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

Beethoven - Egmont overture

The music in the Egmont overture is full of dynamism and melancholy, foremoing the story that will follow. This scene of the storm on Karl Anton Paul Lotz's painting "Horses in a Rainstorm" (1862) reflects the feelings depicted in the work.

Beethoven responded enthusiastically to the invitation of Vienna’s Burg Theatre to write the music of Egmont, a tragedy of the great German poet Goethe. He was pleased with this assignment for two reasons. First, because he deeply respected Goethe, and then the subject of the drama was very suited to the composer. In Goethe's story, Count Egmont - a 16th century nobleman -  of the Low Countries leads a revolution against Spanish rule to be defeated by the Duke of Alba, suppressor of the revolution. Beethoven's stage music, written in 1810, consists of an introduction, entr' actes (music that connects the acts of drama) and songs.

Beethoven's musical interpretation of Goethe's tragedy begins with a series of riveting chords that pre-release the mood of the drama. The music is ominous, echoing the tyranny of the Spanish dynasties in the 16th century and the tragic revolution of Count Egmont. Excerpts from the lyrical melody of wood wind and strings appear, but relief is minimal before the explosion of return to the original chords.

A softer part with repetitive chords of strings, leads to a more agitated music. Underlying anxiety is maintained where themes are reintroduced with various transformations. The music calms down before an orchestral sound leads to a rushing finale, sweeping the previous melancholy into a clear statement that goodwill ultimately dominates evil.