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

Claude Debussy - The Two Arabesques (Deux arabesques), L. 66

These two works for solo piano were written between 1888 and 1891, when Claude Debussy lived in the colourful Parisian suburb of Montmartre. The exuberant existence of young artists, writers and musicians produced an intense atmosphere, which Debussy glorified by reproducing its unmistakable feeling in his music.

These two pianist works, in E Major and G Major, Debussy was inspired by the decorative style of Islamic art. These are early compositions and as in the case of "Clair de Lune" they are not typical of the composer's mature style. At the same time they are perfect metaphors in the music of the spiral decorations of Islamic art.

I. Arabesque No. 1 in E Major - Andantino con moto

II. Arabesque No. 2 in G Major - Allegretto scherzando