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

Maurice Ravel - Boléro


This dramatic and vivid work called Ravel's Boléro, by Arnold Shore, was painted to honor Ravel's most beloved and best-known composition.

In 1927, dancer Ida Rubinstein ordered Ravel a ballet. The result was Boléro, which was first composed and presented in 1928. The work consists of a tiered crescendo, where the musical variation is based solely on changes in orchestration.

In the ballet, choreographed by the Russian dancer Vaslav Nijinsky, a young gypsy woman begins a slow, sluggish dance. Ecstatic by her movements, the dancers enter the dance one after the other and finally dance together.
Η χορεύτρια Ίντα Ρούμπινστάϊν 
φωτογραφίζεται το έτος 1922.

Boléro caused a great sensation and within two weeks, the composer became world famous.

Accompanied by the snare drum playing the boléro rhythm and the string's pizzicato, a solo flute appears, entering the first part of the dominant melody of the work.

A clarinet repeats the music and follows a bassoon that enters the second half of the theme, which is sluggish and rather sad, but with a distinct jazz feel. The music is repeated by a clarinet of higher tone.

A similar edit of the theme comes back, this time with the rare oboe d'amore, which is tuned lower than the normal oboe and its sound is sweet. The diffuse sound, which resembles a church organ, is the result of many instruments playing the melody in three different toalities.

The number of organs increases as the orchestral escalation begins. A trombone introduces jazz-like gleisandi (slipping up or down in successive notes), while the music gains volume. 

The flow is interrupted by a sudden change of tonality followed by hard beating (very loudly) on the gong and the cymbals that dramatically complete the task.