Vienna Philharmonic & Willy Boskovsky – Das Schönste aus den Neujahrskonzerten (The best from the New Year’s concerts) (1977)

FrontCover1The Vienna New Year’s Concert (Neujahrskonzert der Wiener Philharmoniker) is an annual concert of classical music performed by the Vienna Philharmonic on the morning of New Year’s Day in Vienna, Austria. The concert occurs at the Musikverein at 11:15. The orchestra performs the same concert programme on 30 December, 31 December, and 1 January but only the last concert is regularly broadcast on radio and television.

The concert programmes always include pieces from the Strauss family—Johann Strauss I, Johann Strauss II, Josef Strauss and Eduard Strauss. On occasion, music principally of other Austrian composers, including Joseph Hellmesberger Jr., Joseph Lanner, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Otto Nicolai (the Vienna Philharmonic’s founder), Emil von Reznicek, Franz Schubert, Franz von Suppé, and Carl Michael Ziehrer has featured in the programmes. In 2009, music by Joseph Haydn was played for the first time, where the 4th movement of his “Farewell” Symphony marked the 200th anniversary of his death. Other European composers such as Hans Christian Lumbye, Jacques Offenbach, Émile Waldteufel, Richard Strauss, Verdi, and Tchaikovsky have been featured in recent programmes. (wikipedia)

You can find more informations about the Vienna New Year’s Concert here.

Musikverein concert hall, Vienna

Willibald Karl Boskovsky (16 June 1909 – 21 April 1991) was an Austrian violinist and conductor, best known as the long-standing conductor of the Vienna New Year’s Concert.

Boskovsky was born in Vienna, and joined the Vienna Academy of music at the age of nine. He was the concertmaster of the Vienna Philharmonic from 1939 to 1971. He was also, from 1955, the conductor of the Vienna New Year’s Concert, which is mostly devoted to the music of Johann Strauss II and his contemporaries. Along with the Vienna Philharmonic, he was also the chief conductor of the Wiener Johann Strauss Orchester up until his death. A forerunner of this ensemble was the 19th-century Strauss Orchestra founded by Johann Strauss I in 1835. He died in Visp, Switzerland.

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In chamber ensemble he led the Boskovsky Quartet with Philipp Matheis (2nd violin), Gunther Breitenbach (viola) and Nikolaus Hübner (violoncello). The Boskovsky Quartet, together with Johann Krump (double-bass), Alfred Boskovsky (clarinet), Josef Veleba (horn) and Rudolf Hanzl (bassoon) formed the Vienna Octet.

Boskovsky was also a Mozart performer: he recorded all the sonatas for violin and piano, with pianist Lili Kraus, and the complete trios for violin, piano and cello, with Kraus and Nikolaus Hübner for Les Discophiles Français. He played in Brahms’ Double Concerto in A minor, Op.102, with Wilhelm Furtwängler conducting the Vienna Philharmonic.

A month after his last New Year’s Concert, after having already agreed with Alfred Altenburger to conduct again in 1980, on January 30, 1979, he was hit by a stroke, which caused him a slight paralysis on the right side. In October 1979, the convalescence being too slow, he communicated his decision to give up and the orchestra asked Lorin Maazel, designated director of the Wiener Staatsoper, to carry on the tradition of these concerts.

He died in Visp, Valais (Switzerland) at the age of 81. (wikipedia)

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And here is a double LP from Germany (the liner notes are written in German), exceptionally not a live recording, but studio recordings …

Some of the titles are quite funny and the Johann Strauss son was apparently also a joker, because he liked to use sound gimmicks like pistol shots, whip cracks or a whistle …

And then I would like to point out the “Pizzicato Polka”, a little gimmick of a special kind:

Pizzicato – this term is borrowed from the Italian language and literally means plucked. It refers to a playing technique in which the strings are plucked with the fingers.

So, a polka that is only plucked on the violin … is not something you hear every day.


Vienna Philharmonic conducted by Willi Boskovsky


01. Ouvertüre from „Der Zigeunerbaron“ (Johann Strauß Sohn) 7.20
02. Wiener Blut, Walzer Op. 354 (Johann Strauß Sohn) 7.58
03. Tritsch-Tratsch, Polka schnell Op. 214 (Johann Strauß Sohn) 2.35
04. Frauenherz, Polka-Mazur Op. 166 (Johann Strauß Sohn) 4.00
05. Eingesendet, Polka schnell Op. 240 (Johann Strauß Sohn) 1.48
06. Bahn frei!, Polka schnell Op. 45 Eduard Strauß) 2.20
07. Freut euch des Lebens, Walzer Op. 340 (Johann Strauß Sohn) 8.01
08. Vergnügungszug, Polka schnell Op. 281 (Johann Strauß Sohn) 2.45
09. Fledermaus-Quadrille, Op. 363 (Johann Strauß Sohn) 7.50
10. Perpetuum Mobile, musikalischer Scherz Op. 257 (Johann Strauß Sohn) 2.47
11. Ouvertüre „Die Schöne Galathee“ (v.Suppé) 6.44
12. Plappermäulchen, Polka schnell Op. 245 (Johann Strauß Sohn) 2.38
13. Frühligsstimmen, Walzer Op. 410 (Johann Strauß Sohn) 6.02
14. Pizzicato-Polka (Johann Strauß Sohn) 2.34
15. Banditen-Galopp, Op. 378 (Johann Strauß Sohn) 2.12
16. Persischer Marsch, Op. 289 (Johann Strauß Sohn) 1.55
17. Eljen A Magyar, Ungarische Polka Schnell Op. 332 2.34
18. Auf der Jagd, Polka schnell Op. 373 (Johann Strauß Sohn) 2.05
19. Feuerfest, Polka Op. 269 (Johann Strauß Sohn) 2.51
20. Unter Donner und Blitz, Polka schnell Op. 324 (Johann Strauß Sohn) 3.02
21. Annen-Polka, Op. 117 (Johann Strauß Sohn) 3.56
22. An der schönen Blauen Donau, Walzer Op. 314 (Johann Strauß Sohn) 9.14
23. Radetzky-Marsch, Op. 228 (Johann Strauß Vater) 2.53




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