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

Antonio Vivaldi - Concerto No. 3 in F major, Op. 8, RV 293, "Autumn" (L'autunno)

Poussin's painting with vine harvest
"Autumn" painting by Nicolas Poussin. 

I. Allegro
Celebrates the peasant, with songs and dances, 
The pleasure of a bountiful harvest. 
And fired up by Bacchus' liquor
many end their revelry in sleep. 

II. Adagio molto
Everyone is made to forget their cares and to sing and dance 
By the air which is tempered with pleasure 
And (by) the season that invites so many, many 
Out of their sweetest slumber to fine enjoyment  

III. Allegro
The hunters emerge at the new dawn, 
And with horns and dogs and guns depart upon their hunting 
The beast flees and they follow its trail
Terrified and tired of the great noise 
Of guns and dogs, the beast, wounded, threatens 
Languidly to flee, but harried, dies.

The Four Seasons is a group of four violin concerti by Antonio Vivaldi, each of which gives musical expression to a season of the year. "Autumn" is the third concerto in F major.

In this work are described the villagers who celebrate the harvest with drink and dances. The joyful melody of the inaugural Allegro is well known. The soloist repeats the dance with a few double chords, followed by descending couplings and other musical ornaments.

A section of Larghetto submits the image of the villagers falling asleep, but the part ends with the dance.

Adagio finds everyone surrendering to a "sweet" sleep with a continuo played by the harpsichord.

In the final Allegro, the music depicts a hunter, with more double chords of the soloist. Quick phrases on the violin solo describe the panic of the frightened prey, before returning to the theme of the hunter.