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 - Nocturnes, Op. 32

Opus32 dates back to 1837, when Chopin was increasingly closely associated with the distinguished writer George Sand.  

Nocturne in C Major, Op. 32, No.1

In this nocturne the two song-style melodies flow without pause almost to the end. But here we are witnessing an unexpected change of mood. A dotted cadenza presents some new music and creates a darker and more dubious mood, as the work is completed in minor tonality.

Nocturne in A-flat Major, Op. 32, No. 2

This nocturne is one of Chopin's most popular nocturnes. It begins with a short section reminiscent of a cadenza, which may sound somewhat melodramatic for modern listeners. This introductory phrase lends its place to a warm flowing melody, which the composer then develops into a fiery romantic song. A contrasting part presents a touching note, before leading the nocturne - almost imperceptibly - to a final reprocessing of the introductory material.