Music and Setting編輯
The music always includes pieces from the Strauss family (Johann Strauss I, Johann Strauss II, Josef Strauss and Eduard Strauss), with occasional additional pieces from other mostly Austrian composers including Joseph Hellmesberger, Jr., Josef Lanner, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Carl Otto Nicolai, Emil von Rezniček , Franz Schubert, Franz von Suppé, and Karl Michael Ziehrer. There are usually about a dozen pieces played, with a longer pause at the half. Usually the compositions include waltzes, polkas, mazurkas and marches. The complete duration of the event, including pauses, is around two and a half hours (as of 2007).
These concerts have been held in the Goldenor Saal (Golden Hall) of the Wiener Musikverein since 1939. The flowers that decorate the concert hall are a gift each year from the city of Sanremo, Liguria, Italy. The orchestra is joined by pairs of ballet dancers in one piece during the second part of the programme. The dancers come from the Vienna State Opera Ballet and dance at the Schönbrunn Palace.
The concert always ends with three encores after the main programme. The first encore is a fast polka. The second encore is Johann Strauss II's Blue Danube Waltz, whose introduction is interrupted by applause of recognition from the audience. The musicians then collectively wish the audience a happy new year, play The Blue Danube and close with Johann Strauss Sr.'s Radetzky March. During this last festive piece, the audience participates with the traditional clap-along, and the conductor turns to the audience in time to conduct them instead of the orchestra.
The concert was first performed in 1939, and conducted by Clemens Krauss. There were no encores in 1939, and sources indicate encores did not begin until 1945. Clemens Krauss almost always included Perpetuum mobile either on the concert or frequently as an encore. Surprisingly, The Blue Danube Waltz was first performed in 1945, and as an encore. The other encore nearly always performed in recent years, the Radetzky March of Johann Strauss Sr., was first performed in 1946, again as an encore. Until 1958 both pieces were often but not always given as encores, and after that they became a permanent tradition as encores at the concerts.
Exceptions in the closing tradition have happened occasionally, once in 1967 when Willi Boskovsky made the Blue Danube part of his concert program, and once in 2005 when Lorin Maazel concluded the program with the Blue Danube waltz (the Radetzky March was skipped) as a mark of respect to the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake.
Boskovsky, concertmaster of the orchestra 1936-1979, conducted the Vienna New Year's concerts from 1955-1979. In 1980, Lorin Maazel became the first non-Austrian conductor of the concert. The practice of choosing a different star conductor every year (and occasional star soloists) began in 1987 after seven appearances in a row by Maazel. Members of the orchestra voted to rotate conductors. This may have occurred with the telecasts going worldwide, perhaps to make the audio and video recordings more marketable, or possibly to grant the next conductor, an ailing Austrian Herbert von Karajan, the long denied honor.
The concert is popular throughout Europe, and more recently around the world. The demand for tickets is so high that people have to preregister one year in advance in order to participate in the drawing of tickets for the following year.
The event is broadcast by the Eurovision Network which includes most major networks around Europe (including BBC Two in Great Britain), on PBS beginning in 1985 in the United States, NHK in Japan, SBS in Australia etc. Since 2006, the concert has been broadcast to viewers in several African countries (Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe) and those in Latin America (Ecuador and Bolivia).
Decca Records made the first of the live commercial recordings, with the January 1, 1979 digital recording (their first digital LP releases) of the 25th anniversary of the New Year's Concert with Willi Boskovsky conducting the Vienna Philharmonic.
- The History of the New Year's Concert from "Vienna Philharmonic" website
- Information (German) from ORF (Austrian Broadcaster)
- The Musikverein (The Music Association of Vienna) website