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

Robert Schumann - "Träumerei" or "Dreaming" (from the album Kinderszenen or "Scenes from Childhood"), Op. 15, No. 7

'The Woodman's Child' painting of Arthur Hughes, expresses wonderfully the dreamy quality of "Dreaming" from Schumann's "Scenes from Childhood".

For Robert Schumann, music was almost always a personal expression of contemplation, feelings and poetic contemplation and that is exactly what makes him one of the most important romantic composers. The piano was Schumann's first love and his compositions for this instrument are among the most resistant through the passage of time.

Schumann composed "Scenes from Childhood" album, the best-known of all his pianistic circles, in 1838. It consists of 13 "peculiarly small works", as described by the composer, each with its own title, which expresses a specific childhood memory. These works are all simple and charming, but Dreaming (Träumerei) is the most popular and best known of all. 

It is often included in musical collections for solo piano and often the virtuoso performers include this masterpiece in their program.

In Dreaming the composer is lovingly gazing at the innocence and simple joys of childhood. From a technical point of view the work is disarmingly simple - a slow melancholy melody in the treble with a simple accompanying bass - but this little stream is one of the finest piano works ever written. The melody goes back and forth effortlessly - recalling images that remain for a moment, while the melody stops and then fades peacefully.