2017 - Highlights New Year's Day Concert


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2017 - Highlights

A chance to enjoy highlights from the live concert in which Venezuelan Gustavo Dudamel conducted the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in their traditional start to the New Year.


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Good morning, and a very happy New Year from the Golden Hall

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of the Musikverein here in Vienna.

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This year, the Vienna Philharmonic welcome the youngest musician ever

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to lead the New Year's Day Concert, the Venezuelan maestro

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Gustavo Dudamel.

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Waltzes, polkas and quadrilles by three members of the Strauss

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family on the programme this year, along with pieces by Lehar,

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Waldteufel, Otto Nicolai and Franz von Suppe.

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The New Year's Day Concert performance by the Vienna

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Philharmonic is supported by Rolex.

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A record eight works this year that are receiving their first outing

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at a New Year's Day Concert

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and there's a new uniform for the players of the Vienna

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Philharmonic as well.

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But more about that later.

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Well, not Strauss to begin this year but Lehar -

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a stirring march from what was his first theatrical hit in this

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city - Wiener Frauen - the Women of Vienna -

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which premiered in 1902.

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Gustavo Dudamel makes his way onto the platform to join

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the Vienna Philharmonic and open this 2017 New Year's Day Concert.

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MUSIC: Nechledil-Marsch from Wiener Frauen by Franz Lehar

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The Nechledil March, by Franz Lehar.

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Skates on next.

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Given the fact there's a spectacular rink

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in front of the Rathaus, Vienna's City Hall

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it seems strange that Les Patineurs has never before featured

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in this concert.

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Music by Emil Waldteufel.

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MUSIC: Les Patineurs by Emile Waldteufel

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Reiner Honeck, leader of the Vienna Philharmonic,

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Gustavo Dudamel conducting the Skaters Waltz, Les Patineurs,

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by Emile Waldteufel.

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Waldteufel sometimes described as the Johann Strauss of Paris,

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he wrote 300 dances, half of them waltzes,

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appointed court pianist to Napoleon III in 1865 and was to conduct state

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balls in France for the remainder of the 19th century.

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Well, Johann Jr is the first member of the Strauss family

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we are going to hear this New Year's Day.

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He was conducting the summer season at Pavlovsk near St Petersburg

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when he wrote a polka, which he announced there was to be

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called Forget Me Not.

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In fact, he had planned another title for the piece,

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which he only announced when he got home, There's Only One Imperial

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City, Theres Only One Vienna.

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It includes a nod to the Imperial Austrian national anthem.

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MUSIC: 'S gibt nur a Kaiserstadt, 's gibt nur a Wien by Johann Strauss Jr

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A salute to this city, Vienna, in the Kaiserstadt

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polka by Johann Strauss.

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A nod to Maria Theresa too, the only female ruler

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of the Habsburg dominions, born 300 years ago this year.

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Strauss's younger brother Josef next - celebrating the season,

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the fast polka Winterlust.

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Winterlust by Josef Strauss, written for the Dianasaal here in Vienna,

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which boasted a ballroom, the floor of which could be

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turned into an ice rink.

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That polka premiered at a masked ball, complete

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with fake flurries of snow, described as the highlight

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of the 1862 carnival season.

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Julie Andrews, one of the guests this year

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at the New Year's Day concert.

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Well, the Vienna Philharmonic Ball is still one of the highpoints

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of the season here in Vienna.

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This year it takes place on January 19th.

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Semyon Bychkov will conduct the orchestra.

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The evening opens with a procession of debutantes, who have

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to prove their dancing skills before they get to take part.

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In the time of the Strausses there were so many balls that

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all efforts had to be made to attract attention.

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"Sensational decorations and magnificent lighting effects"

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promised for the ball at which the next

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work was introduced.

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The evening was called The Journey Into The Lake Of Fire,

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a reference to the devil in the Biblical book of Revelation.

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And the new waltz that Strauss wrote for the occasion was titled

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Mephistopheles' Calls from Hell.

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It was January 1870 that this magnificent concert hall

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opened to the public.

