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

Schubert - Piano Quintet in A Major "The Trout" (Die Forelle), D667

A contemporary of Schubert's drawing shows him ridiculously tiny in front of his best friend, the famous Austrian baritone singer and composer Johann Michael Vogl. It was during the happy holiday of 1819, at his friend's cottage in Steyr, where Schubert began writing the famous Piano Quintet of "Trout".

Franz Schubert, in the summer of 1819, went on vacation to Steyr with his opera singer fried Johann Michael Vogl. Revitalized by the rocky mountain scenery, he spent a lot of time playing music with friends. When the local music community asked him to compose music for them, cellist Sylvester Paumgartner recommended that Schubert could use a song he had written two years ago, called Die Forelle.

Schubert duly honored the music community with this wonderful Trout Quintet, adding an additional part that included various variations on the theme of "Trout". Schubert completed the project on his return to Vienna, He sent the score to Steyr's musicians, who first presented it in the winter of 1819. After Schubert's death, Vogl published the manuscript in 1829.

The Quintet, one of Schubert's most beloved chamber music works, has an unusual structure because its parts are five instead of four. The quintet consists of violin, viola, cello, contrabass and piano and was the first major chamber music project for this combination of instruments.


I. Allegro vivace

The first movement, Allegro vivace, begins with a strong chord, leading to a wide melody with dance phrases on the piano. New melodic ideas seem to be subordinated, as Schubert brilliantly portrays the flow of water by flying from one tonality to another.

II. Andante

The second movement, a calmer Andante, consists of two parts, each having three sections. The tone changes and the most energetic second part keeps the trout environment in mind.

III. Scherzo: Presto

The third movenemt, Scherzo: Presto, is strong and optimistic, with an excellent pianistic part that dynamically overlords the four strings. The lively rhythm is typical of Schubert's resourcefulness. An trio is performed by the violin and viola that answer the piano before entering the strings. The part concludes with a re-report of the opening theme.

IV. Thema con variazioni: Andantino - Allegretto

The fourth movement follows, based on the song "The Trout", written two years earlier, in 1817. The composer first exhibits the theme very simply, only in strings, then repeats it with a few trills that share the piano and strings. During the variations that follow, the piano plays lively, there is a more dramatic episode and a wonderful solo of the cello. In the meantime, the theme is constantly heard.

V. Allegro giusto

The final part, Allegro giusto, like the first part, is a quick succession of melodic ideas, leading this wondrously glamorous and cheerful work to a merry finish.