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

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