As this will be the final Sunday Morning Classics of 2012 I wanted to go out with a piece of classical music that connected with the bringing in of a new year, a piece of music that has a real connection to the holiday. Well, as fate would have it there really isn't any...of any kind...anywhere. So as a "Plan B" I decided to find something that had at least some connection to New Year's Eve. After a bit of thinking it dawned on me, "Das Neujahrskonzert der Wiener Philharmoniker." I know...so obvious right.
For those not in the know, the New Year's Concert of the Vienna Philharmonic takes place on the morning of January 1st in Vienna, Austria in the "Golden Hall' (the image above, stunning isn't it) of the home of the Philharmonic, the Musikverein and is perhaps the biggest classical music event of the year. It is in terms of its international coverage the largest classical music event in the world being broadcast around the world to an estimated audience of 50 million in 73 countries. Each year I am pleased to have counted myself as one of those 50 million for many years.
The music always includes pieces from the Strauss family—Johann Strauss I, Johann Strauss II, Josef Strauss and Eduard Strauss—with occasional music from other mainly Austrian composers. There are traditionally about a dozen compositions played which include waltzes, polkas, mazurkas, and marches. Of the encores, the first is often a fast polka. The second is Johann Strauss II's waltz The Blue Danube, whose introduction is interrupted by applause of recognition and a New Year greeting from the musicians to the audience. And it is this piece that I've picked for our final Sunday Morning Classics of 2013. This is from the 2011 concert and is conducted by Franz Welser-Möst. As many times before this is a piece that you have probably heard many time but never knew what it was. If you enjoyed it before I do hope that will enjoy it again.
Best to you and your in the new year.