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

Franz Liszt - Introduction

The recording techniques were unfortunately not invented when Franz Liszt conquered Europe with his fascinating pianistic performances. Thus his juggling interpretations enjoyed only the ephemeral and we are limited to the written testimonies, which describe him as a pianist with unconventional virtuosic gifts. His recitals amounted to a performance that provoked furious excitement and exaggerated manifestations of worship.

His emphasis on virtuosity and the long-term focus of his creative disposition on the pianistic compositions of "demonstration" but also on the transcriptions - for piano of course - of works by other composers, prevented his immediate acceptance as an inspired composer.

However, no careful observer of evolution and researcher of his contribution can question the incisions he caused in the musical expression of his time. His symphonic poems herald new forms of the art of sounds, his instrumentals paving the way for the musical commandments of Wagner, Mahler, Richard Strauss, in the bold harmonys of his mature pianistic works eavesdropping on Debussy's impressionism.

Liszt loved music with passion, just as he loved women. The first was the means to conquer the latter, which could hardly resist its charm. But he was not seduced by all his successes. He remained until the end of his life benevolent and generous, willing to benefit with his knowledge and skills the music, but also his fellow human beings.