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

Verdi - La Traviata

The premiere of this opera, based on Alexandrs Duma's play "La Dame aux Camélias", which Verdi saw in Paris, was a failure. This is mainly due to the fact that on the night of the premiere in Venice, the protagonist was so fat that when "dying" on stage of tuberculosis, the audience erupted into uncontrollable laughter. Much to Verdi's delight, it was triumplahntly played again in the same city 14 months later, after international acclaim.

In this opera, the courtesan Violetta kindly sacrifices her love for Alfredo by obeying his father's desire, and die of tuberculosis, the moment Alfredo turns to her.

- Libiamo

The curtain opens with a celebration in Violetta's house and Alfredo in a lively mood begins the famous song of the drinking, Libiamo (Let's drink), in which Violetta joins her voice with enthusiasm and then with all the guests.

- Di Provenza il mar, il suoi

However, the couple's happiness is brief. Alfredo's father, worried about his son's reputation, is calling on Violett to abandon him. She retreats and leaves for Paris, while the father comforts his som with memories of their home in Provence in Di Provenza il mar, il suol (The land and sea of Provence).

- Addio del passato

The opera ends with Violett in the bed of death, where in one of Verdi's most moving arias, Addio del passato (Goodbye Dreams of the Past), abandons every dream of happiness.

- Parigi, o cara, noi lasce remo

Then Alfredro appears and after a touching reunion, the couple sings the polite, Parigi, o cara, noi lasce remo (We will live in Paris, my love). But Violett is helpless from the disease even to dress up and dies in Alfredo's arms.