Thursday 1 January 2009

Viewing Vienna through New Year's music

Compelling entertainment

One tradition I try to maintain at the New Year is watching the Das Neujahrskonzert der Wiener Philharmoniker [1] which translates from German to the New Year’s Concert performed by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

The music is traditionally classical and mainly features the compositions of the Strauss family, however, this year [2] is the 200th anniversary of Joseph Haydn’s [3] death and so some of his pieces were performed.

Conducting for peace

The orchestra usually has a guest conductor and the maestro for 2009 was Daniel Barenboim [4] an Argentine-Israeli with additional citizenships of Palestine and Spain who has worked tirelessly for the unified purpose of getting Israelis and Palestinians to work together especially through music.

He conducted one piece in the second session where one-by-one the orchestra left till he only had one player to conduct – interesting how the music maintained its context through what looked like a walk-out predicated by a strike.

The ticket

Tickets for these concerts are like gold dust and only be applied for [5] over a period of three weeks in January for the concert taking place the next year.

Prices could range up to 930 Euros, I just find a good television from where to watch it, and it is just as engaging until I befriend one of those aristocratic Austrian families who might invite me to their box.

Although not included in the programme [6, PDF], the traditional Blue Danube [7] and the participatory Radetzky March [8] were performed to great aplomb at the end.

They say the DVD would be out by the 12th of January, I should be entertaining myself to one very soon.


[1] Vienna New Year's Concert - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

[2] Barenboim and Haydn to premiere at Vienna New Year's concert

[3] Joseph Haydn - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

[4] Daniel Barenboim - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

[5] Drawing for Tickets for the New Year's Concert 2010

[6] Neujahrskonzert 2009 [PDF]

[7] YouTube - Herbert von Karajan conducts The Blue Danube Waltz

[8] YouTube - Johann Strauss - Radetzky March - Abbado Vienna 1991

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