Johann Strauss Sr. – Radetzky March played on the pipe organ

Johann Strauss Sr. (1804-1849)

Johann Strauss Sr. (1804-1849) was the first musician in his family to be famous for composing Viennese Waltzes and German Dances. During the 1830s and 1840s, Johann Strauss Sr. became one of the most famous dance composers in Vienna. With his own orchestra he toured France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, England and Scotland. In 1845 his son Johann Jr. made his debut as a composer of waltzes and other dances and became his father’s competitor. Strauss Sr. became jealous of his son and refused to play at Dommayor’s Casino where he had played many times, and where his son made his debut. In 1848 Johann Strauss Sr. composed his most famous orchestral piece called the Radetzky March (which was dedicated to Austrian Field Marshal Radetzky.) Whenever this piece was played the soldiers would clap and stomp their feet. Today in Vienna that tradition has continued and people clap and stomp their feet whenever the piece is played.

Jonathan Scott

Jonathan Scott is an English organist and pianist. He has travelled all over Europe and Asia playing the organ, and also performs with his brother Tom Scott (a pianist) as part of the Scott Brothers Duo. He has a very popular YouTube channel where he plays his own organ arrangements and well known organ pieces. His brother Tom (when he isn’t performing with his brother Jonathan) does an excellent job making attractive videos of the organs and churches where Jonathan plays in his videos. Here is an organ arrangement by Jonathan Scott of Johann Strauss Sr’s Radetzky March. I hope that you enjoy it.

Ernesto Nazareth – Ameno Reseda (a polka)

Ernesto Nazareth (1863-1934)

Ernesto Nazareth was a Brazilian composer and pianist. He is known today for his Brazilian Tangos, but he also wrote waltzes, polkas, habaneras, fox trots, sambas, and other types of dance music for the piano.

Here is a polka by Nazareth called Ameno Reseda. It is played by famous Brazilian pianist Arthur Moriera Lima (who won the 2nd prize in the Chopin International Piano Competition, the 3rd Prize at the Leeds International Piano Competition, and the 3rd prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition.) I hope that you enjoy this beautiful music.

Edward Elgar – La Capricieuse (two very different performances of this popular piece for violin and piano)

Edward Elgar (1857-1934)

Edward Elgar was an English composer who (along with other composers) helped bring about a resurrection of English classical music in the 20th Century. English music suffered after the death of Henry Purcell in 1695 and England didn’t have a native born English composer of the importance of Purcell until Edward Elgar, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Gustav Holst, William Walton, and Benjamin Britten came along in the 20th Century. Elgar is known for his Enigma Variations, Pomp and Circumstance Marches, Land of Hope and Glory, and a few violin/piano pieces. One of his most famous violin/piano pieces is La Capricieuse.

Here are two very different performances of La Capricieuse by Edward Elgar. The first is by Canadian Grammy award winning violinist James Ehnes and pianist Eduard Laurel, and the second is by famous Israeli violinist Ivry Gitlis and pianist Tasso Janopoulo. The James Ehnes performance was released on a DVD called Homage which features him playing various pieces on violins from David Fulton’s collection of expensive violins and violas. Unfortunately the video of James Ehnes seems to have been taken down from YouTube. The Ivry Gitlis performance with pianist Tasso Janopoulo was filmed in 1962. I won’t say anymore because I want people to listen and hear how different the two performances are and decide for themselves which performance they like more.