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

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K. 550

The shocking combination of musical insight and Mozart's delicately processed art widened the boundaries of all the musical forms he dealt with.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart possessed an extraordinary ability to distance himself from the outside world in the moments of his creative activity. This is evidenced by the tremendous speed with which he composed his last three symphonies and by the often optimistic nature of these great works.

It was during the composition of these symphonies, in the summer of 1788, that Mozart was in great despair - pressured by his deteriorating economic situation, living constantly in fear of the future. However, the music of Symphony No. 40 in G minor is joyful and serene - the work of a composer who resolutely refused to allow his problems to appear in his art.


Ι. Molto allegro

In the first part, the low, turbulent string accompaniment defines the mood of Molto Allegro. Initially, the violins lead, pushing the music into the lyrical second theme shared by woodwinds and strings. An isolated chord returns to a repetition of the music heard so far. Three dynamic chords format for the second time in the main theme. Now the melody is broadened by the entire orchestra and the high strings battle almost with the deep strings for the final dominance. But there is no winner. The music becomes more serene, paving the way for a final re-exhibition of the original theme.

ΙΙ. Andante

In the second part, the first melody of the tender and rather melancholic Andante, is based on repeated notes. A short, melodic section, played by the flute and the bassoon, presages some subtle pauses - emphasizing the importance of the music that will follow. This is highly edited, with neural, rhythmic phrases. We re-understand the original melody, which is now contrasted with decorative music phrases of the woodwinds. In the final half of the part the deep strings repeat the first theme - but lead the music to a strange new tone, as the mood becomes less serene.

ΙΙΙMenuetto Allegretto - trio

In the third part, the music of Menuetto Allegretto - trio is unstable, with Menuetto loud and dramatic. The trio is a kind of contrast, with serene melodic shapes scattered between the instruments. Towards the end of the part the horns take off with their own melodic contribution. Menuetto is back on the line.

IV. Allegro assai

The fourth part, Allegro assai, as the opening theme has an upward lift. The mood has returned to that of the first part. A gentle second melody is inserted from the strings and repeated by the clarinets. Later the original music is heard again. The second half of the part is announced by the strings which play a succession of loosely cations parts of the melody. As the mood becomes more and more restless, the issue of grabbing runs through the organs. After a pause the original music returns and completes the symphony.