Strauss lived in and represented what was on the surface one of the most brilliant ans prosperous periods of the Habsburg monarchy. Subversive tongues used to say that the Emperor Franz Joseph I reigned only until Strauss’s death. The charm, elegance, vivacity and sophistication of his music mirrored the glitter and joie de vivre of the 19th century imperial Vienna. It is music that no longer breathes the air of country inns, common city taverns and beer-gardens, as his father’s music still did to a certain extent but reflects a society in which Vienna’s spirit found its most articulate expression. The folk song flavour, gradually assumed a more sophisticated character, which with Strauss is particularly evident in the refinement and piquancy of his rhythmic idiom, with its frequent cross-rhythms, syncopations, dotted figures and an ingenious use of pauses and rests. The features give his style its cachet and were responsible for its galvanizing effect on dancers and listeners alike. His fast (or very fast !) hunting polka ‘Auf der Jagd’ opus 373 was composed in 1875 and depictes a vividly hunting scene together with a few gun shots.