Vienna Philharmonic & Willi Boskovsky – New Year´s Concert 1975 (1975)

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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So, whoever likes it … into the fun with all these waltzes and polkas, which even I occasionally let myself be enchanted by.

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Personnel:
Vienna Philharmonic conducted by Willi Boskovsky

The German edition:
German Edition

Tracklist:
01. Ouverture zur Operette „Waldmeister“ 9.34
02. Bei uns z’Haus (Walzer. Op. 361) 7.52
03. Stadt und Land (Polka Mazurka. Op. 322) 3.13
04. Liebeslieder (Walzer. Op. 114) 7.19
05. Explosions-Polka (Op. 43) 2.02
06. Annen-Polka (Op. 117) 3.50
07. Leichtes Blut (Polka schnell. Op. 319) 2.29
08. Auf der Jagd (Schnell-Polka Op. 373) 2.10
09. Csárdás (from the opera „Ritter Pázmán“. Op. 441) 4.09
10. Perpetuum Mobile (Musikalischer Scherz. Op. 257) 2.47
11. Vergnügungszug (Polka schnell. Op. 281) 2.55
12. Radetzky-Marsch (Op. 228) 3.16
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13. New Year´s Concert 1975 (uncut version) 54.42

music composed by Johann Strauß jun.
except on 12.: composed by Johann Strauß sen.

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Claudio Abbado & Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra – New Year´s Concert In Vienna (1991)

FrontCover1.jpgHere´s the history of this classic event on the first day of a year:

The first New Year’s Concert took place during the darkest chapter of the history of Austria and that of the Vienna Philharmonic. In the midst of barbarism, dictatorship and war, at a time of constant worry regarding the lives of members and their families, the Philharmonic sent an ambivalent signal: the net income from a concert dedicated to compositions by the Strauss dynasty which was performed on December 31, 1939, was donated entirely to the national-socialistic fund-raising campaign “Kriegswinterhilfswerk”. On January 1, 1941, a Philharmonic matinee entitled “Johann Strauss Concert” was performed. Taking place in the middle of the war, many regarded this as an expression of Viennese individuality, but it was also misappropriated for the national-socialistic propaganda of the “Großdeutscher Rundfunk”. Clemens Krauss conducted these concerts until the end of the war. In the years 1946 and 1947, Josef Krips (1902-1974) replaced Krauss, who returned in 1948 after the expiration of his two year conducting ban which had been imposed by the allies, and who conducted seven more New Year’s Concerts until 1954.

Clemens Kraus

The international popularity of the New Year’s Concert may create the impression that the orchestra’s performance of the music of the Strauss dynasty extends back to Johann Strauss, Sr., und therefore to the beginning of the orchestra’s history. In fact, however, for an extended period of time, the Philharmonic generally ignored the most “Viennese” music ever written. Probably the musicians did not wish to jeopardize the social advancement they had experienced upon the introduction of the Philharmonic concerts by associating themselves with “popular music”. This attitude toward the Strauss dynasty changed only gradually. One determining factor for this reassessment was that the members of this unique family of composers enjoyed the highest respect among major composers such as Franz Liszt, Richard Wagner and Johannes Brahms. In addition, the Philharmonic musicians themselves had several direct encounters with Johann Strauss, Jr., which provided them the opportunity to observe the significance of this music and experience first-hand the charismatic personality of its creator, which had enraptured all of Europe. (by http://www.wienerphilharmoniker.at)

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And here´s the New Year´s Concert from 1991, conducted by Claudio Abbado (the second and last time).

The regularity of the Vienna New Year’s Day Concert is almost matched these days by the regularity of the appearance of the CD recording some five or six weeks later. This year, mindful of the year’s major musical obsession, the programme departs from convention by including some Mozart dances, notably the captivating Schliitenfahrt (“Sleigh ride”). Schubert gets a look in, too, though I’m not convinced that Bruno Maderna’s modernistic touches in the first of the D735 Ecossaises are really in keeping with the occasion. Give me the delightful version by the Willi Boskovsky Ensemble (Vanguard/Pinnacle (0 VCD72016, 9/90) any time!

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For the rest, there is a commendable quota of less hackneyed but highly attractive items, with contributions from all four major members of the Strauss family and Joseph Lanner. The presentation of the two themes heard in counterpoint towards the end of Johann’s Waldmeisler Overture is hauntingly done, and the waltzes by Lanner and Josef Strauss are among their respective composers’ best. The one major curiosity is the Carmen-Quadrille, arranged by Eduard Strauss on themes from Bizet’s opera. Abbado tried something similar a couple of years ago, with Johann’s Quadrille on Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera, but I don’t think he really succeeds any more now than then in making the result sound convincing as a dance.

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Generally Abbado’s performances are lively and free from conventional mannerisms, if also slightly free with the rhythms and dynamics. The recorded sound is a shade raw, especially in so far as the percussion is rather prominent at times, but no doubt that is considered an appropriate representation of the occasion. I’ve been spoilt recently by hearing the reissue of Carlos Kleiber’s 1989 concert, which I’d recommend to anyone wanting a single New Year Concert. But those who enjoy hearing An derschOnen, blauen Donau and the Radetzky-Marsch year after year will need no encouragement to obtain this latest offering. (by Gramophone, 4/1991)

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Personnel:
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Claudio Abbado

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Tracklist:
01. Waldmeister Ouverture (Johann Strauss) 9.26
02. Kontretranz Kv 609 No. 1 (Mozart) 0.57
03. Kontetranz Kv 609 No. 3 (Mozart) 1.18
04. Deutscher Tanz (Mozart) 2.40
05. Die tanzende Muse (Josef Strauss) 4.05
06. Polka (Schubert) 1.39
07. Galopp (Schubert) 1.33
08. Die Werber (Lanner) 7.20
09. Seufzer-Galopp (Johann Strauss) 1.51
10. Aquarellen (Josef Strauss) 7.51
11. Freikugeln (Johann Strauss) 2.29
12. Carmen-Quadrille (Eduard Strauss) 4.58
13. Kaiser-Walzer (Johann Strauss) 10.43
14. Furioso- Polka (Johann Strauss) 2.15
15. Stürmisch in Lieb’ und Tanz (Johann Strauss) 2.09
16. An der schönen, blauen Donau (Johann Strauss) 9.29
17. Radetzsky-Marsch (Johann Strauss) 3.24

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