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"From all sides spring golden colours," wrote the great critic

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Eduard Hanslick of the new building.

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Gustavo Dudamel returns to conduct Johann Strauss Jr.

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MUSIC: Mephistos Hollenrufe by Johann Strauss Jr

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APPLAUSE

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Mephistopheles' Calls from Hell, a waltz by Johann Strauss Jr.

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Well, we're going to finish part one of this 2017 New Year's Day Concert

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with one of his fast polkas, the title taken from the libretto

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of his opera A Night In Venice, an optimistic title too -

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We're Not That Worried.

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MUSIC: So angstlich sind wir nicht by Johann Strauss Jr

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Gustavo Dudamel conducting the Vienna Philharmonic

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this New Year's Day in Johann Strauss Jr's

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polka We're Not That Worried.

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Well, Franz von Suppe was the father of Viennese operetta.

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Born in Split, now in Croatia, but once part

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of the Austro-Hungarian Empire,

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he came to Vienna at 16 to study at the Conservatoire.

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He created more than 200 stage works,

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most of them relegated to dusty shelves,

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but the overture to Pique Dame, The Queen Of Spades,

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has found an independent life.

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Gustavo Dudamel makes his way onto the platform.

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The Vienna Philharmonic rises to its feet

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to greet him this New Year's Day.

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MUSIC: Overture from the operetta Pique Dame

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The overture to Franz von Suppe's Pique Dame.

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The flute section led by Karl Heinz Schutz.

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Gustavo Dudamel conducting the Vienna Philharmonic

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this New Year's Day.

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Ballet has long been a popular part of the New Year's Day Concert,

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and this year we meet dancers from the Vienna State Ballet

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in the park of the Hermesvilla, built by the Emporer Franz Josef

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in an attempt to curb the wanderlust of his beloved wife Sisi.

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The music is a waltz from Der Schatzmeister,

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an operetta by Carl Michael Ziehrer.

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MUSIC: Hereinspaziert! by Carl M Ziehrer

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Gustavo Dudamel conducting the waltz Step Right Up.

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From Der Schatzmeister by Carl Michael Ziehrer.

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The Italian Renato Zanella, artistic director of

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Vienna State Ballet for ten years, the choreographer

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for today's concert.

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Coming on to the stage now, members of the Vienna

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Singverein, an amateur chorus long associated with the orchestra.

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They are going to join the Vienna Philharmonic in

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the Moonrise from Otto Nicholai's comic opera The Merry Wives

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of Windsor, based on Shakespeare.

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Last year we marked the 400th anniversary

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of William Shakespeare's death - this year in Vienna the celebrations

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are for the 175th anniversary of the founding of the Vienna

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Philharmonic.

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And Otto Nicholai was one of the founders,

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one of three men who, in 1842,

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decided to launch a professional orchestra in this city.

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Nicolai set out the rules, which survive to this day,

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the orchestra is self governing, players choose the conductor,

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and divide the earnings amongst themselves.

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Moonrise, from the Merry Wives of Windsor.

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MUSIC: Mondaufgang by Otto Nicolai

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The Vienna Singverein and Vienna Philharmonic honouring

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Otto Nicholai, one of the orchestra's founders 175 years ago.

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Moonrise, from his opera The Merry Wives of Windsor.

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Johannes Prinz - the Chorus Master.

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Just a second to enjoy the magnificent flowers here today.

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30,000 blossoms, nurtured for today by the staff

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of Vienna's Municipal Department No 42 - which runs the city's

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parks and gardens.

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The director keen to reflect on the rich colours of Venezuela,

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you might see the odd pineapple and lemons in the mix too.

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Pink and green flamingo flowers, cymbidia.

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Amaryllis, too.

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MUSIC: Pepita-Polka by Johann Strauss II

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That was The Pepita Polka by Johann Strauss.

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Strauss honouring a famous Spanish dancer who came

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to Vienna in the 1850s.

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He was always very good at responding to contemporary

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events - in 1873 he wrote a quadrille

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for the opening of a new Rotunda

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in Vienna which had an English architect.

