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

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.