 and composed on occasion for the celebration of an imperial anniversary. The ingenuity of the melody of the Emperor Waltz, which was originally orchestrated for a full orchestra, is such that it was easily adapted for the four or five instruments of a chamber ensemble by the Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg in 1925. This waltz is a tender and somewhat melancholic work, which at times turns its gaze nostalgically to the old Vienna. The waltz praises the majesty and dignity of the old monarch, who was fully devoted to his people. It begins with a majestic, magnificent march, which soon re

Saint-Saëns - Allegro Animato, op.167 from the Clarinet Sonata in E flat Major

The Clarinet Sonata is one of three wooden wind sonatas written by the composer in 1921, the last year of his life. The other two are for oboe and bassoon. All three sonatas show Saint-Saëns's growing preference for more delicate, kinder texture and sound. Camille Saint-Saëns intended to write a second series of wooden wind sonatas on his holiday in Algiers in 1921, but died before they began their composition.

Allegro Animato's lively opening melody is indicative of the light and playful mood of the piece. The clarinet is clearly the soloist here, while the piano provides accompaniment with melodic harmonies and occasional counterphrase.

Later, Saint-Saëns incorporates anoding and unusual leaps into the melody, but that doesn't bother the comfortable flow of music at all, where the previous themes are re-heard and the part ends with a politely up-and-coming harp of the clarinet.