2016 - Highlights New Year's Day Concert


2016 - Highlights

A chance to enjoy highlights from the live concert in which Latvian conductor Mariss Jansons conducted the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in their traditional start to the New Year.


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Happy New Year - and a warm welcome to the Golden Hall

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For many around the world, the next few hours provide

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the perfect way to toast the start of 2016 -

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a rich feast of musical sweetmeats, performed in this jewel box

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Well, this year in charge is the Latvian conductor

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Mariss Jansons, the New Year's Day performance by the Vienna

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Well Vienna, along with New York, Geneva and Nairobi, is one

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of the headquarters of the United Nations and we're

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going to begin this year by celebrating the 70th anniversary

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of the United Nations with a march by Robert Stolz.

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Stolz it was who kept the spirit of the Strauss family going in this

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He's buried here alongside Strauss Junior and Brahms.

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Mariss Jansons mounts the platform here in the Musikverein.

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His downbeat in a few seconds will signal the start of the 2016

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The UN March by Robert Stolz - opening this 2016 Vienna

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Ban Ki-Moon, the Secretary General of the United Nations,

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who is the guest of Dr Heinz Fischer,

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the Austrian Federal President at this year's concert.

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Well, Johann Strauss Junior next - his Treasure Waltz - drawn

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from the music of his operetta The Gypsy Baron.

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The Treasure Waltz - based on Strauss's Gypsy Baron.

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The Merry War is a rather less well known operetta by Strauss.

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Violetta is the operetta principal female character -

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a widowed countess, and Strauss named a French polka

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No actual fighting in the Merry War - the "war" is played out

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Mariss Jansons conducts the Vienna Philharmonic.

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A French polka, Violetta by Johann Strauss.

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Well, it started snowing about half an hour ago here in Vienna,

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but we are going to head outdoors on this January 1st morning

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to the Prater Park, where it seems the sun always shines.

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The famous wheel and extensive miniature railway as well

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which gives a good excuse to hear Strauss' Pleasure Train Polka.

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Mariss Jansons as train driver, blowing an ancient horn,

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Originally written for a ball here in 1864, it was inspired

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by the opening of the Sudbahn, the Austrian Southern Railway.

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Though Strauss wrote various works inspired by transport,

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it seems he himself was terrified of rail travel.

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He quaked at the mere mention of a journey

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through the Semmering Pass and, apparently, would often spend

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the trip huddled on the floor of the railway carriage.

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Now, it wasn't just the family Strauss who had musical success

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here in Vienna when it came to popular music.

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of a top hat maker - who became a distinguished military

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bandmaster - and was the last musician to be appointed

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by the Emperor Director of Music for Court Balls -

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the only non-Strauss to hold the position.

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His Waltz, Viennese Maidens, features one of his trademarks,

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a whistling theme, providing an extra challenge

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It opens using elements of the old Austrian Landler,

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the country folk dance that preceded the waltz.

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Fine whistling, and fine playing from the Vienna Philharmonic

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in Viennese Maidens by Carl Ziehrer - never before played

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Mariss Jansons told the orchestra in rehearsal that it was his

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Ziehrer and Eduard Strauss, the youngest of the Strauss

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brothers, had a terrible relationship - each

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Eduard died 100 years ago this year and we're going to hear a polka

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of his from 1887, premiered that year in this very hall.

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Post Haste - Mit Extra Post - a title that reflects the supplement

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that used to be paid in the olden days for the fastest post carriage.

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A postman in Imperial uniform circa 1910, and a baton that once belonged

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to Johann Strauss Jr and is now owned by Jansons himself.

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Post Haste - Mit Extra Post by Eduard Strauss.

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Post Haste - the polka by Eduard Strauss conducted

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Mariss Jansons and the Vienna Philharmonic this New Year's Day

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And a light dusting of snow this morning.

