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New Year's Concert 2012 / Mariss Jansons, Vienna Philharmonic


Release Date: 01/10/2012 
Label:  Sony   Catalog #: 91377  
Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.Carl Michael ZiehrerJosef StraussJ. "Pepi" Hellmesberger,   ... 
Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic OrchestraVienna Boys' Choir
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

As with his 2006 Vienna Philharmonic New Year's Concert program, Mariss Jansons rings in 2012 with a fresh mix of traditional fare and novelties. Several selections appear for the first time on a New Year's concert, such as the Rathhaus-Ball-Tänze, where Johann Strauss II quotes now and then from The Blue Danube. Other Neujahrskonzert premieres include the younger Strauss' debonair, up-tempo polka Entweder-oder!, Josef Strauss' relatively laid back polka Artists' Greeting, Hans Christian Lumbye's Copenhagen Steam Railway Galop (complete with prerequisite chugging rhythms and train bell), and two selections from Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty.

Give Jansons credit also for presenting familiar favorites in unusual light. The
Read more Vienna Boys Choir, for example, joins in for Tritsch-Tratsch Polka (so much lighter and more playful than Claudio Abbado's heavier, similarly vocalized 1988 Neujahrskonzert traversal) and Feuerfest, while Pizzicato Polka's modest string orchestration is augmented by discreet percussive accents.

If Jansons makes Josef Strauss' old chestnut Jokey-Polka sound too tidy and straight-laced in comparison with Carlos Kleiber's nervous energy and ever so slight pressing ahead of the beat, buoyant inner rhythm and careful yet unfussy dynamic gradations invigorate Thunder and Lightning, The Blue Danube, and the inevitable Radetzky March encore. Sony/BMG's engineering vividly captures the orchestra's gorgeous sonorities and the overall sense of occasion, albeit without the robust impact distinguishing Ozawa 2002 (Philips) and Barenboim 2009 (Decca). All told, a superb and lovable release.

-- Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com

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The 2012 New Year's Concert with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (VPO) conducted by Latvian Mariss Jansons was his second appearance as conductor of the now legendary event. Jansons’s first New Year's Concert in 2006 garnered much acclaim but he was no stranger to the VPO as it was back in 1992 when Jansons first conducted them. The 2012 programme consisted of 24 scores - the perennial mix of familiar classics and unknown gems with six works receiving their New Year’s Concert première.
 
Originating in 1939 under the baton of Clemens Krauss more than seven decades ago and held in the stunning Golden Hall of the Vienna Musikverein there cannot be many music-lovers who don’t realise the exalted reputation of the annual New Year's Day Concert. Traditionally the programme is of an upbeat character consist of waltzes and polkas, with gallops, quadrilles, mazurkas and marches taken from the huge repertoire of the Strauss family and their contemporaries. The immense international popularity never seems to diminish with television broadcasts watched in over 70 countries by an audience estimated at 50 million. Some Golden Hall seats are pre-registered for the concert by Austrian families and are passed down from one generation to another. Not surprisingly concert tickets are like gold dust. In addition the phenomenal success of André Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra has created a resurgence in interest in the music of the Strauss family.
 
