The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra's traditional programme of music live from the Musikverein, alongside specially filmed performances by the Vienna State Ballet.
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I'm Petroc Trelawny, good morning and happy new year. You join us in
the Golden Hall of the Musikverein here in Vienna, where the players of
the Vienna Philharmonic are back on stage for the climax of their annual
New Year's Day concert, this year directed by Daniel Barenboim. As
well as the rich splendour of this ravishingly pretty concert hall,
with its busts and caryatids and friezes, over the 90 minutes or so,
we will be enjoying the splendours of a sumptuously restored city
palace later, filled with dancers from the Vienna State Ballet. They
are dressed by one of Great Britain's leading designers. And
alongside the family Strauss, we'll mark the 150th birthday of a great
opera composer who shared their name. Although he is unrelated, she
shares their surname. Richard Strauss.
APPLAUSE Daniel Barenboim conducting the
Overture to Johann Strauss's operetta Waldmeister, a project that
came at an opportune moment, at a time when many were writing the
composer off, saying he'd run out of good ideas. The show was a huge hit,
running for 88 performances. The score also included a Gallop. Part
of the opera is set in a mill and the Gallop was performed by a
chorus-line of apprentice millers. The tune was based on a song Strauss
had written in his youth when he dated a miller's daughter.
The Klipp Klapp Galop from Johann Strauss Junior's operetta
Waldmeister, written by the 70-year-old composer just four years
before his death. The sun has come out here in Vienna after a very
misty start, very mild for the time of year, very warm inside the
Musikverein. Daniel Barenboim is conducting in front of not far short
of 2000 people, but that is dwarfed by the 50 million reckoned to tune
in on radio and television around the world. This year, 92 countries
showing the concert, Daniel Barenboim's involvement meaning for
the first time it is being shown by the Palestine Broadcasting
Corporation and in Argentina, where he was born. The biggest audience is
in China, and this year viewers in the tiny Pacific states of Tuvalu,
the Cook Islands and Nauru also join the party for the first time.
We have a little less far to travel this morning, we are heading to the
Vienna Woods for Tales From The Vienna Woods, dating from the 1860s.
TV viewers will see the music illustrated by pictures of the
Augustinian monastery at Klosterneuburg, filled with art
treasures and with wonderful Gothic architecture. It celebrates its
900th anniversary this year. The zither features in the school. --
score. Wilfried Scharf playing the zither,
delighting Daniel Barenboim in Tales From The Vienna Woods, with pictures
of the 900-year-old Klosterneuburg monastery. The Vienna Woods are very
rural yet just a few miles from the centre of Vienna, very popular for a
weekend trip, although not with Strauss himself, who hated climbing
and never went walking in the woods. He hated heights so much that he
would sit on the floor of his railway carriage to avoid seeing out
the window when he took the train to Linz. Is there any better place to
start the New Year than in Vienna? So much happening here, the annual
race around the Ringstrasse took place yesterday, annual performances
of Offenbach's operetta Die Fledermaus at Vienna State Opera
tonight, Beethoven Nine is performed every new year at the Konzerthaus
across the road. This is principally the day of the Strauss family, but
Josef Hellmesberger also features each year. He was a conductor here
at the start of the 20th century. Daniel Barenboim conducts a French
polka by Hellmesberger. He was. By Mahler, an affair with a dancer
didn't help his case much either! -- forced out.
A French polka by former Vienna Phil concertmaster Josef Hellmesberger.
Next, we are going to serenade the flowers.
Josef Strauss' Bouquet Polka, and if you have been admiring the flowers,
it is difficult not to. This time they are a gift from the gardeners
and florists from Vienna. This year marks the 150th
anniversary of Richard Strauss's birth - not related in any way to
the Strauss family - but his music is often heard here in Vienna.
Capriccio was his farewell to the opera stage. He started work on it
in the summer of 1940. We are going to hear the Moonshine music.
Daniel Barenboim conducts the Moonshine Music from Capriccio,
performed when the countess is deep in thought on the terrace. Radio 3
will be marking Richard Strauss' birthday by broadcasting all of his
prose. Now we find the Vienna State Ballet dancers in the centre of the
city. Music by Josef Lanner, the
Romantics. The dancing could be considered Britain's contribution to
this New Year's Day Concert. The choreography by Ashley Page, former
Royal Ballet principal dancer and director of Scottish Ballet in
Glasgow, and the costumes by Vivienne Westwood, who is married to
an Austrian and in the past has designed for the Burgtheater here in
Vienna. This is the 74th annual New Year's Day concert in Vienna. The
first took place during the dark days of the Second World War.
Clemens Krauss conducted. He was the first to get the Vienna Phil to
regularly play music by the Strauss family. He had instigated an annual
Strauss gala at the Salzburg Festival. It was broadcast for the
first time on radio in 1953. A decade later it was broadcast across
the continent via Eurovision, so beginning its role as a vital part
of many people's New Year celebrations. Two polkas next by
Josef Strauss that have never before been performed at a New Year's Day
Concert. In a moment, shenanigans, but first a polka mazurka with a bit
of teasing going on. The Shenanigans Polka, and before it
the Teasing Polka, both by Josef Strauss, both getting their New
Year's Day premieres. Clemens Hellsberg, Vienna
Philharmonic president, told me yesterday that even after 74
concerts they have still performed less than 50% of the published music
of the Strauss family. More ballet next, music from France.
