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

Chopin - Étude Op. 10, No. 12 in C minor, "Revolutionary Étude"

Painting depicting the suppression of the Polish uprising by the Russians in 1830
The "Revolutionary" etude was composed after Chopin was informed that the 1831 Polish uprising had been crushed by the Russian troops.

It has been said about Chopin's Etudes that "they are as inaccessible to the musician without virtuosity as they are to the virtuoso without musicality". Certainly the "Revolutionary" Etude pushes the pianist to his limits.

But the technical complexity doesn't overshadow the musical flood for a moment.

Above the troubled part of the left hand, emotion and melody cross the storm like the unruly boat at the top of the wave.

Chopin designed this piece as a piano exercise or an etude for the left hand. All the 12 Etudes of Opus 10 are influenced by violinist Nikolo Paganini and pianist Franz Liszt and are dedicated to the latter.