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

Hector Berlioz - Events in brief

A caricature of Berlioz, whose music was considered modern and unusual.

1803 Hector Berlioz was born in 11 October in the commune of La Côte-Saint-André, France.
1815 He falls in love with his neighbor's 18-year-old daughter, Estelle Dubœuf.
1820 He's going to Paris for medical studies.
1826 He is admitted to the Paris Conservatory.
1830 First performance of the "Symphonie fantastique", wins the "Rome Prize" and goes to Italy.
1833 He's marrying Irish actress Harriet Smithson.
1834 His only son Louis is born.
1846 First visit to London.
1854 Harriet dies, marries his long-time mistress Marie Recio.
1863 First performance of the opera "Les Troyens".
1864 Marie dies, renews contact with Estelle, who is now 67 years old.
1869 Dies March 8 in Paris.

  • When Berlioz learned that Camille was marrying someone else, he vowed to go back to Paris and kill Camille and her mother, who had written him the news. He procured a maid's uniform to disguise himself and a pair of pistols to complete his plans.
  • In 1834, the great violinist Paganini commissioned Berlioz to compose a solo viola work, but lost interest before it was completed - and Berlioz lost his reward. Later that year, Paganini listened to the work he had rejected at a Berlioz's concerto and, full of remorse, sent the composer 20,000 francs - money more than two years' wages.