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The street cleaners have been hard at work getting rid of the evidence

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- the burnt out fireworks and empty bottles -

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left over from last night's celebrations when tens of thousands

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packed into the Graben to see the new year in,

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providing a confident greeting to 2016 with the Blue Danube playing

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out on every Austrian television channel -

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as it will in an hour or so here in the Musikverein.

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Well, before that the Vienna Boys' Choir will make an appearance

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on stage - and the traditional appearance of dancers

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Next though, we journey to Venice - the overture to A Night In Venice.

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Mariss Jansons conducts the Vienna Philharmonic this

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The Overture to Strauss' operetta, A Night In Venice,

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which will be performed here in Vienna at the Volksoper in March.

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Well, the flowers surrounding the stage provided by

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Those flowers arranged last night by an army of florists.

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I'm not sure if any of them came from the Prater Park,

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The old Imperial Pavilion at the Prater race course

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for that Polka by Eduard Strauss.

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One of the most beautiful waltzes of all time next -

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Music of the Spheres, by Josef Strauss, one of his musical

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tone poems - written in 1868, for the annual Medical Association

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Mariss Jansons conducting the Vienna Philharmonic this

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New Year's Day in Waltz of the Spheres by Josef Strauss.

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Jansons was born in Riga, in Latvia, son of the celebrated conductor,

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His career started when he was appointed assistant to the legendary

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Evgeny Mravinsky at the Leningrad Philharmonic in 1971.

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He's currently Music Director of the Bavarian Radio Symphony

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Well now, it was Mariss Jansons' particular wish that the Vienna

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We are going to hear them first in a French Polka by Johann Strauss,

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written for the Vienna Mens' Singing Society.

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The text seems very appropriate for this of all days.

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He who sings merrily and dances gleefully is armed

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Cheerfulness stirs the sluggish blood to new passion

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What makes him glad makes everything good.

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Schubert and Haydn, both former members of the Vienna Boys' Choir

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Mariss Jansons returns to the platform.

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Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra with the Vienna Boys' Choir.

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The choir stay on the stage now to perform a work by Josef Strauss

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that makes good use of student songs popular in Vienna in the second half

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of the 19th century - it's a Polka "Off On Holiday".

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Off On Holiday - Mariss Jansons conducting the Vienna Boys' Choir

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Well, they may be the Vienna Boys' Choir but, since 1997,

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girls have also been accepted, the children sing together,

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but the girls have their own choir too - under the patronage

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of the famous Slovak soprano, Edita Gruberova.

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On the subject of women on the stage, I reckon six women

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in the Vienna Philharmonic this year, which is slightly down

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Now, Emile Waldtueful was always delighted when he was described

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This is his reworking of his fellow Frenchman,

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A little Spanish Heat on this cold Vienna morning,

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though I have to say the temperature's pretty high

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Waldteufel's reinterpretation of Espana by Chabrier.

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A bit of fan work from one member of the orchestra!

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If the Strauss' were one famous Viennese musical dynasty,

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We are going to hear a Ball Scene, for Salon Orchestra

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by Josef Hellmesberger Senior - whose father had been one

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of the most popular Viennese violinists of his time,

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and whose son became conductor of this orchestra.

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Mariss Jansons conducting the Vienna Philharmonic this

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Volkhard Steude, leader of the orchestra.

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Next to him, concertmaster Albena Danailova.

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Orchestra players telling me how much they enjoy working

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with Jansons, how incredibly clear he is in giving a beat,

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which is absolutely essential in this sort of music,

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and how passionately committed he is to performing

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He's spent much time in various archives here in Vienna trying

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to get the absolutely authentic performing versions of these

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Now, the man who started it all off next, Strauss the father,

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who launched his orchestra in 1825, he wrote many galops,

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Mariss Jansons conducting the Vienna Philharmonic.

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Well, we're going to meet with the dancers again now.

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Dancers from Vienna State Ballet, filmed in the halls and gardens

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of the Schonbrunn Palace, a love story taking place over

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Jiri Bubenicek has created choreographer for The Kaiser Waltz.