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MUSIC: Rotunde-Quadrille by Johann Strauss II

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The Rotunde-Quadrille,

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written by Strauss for the World's Fair of 1873.

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Alas, weeks of rainfall, a cholera epidemic,

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a stock-market crash and global economic crisis

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rendered the event a flop.

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The rotunda was finally destroyed by a fire in 1937.

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The famous Lipizzaner horses are one of the symbols of Vienna.

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We'll see them next as we visit the Spanish Riding School,

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accompanied by Strauss's waltz The Extravagants.

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By the way, they are not actually white horses, they are dark, they

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get progressively lighter grey each year.

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MUSIC: Die Extravaganten by Johann Strauss II

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Lipizzaner horses and Gustavo Dudamel conducting

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the Vienna Philharmonic in Johann Strauss Jr's

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waltz The Extravagants.

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Written for the Solicitors Ball.

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His father next, and a galop he composed after a group

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of Indian classical dancers visited Vienna in the late 1830s.

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Received, it seems, with confused curiosity from the Viennese public.

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MUSIC: Indianer-Galopp by Johann Strauss

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The Indian Galop by Johann Strauss Senior.

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We're working our way through the family,

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his middle son Josef next,

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taking us out of Vienna to Nusswald, a valley in southeastern

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Lower Austria, populated in the 19th century

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predominantly by Protestant timber workers.

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This is the polka, The Girl From Nasswald.

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MUSIC: Die Nasswalderin by Johann Strauss

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A man who can play the whistle and conduct at the same time.

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Gustavo Dudamel conducting The Girl from Nusswald - by Josef Strauss.

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More dancing next this New Year's Day.

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You may have detected that the ballet we saw earlier

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was recorded on a hot summer's day.

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Next, though, we have dancers actually with us here

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in the Musikverein - students of the Vienna State

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Opera Ballet Academy.

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They are going to dance to a polka Johann Strauss

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wrote for a party at his own Palace in 1888.

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100 guests, the last of whom didn't leave until 8:30 in the morning.

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You might be able to relate to that this New Year's Day!

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MUSIC: Auf zum Tanze! By Johann Strauss II

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Members of the Vienna State Opera Ballet Academy.

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And a comedy role for one of the ushers here at the Musikverein,

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or maybe he's a costumed dancer.

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Gustavo Dudamel conducting.

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Now, Strauss's first operetta was called

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Indigo and the 40 Thieves.

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It struggled under an incredibly complicated storyline.

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But the waltz that survived from the piece,

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A Thousand and One Nights, considered one of his finest.

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MUSIC: Tausend und eine Nacht by Johann Strauss II

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The waltz A Thousand And One Nights by Johann Strauss,

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Gustavo Dudamel conducting the Vienna Philharmonic.

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The trumpeter, Jurgen Pochhacker.

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Now, Vienna has museums filled with Old Masters and works

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by Klimt and Schiele,

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but it also has museums dedicated to globes, to funerals,

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and the language Esperanto,

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all of which make the Clock Museum seem pretty mainstream.

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We visit it now,

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with Johann Strauss's Tik-Tak-Polka from Die Fledermaus.

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It's located in one of the oldest houses in the centre of the city,

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and it's home to around 4,000 clocks.

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MUSIC: Tik-Tak by Johann Strauss II

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Strauss' Tik-Tak-Polka.

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That comes from Strauss' operetta Die Fledermaus,

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one of the traditions of New Year in Vienna,

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on last night and again this evening,

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at the both the Volksoper and the Vienna State Opera,

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where Otto Schenk's lavish production gets another outing.

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Other New Year traditions here include the bells

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of the Stephansdom ringing out the old and in the new,

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loud fireworks across the city, pigs in porcelain,

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glass and marzipan to bring good luck,

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and Dinner For One on the television.

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Its punchline, same procedure as every year,

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seems to rather reflect the continuity

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reassuring as the new year comes.

