New Year's Day from Vienna, 2013

Thursday, December 29, 2011
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Musikverein, ViennaThe Vienna Philharmonic continues a cherished tradition by starting 2013 with waltzes, marches, and more at the Musikverein in Vienna.

Tracing its roots back to 1939 and informed by the legacy of a special relationship with Johann Strauss, Jr., the New Year's Day concert by the Vienna Philharmonic features an unmatchable grace and buoyancy in music by Strauss and others.

Johann Strauss, Jr., performed with the Vienna Philharmonic for the first time in 1873, and several performances followed over the next five years.  But it wasn't until 1925, during the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Strauss's birth, that the Vienna Philharmonic fully embraced the composer's music. 

In 1929, Clemens Krauss conducted a concert made up entirely of The Waltz King's music, and the tradition was sealed.

Franz Welser-Most

Conductor Franz Welser-Möst (photo by Roger Mastroiann) 

The guest conductor for 2013 is Austrian conductor Franz Welser-Möst, General Music Director of the Vienna State Opera and Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra. Welser-Möst leads his second New Year's Day concert.  He previously conducted the 2011 New Year's Day concert, and his debut with the Vienna Philharmonic was in 1998. 

Here is the program for the 2013 New Year's Day concert with the Vienna Philharmonic:

Josef Strauss: The Soubrette, Fast Polka, op. 109
Johann Strauss, Jr.: Kiss Waltz, op. 400
Josef Strauss: Theater Quadrille, op. 213
Johann Strauss, Jr.: From the Mountains, Waltz, op. 292
Franz von Suppé: Overture to the Operetta "Light Cavalry"

Josef Strauss: Music of the Spheres, Waltz, op. 235
Josef Strauss: The Spinstress, Polka française, op. 192
Richard Wagner: Prelude to Act III of the Romantic Opera "Lohengrin", WWV 75
Joseph Hellmesberger, Jr.: In Confidence, Polka mazur, op. 15
Josef Strauss: Hesperus’ Paths, Waltz, op. 279
Josef Strauss: The Runners, Fast Polka, op. 237
Joseph Lanner: Styrian Dances, op. 165
Johann Strauss, Jr.: Melodies Quadrille, op.112
Giuseppe Verdi: Prestissimo from the Ballet Music in Act III of the Opera "Don Carlo"
Johann Strauss, Jr.: Where the Lemon Trees Bloom, Waltz, op. 364
Johann Strauss, Sr.: Memories of Ernst or The Carnival of Venice, Fantasy, op. 126

New Year's Day at 11am and 5pm on Classical New England.

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Thursday, December 22, 2011
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Friday, December 16, 2011
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A Kids' Classical Christmas

Friday, December 24, 2010
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A Request for Beethoven, and music for the holiday

By Ray Brown   |   Thursday, December 23, 2010
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Dec. 24

Today's 4:00 request is from Marc for Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major, which we'll hear performed by Robert Levin on the fortepiano, with the Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique led by John Eliot Gardiner. Continuing the practice he began in his recordings of the Mozart concertos, Levin improvised all of his own cadenzas in the studio, rather than play the ones that Beethoven wrote. My colleague Cathy Fuller asked Levin about the process of creating new cadenzas for Mozart's music, and, especially for Beethoven's First Concerto, I think the same things apply.  Check out Cathy's conversations with Robert Levin here.

After the Beethoven we'll play a work that is increasingly associated with the holidays: the music Prokofiev wrote for the film "Lieutenant Kije."  While this music has been used in several films (perhaps most memorably in Woody Allen's "Love and Death"), it's quite illuminating to hear the music in its original context.  If you have a spare 82 minutes this holiday weekend, you can check out the 1934 film below.  It feels like a Soviet version of the Marx Brothers, based on a bitterly satiric novella by Yuri Tynyanov about a nonexistent officer in the Tsar's army who becomes a very convenient fiction.

Beginning at 5:00 we'll play three hours of music (and a bit of radio drama!) for the holidays, including excerpts from The Nutcracker, works by Bach and Corelli, carols sung by Chanticleer, the Boston Camerata, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, and the Handel and Haydn Society Chorus (who will also be singing our holiday broadcast of Handel's Messiah at 8:00 tonight). We'll also hear a few snippets of Patrick Stewart's magnificent audio version of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," as well as a few surprises. All of us here at 99.5 thank you for making us a part of your celebration, and we wish you a joyous and peaceful holiday.

Mouths Full of Laughter

Thursday, December 23, 2010
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