The pizzicato polka from Sylvia by Delibes with dancers from Vienna
State Ballet in costumes designed by Vivienne Westwood, performing at the
Liechenstein family palace. If you are listening on Radio 3 this
morning and want to see the dancing and the palace, don't forget
extended highlights, two hours' worth, from today's concert on BBC
Four at 7:00pm, now available in HD. The Musikverein was inaugurated in
1870, built on a piece of land given by Emperor Franz Josef I. It's one
of the world's most important concert halls, yet when you sit in
it, it feels very intimate, more like a salon than a great hall. The
richness of its design almost overpowering, the golden caryatids
that appear to support the balcony, the fine tapestries hanging in front
of the boxes, the marbling and the brilliantly bright friezes. The
seating looks a bit utility, because it is designed to be moved on the
two occasions each year when this place becomes a ballroom. Another
reference to the great opera composer Richard Strauss next, born
150 years ago this year. Josef Strauss's Dynamiden Waltz, which
Richard Strauss unmistakably echoed in his masterwork Der Rosenkavalier.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE The Dynamiden Waltz by Josef
Strauss, with the alluring subtitle Secret Powers of Attraction. Music
that was much to influence Richard Strauss when he came to write his
opera Der Rosenkavalier. Josef Strauss died terribly young, just
before his 43rd birthday. Just before he died, he wrote a sparkling
polka called Without A Care. CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Daniel Barenboim shouting at the end of that polka by Josef Strauss,
officially marking the end of the 20 14th the Vienna Philharmonic New
Year's Day concert. Though, as regular fans will know, there are a
few treats ahead of us yet. Presented by a member of the
orchestra with that bouquet of flowers, contributed this year by
the orchestra itself, grown by gardeners and nurserymen and women
of Austria. Well put together by the look of it. As he struggles to pull
one out! He has failed! This, Daniel Barenboim's second
appearance at the New Year's Day concert. Significance to the fact
that the orchestra asked to this great peacemaker and musical
diplomat to return to conduct again. He is truly a citizen of the world.
Born in Argentina. Travelling on Palestinian documents as well. It is
a busy time of year for the players in the orchestra. I was talking to
one of those on stage today and she told me she was playing on Christmas
Day in the Nutcracker at the State Opera and then again in rehearsals
for this concert on Saturday and Sunday with performances in the
morning and evening. Easy times. She is making her first appearance this
year. One of nine women on stage this year. It may be a small
percentage but it is up on a year ago. Maybe we'll be in double
figures by 2015. It often causes controversy. This is the first
encore. CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
The first encore by Josef Strauss. Him showing off his love of horse
riding. The name of it is the fastest speed at which a horse can
be written. It had an unfortunate start in its premiere as it was the
day the Austrian army had been defeated in a key battle in the
Austro Prussian War. Hence the work was rather overlooked. This concert
is being shown on big screens in cafes and hotels across Biela this
morning. I'll imagine the waiters are casting a final eye over the
arrangements of cutlery and glasses before the onslaught of concertgoers
and musicians. -- across Biela. Not far for Daniel Barenboim to go after
the concert. Vienna Philharmonic conductors traditionally stay in the
adjacent Imperial Hotel, which has a back door opposite the Musikverein's
stage door. The carpet is bearable for the maestro to cross.
By The Beautiful Blue Danube, the unofficial national anthem of Vienna
and Austria, played by the Vienna Philharmonic this New Year's Day.
The dancers are from the Vienna State Ballet. Do you use the hashtag
#prosit2014, we can all be part of the celebration.
We are nearly at the end of this year's festivities, the New Year's
Day concert performance by the BNL Philharmonic supported by Rolex and
conducted by Daniel Barenboim. -- Vienna. He is shaking hands with
members of the orchestra. This is his second appearance conducting the
New Year's Day concert, what charm and a spirit he has brought to
proceedings, the lighting the audience, including his wife, his
violinist son Michael, and I spotted Julie Andrews as well! She presents
the American television coverage of this event, broadcast to 92
countries around the world this year. If you fancy being in the
audience next year, for real, tickets cost between 30 and 940
euros. To get then you need to register...
Daniel Barenboim shaking hands with BBN Philharmonic in the Radetzky
March by Strauss Senior. If you want to be here next day, you have until
January the 23rd to register your details at the website. That is it
for this 2014 New Year's Day concert, what a great way to
celebrate the New Year here at the Musikverein in Vienna with Daniel
Barenboim on the rostrum after delightfully leading us through this
programme of 21 musical treats from this city and further appeal. From
me, Petroc Trelawny, and all of us here in Vienna, good afternoon to
you and a very happy New Year.
Daniel Barenboim conducts the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in their traditional New Year's Day concert live from the Musikverein. Alongside waltzes, polkas and marches from the Strauss family, the programme features music by Richard Strauss as well as specially filmed performances by the Vienna State Ballet, choreographed by Ashley Page and with costumes designed by Vivienne Westwood.