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Flowers for Gustavo Dudamel, who next is going to conduct the one

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member of the Strauss family we haven't featured so far this year

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- Eduard Strauss, the youngest of the brothers,

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who became conductor of the Strauss Orchestra in 1861,

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touring with them across two continents,

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and performing in 840 towns and cities.

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When he disbanded the orchestra in 1901 the last work he conducted

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was the fast polka With Pleasure.

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MUSIC: Mit Vergnugen by Eduard Strauss

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Eduard Strauss's polka With Pleasure.

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If you're a regular viewer, I don't know if you've noticed

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that the Vienna Philharmonic players and Maestro Dudamel

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have new concert attire.

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And British too, designed by Dame Vivienne Westwood

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and her Austrian husband, Andreas Kronthaler,

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tailored in the elegant cut of Savile Row bespoke,

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a modern interpretation of the traditional tailcoat for men,

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the women of the orchestra, I've counted seven on stage today,

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get a short jacket inspired by a frock coat.

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The outfits making their first appearance on stage today.

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175 years of the Vienna Philharmonic,

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150 years of the Blue Danube.

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First heard in February 1867 at a ball in Leopoldstadt district,

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then performed with words sung by choir.

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The Austrian Mint has produced a silver five

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euro coin to celebrate.

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Rather appropriate, as Strauss was paid one gold ducat

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when he wrote the piece.

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A work that over the years has become an unofficial

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national anthem of Austria,

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key to the New Year and this New Year's Day Concert.

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Conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, music director of the Los

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Angeles Philharmonic, conductor of the

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Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra in Venezuela.

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MUSIC: An der schonen blauen Donau by Johann Strauss II

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LAUGHTER

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Die Wiener Philharmoniker und ich wunschen Ihnen...

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ALL: Prosit Neujahr!

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MUSIC: An der schonen blauen Donau by Johann Strauss II

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APPLAUSE

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The Blue Danube, by Johann Strauss Jr,

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horn soloist, Josef Reif.

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The Blue Danube written 150 years ago.

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Rainer Honeck, Leader of the orchestra and Albena

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Danailova, co-Leader.

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175 years old this year the Vienna Philharminic.

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Gustavo Dudamel, at 35, the youngest conductor ever to lead

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the New Year's Concert, he turns 36 at the end

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of this month.

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Well, there is one New Year tradition left.

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It was an Austrian Army band who premiered Strauss senior's

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Radetsky March in 1848.

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Then it was the officers who clapped and stamped their heels

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in time with the music.

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Now the entire audience of the Musikverein beats something

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approximating time.

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MUSIC: Radetzky-Marsch by Johann Strauss

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Great direction of the audience here from Gustavo Dudamel.

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The Vienna Philharmonic playing the Radetsky March

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by Johann Strauss senior.

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And so 2017 is upon us, no stopping the clock or the calendar.

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As Walter Scott said, "Each age has deemed the new-born year

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the fittest time for festal cheer."

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Cheer may be in shorter supply than usual this New Year.

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But I hope the rich tradition of this concert has

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brought at least some to you.

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Julie Andrews in the audience here, she presents this concert

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on American television.

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I tell you what, the audience here may look well behaved

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but as soon as we go

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off air there'll be something of a scramble to grab a handful

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of the wonderful flowers that decorate the hall.

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Many thanks to our colleagues at ORF and Eurovision.

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This is Petroc Trelawny in Vienna signing off.

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Happy New Year.

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A chance to enjoy highlights from the live concert in which virtuoso Venezuelan Gustavo Dudamel conducted the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in their traditional start to the New Year. Petroc Trelawny is on hand to guide us through their finest galops, polkas and waltzes composed by the Strauss family and their contemporaries.

Viewers can enjoy performances not only from the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra but also by dancers from the Vienna State Ballet and the world-renowned Choir of the Society of the Friends of Music, consistently ranked among the best concert choirs in the world.

As is traditional, the concert comes to a close with the beloved By the Beautiful Blue Danube, and concludes with the stirring crowd-pleaser, the Radetzky March.