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

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.