The Vienna Philharmonic is one of the world's finest orchestras based in the City of Beethoven, Schubert and Mozart. It is the core of the Vienna State Opera, but it is most famous for the New Year's Concert of music from the famous Strauss family as well as other charming music from 19th century Vienna when the Austro Hungarian Empire was at its zenith. Now broadcast worldwide from the stunning Golden Hall of the Musikverein and conducted now each year by one of the world's top conductors, New Year's concerts in Vienna date back to 1838. No other orchestra has the feel for this repertoire and the ability to make a programme of this essentially light music feel like a row of masterpieces. There are two encore traditions. The first is a rendering of the Blue Danube Waltz as an encore which is always interrupted by applause after the first two bars. The second is a performance of the Radetzky March which includes the splendidly dressed audience clapping along. What I have never managed to understand is how the sequences of ballet from the Vienna State Ballet which are perfectly synchronised with the music always seem to take place in brilliant sunshine in Vienna in January. Perhaps it is better not to know.. If you missed it have a look at this year's concert under Riccardo Muti - it gives you a second chance to start 2021.
Willi Boskovsky, who led the concerts 1955-1979 directs 1966 watch here
Perhaps the most thrilling of all New Year's Day Concerts conducted by Carlos Kleiber - watch here