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

Johann Strauss II - Tritsch-Tratsch-Polka, Op. 214 in A major

Johann Strauss II composed "Tritsch-Tratsch-Polka"  in 1858 after a successful tour of Russia where he performed in the summer concert season at Pavlovsk, Saint Petersburg. It was first performed in a concert in Vienna on 24 November 1858.

The German word "trarch" means gossip, while the word "tritsch" has no meaning. The title is a sample of Johann Strauss II's habit of creating puns. In this case he wanted to imitate sonically the English expression "chit-chat" (drizzle, gossip).

The music is lively and Strauss hypothesized that many dancers could wait while chatting until a waltz is played. The composer wrote in his diary that at the time he was conducting a series of concerts in London, the audience asked for this polka 38 times! 

It is a lively, rhythmic work, in A major, which uses brilliant brass and percussion instruments and is widely decorated with trills and a multitude of musical ornaments. Interpretively it is a demanding work, but its unique cheerfulness makes it enjoyable to both play it and listen to it.