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The Kaiser Waltz, Mariss Jansons conducting the Vienna Philhamonic.

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Dancers from Vienna State Ballet, their costumes by the English

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Principal Cellist Robert Nagy and Principal Horn playing,

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Galloping and gunshots in our next work -

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a hunt is in progress, the horns signalling the sighting

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A polka that is taken from another Strauss operetta,

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Cagliostro in Wien - a show about an adventurer

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and occultist Count Alessandro di Cagliostro, who was also a conman

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The whip cracks in 'Off to the Hunt' - a polka from Johann Strauss'

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operetta Cagliostro in Wien - another of those rather forgotten

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Opened at Theatre an der Wien in 1875 and was hugely popular

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thanks to its star, Alexander Girardi, a great Austrian

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A monument to him, in fact, stands near to here in the Karlsplatz

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Korngold made a new version in the 1920s and another new version

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was premiered in Danzig Gdansk in Poland in 1941.

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In fact, just after the Vienna Philharmonic New Year's Day

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The tradition began on New Year's Eve 1939,

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What is now an event of such a joy and celebration was an invention

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of the Nazi party, who saw the sweet waltzes of Strauss

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as being the perfect way of distracting the populus

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from the increasingly bleak state of the war.

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Right from the beginning, it was to reach a much wider

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audience than simply those here in the hall,

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with a live broadcast on radio frequencies across the Third Reich.

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That's a sober fact to remember in these days when this,

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a truly global institution - watching and listening with us

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today, an audience of over 50 million people in 90 countries

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Then there are those lucky enough to be here in the Musikverein,

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like Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General and the Austrian President,

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Well, we're going to hear a high speed polka now

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This from his frist operetta, Indigo and the Forty Thieves.

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Very much in the French style, Offenbach used to put can-cans

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in his operettas so perhaps Strauss thought he would match his

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the orchestra return to their seats. At The Double, by Johann Strauss.

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At The Double - fast polka by Johann Strauss from his operetta

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Indigo and the Forty Thieves, his first operetta based

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on the Thousand and One Nights stories.

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So, we are approaching the final stage of this 2016

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It's not billed in the official programme but I don't think anyone

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will be too surprised at what is to come.

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It was in 1873 that the relationship between the Vienna Philharmonic

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and the Strauss family began - when Strauss conducted his waltz

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Wiener Blut at that year's Vienna Opera Ball - held

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Later that year he conducted them in the Blue Danube Waltz.

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But there remained a certain sniffiness from the orchestra

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about Strauss' music - this was after all the ensemble

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It wasn't until Clemens Krauss began conducting an annual Strauss family

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The 72-year-old Latvian maestro, Mariss Jansons, conducting

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the Vienna Philharmonic in the Blue Danube Waltz.

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Well, there is just one more element of this concert that remains.

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The work that Johann Strauss Sr dedicated to Field Marshal Joseph

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Radetzky von Radetz, a great military man responsible

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The Radetsky March by Johann Strauss Sr.

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Mariss Jansons, the Vienna Philharmonic and this sparkling

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flower-filled Golden Hall ensuring the great New Year tradition

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The New Year's Day concert performance by the Vienna

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It is time for us to bid you farewell and wish

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you a safe, prosperous and productive 2016.

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Goodbye from Vienna and a very Happy New Year.

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A chance to enjoy highlights from the live concert in which Latvian conductor Mariss Jansons conducted the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in their traditional start to the New Year. Petroc Trelawny is on hand to guide us through the finest galopps, polkas and waltzes composed by the Strauss family and their contemporaries.

2016 marks the 75th anniversary of the annual concert from the beautiful Musikverein in the heart of Vienna, and viewers can enjoy performances not only from the Vienna Philharmonic but also by dancers from the Vienna State Ballet and the world-famous Vienna Boys' Choir.

In keeping with tradition, the concert ends with the much-loved By the Beautiful Blue Danube and culminates in the perennially crowd-pleasing Radetzky March.


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