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

Robert Schumann - Introduction

In the case of Robert Schumann, the proximity of genius to madness is confirmed. From his father he had inherited a troubled psyche, which was extended by various unpleasant episodes of his life, culminating in his reckless act, after which he realized that he would never become the great virtuoso pianist he dreamed of. So he easily crossed the dividing line and dived into worlds where logic oscillated from existence to non-existence.

His youthful love for the piano filtered by his inspiration, came to fruition with some pianist masterpieces. By the time he was 30, only the piano enjoyed the favor of his fertile imagination.

When his love found a human bright object of desire, Clara Wieck wanted to sing his love for her. He composed beautiful song cycles, enriching with precious mosaics the art that Franz Schubert had brought out.

With the encouragement and support of his life partner, he tested his creative skills in other aspects of music, such as symphonic and chamber music. He completed works exquisitely in every kind of music he dealt with. His imagination, sometimes beseed by the calmness of Eusebius, sometimes by the romantic passion of Florestan, lured him into quests between dream and reality.

In music these quests yielded works full of lyricism, kindness, sensitivity but also passion, dynamism, vitality. In life they attributed the early passage to the infinity of eternity.

(George Monemvasitis)