The 2012 concert opened with a New Year première, the Patriotic March a joint effort from brothers Johann Strauss II (1825-1899) and Josef Strauss (1827-1870). This sturdy and masculine score quotes material from the ever popular Radetzky March by their father Johann Strauss I (1804-1849). The City Hall Ball Dances that Johann Strauss II wrote to mark the occasion of the first ball held in Vienna’s new Town Hall in 1890 were gratifying. This swinging waltz combines music borrowed from Johann’s own By the Beautiful Blue Danube and Haydn’s celebrated Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser - at one time adopted as the national anthems of Austria and Germany. I enjoyed the attractive Viennese Citizens waltz by Viennese composer Carl Michael Ziehrer (1843-1922) - a real audience pleasing score - and the thoroughly rousing and virtuosic Diabolic Dance by the former leader and principal conductor of the VPO, Joseph Hellmesberger Jr. (1855-1907). Fresh to the New Year’s Concert was the Copenhagen Steam Train Galop by the Dane Hans Christian Lumbye (1810-1874). It’s a fascinating piece, high on thrills including whistle and train effects. Two works surprisingly receiving their New Year’s Concert debuts were the melodious Panorama and the appealing Waltz from Tchaikovsky’s celebrated Sleeping Beauty. Eduard Strauss (1835-1916), another son of Johann Strauss, wrote the appealing and melodious Carmen Quadrille containing music based on themes from Bizet’s Carmen. Other pieces that I especially enjoyed were the Persian March for its memorable and foot-tapping melodies and the fast and furious Thunder and Lightning polka both by Johann Strauss II. There’s also the nightmarish shenanigans of the Delirium waltz by Joseph Strauss.
 
Appearing in each half of the concert the Vienna Boy’s Choir conveyed their youthful enthusiasm and style in Tritsch-Tratsch, the fast polka by Johann Strauss II and the French polka Fireproof from Josef Strauss. Feuerfest saw Mariss Jansons playing the anvil with such vigour that I feared for his health; which has been a real problem for the conductor in the recent past. Given as encores to bring the concert to its traditional conclusion were the second and first most performed works in the history of the New Year Concerts. If you haven’t already guessed they were the majestic waltz An der schönen blauen Donau by Johann Strauss II a musical postcard of Vienna and the rousing Radetzky March by Johann Strauss I.
 
Throughout Jansons conducts the VPO with a real Straussian lilt and provides unfailing charm and sparkling exuberance in the marches, galops and polkas. This music could be said to run through the orchestra’s veins they know it so well. It is the player’s palpable enthusiasm that prevents the music coming across as over-familiar. I watched the splendid television broadcast live on New Year’s morning. Some people have commented in the press that there seemed to be no women in the orchestra. I could see two or three women players but the camera-work did not make this easy. The accompanying booklet contains an informative essay from Dr. Clemens Hellsberg president of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. For some unknown reason the track timings are not indicated on the release. I have provided the timings which include audience applause. Really satisfying sound quality adds to the enjoyment of these stirring and winning performances.
 
-- Michael Cookson, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
Vaterländischer Marsch by Johann Strauss Jr.
Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1859; Vienna, Austria 
2.
Rathausball-Tänze, Op. 438 by Johann Strauss Jr.
Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1890; Vienna, Austria 
3.
Der lustige Krieg: Entweder-oder, Op. 403 by Johann Strauss Jr.
Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1881; Vienna, Austria 
4.
Tritsch-Tratsch-Polka, Op. 214 by Johann Strauss Jr.
Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Boys' Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1858; Vienna, Austria 
5.
Wiener Bürger, Op. 419 by Carl Michael Ziehrer
Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1890; Vienna, Austria 
6.
Albion-Polka, Op. 102 by Johann Strauss Jr.
Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; Vienna, Austria 
7.
Jokey-Polka, Op. 278 by Josef Strauss
Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1870; Vienna, Austria 
8.
Danse diabolique by J. "Pepi" Hellmesberger
Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Vienna, Austria 
9.
Künstler-Gruss, Op. 274 by Josef Strauss
Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1870; Vienna, Austria 
10.
Freut euch des Lebens, Op. 340 by Johann Strauss Jr.
Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1870; Vienna, Austria 
11.
Sperl-Galop, Op. 42 by Johann Strauss Sr.
Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831; Austria 
12.
Copenhagen Steam Railway Galop (Københavns Jernb by Hans Christian Lumbye
Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Written: 1847 
13.
Feuerfest, Op. 269 by Josef Strauss
Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Boys' Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1870; Vienna, Austria 
14.
Carmen-quadrille, Op. 134 by Eduard Strauss
Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1876; Vienna, Austria 
15.
Sleeping Beauty Suite, Op. 66a: Panorama by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1889; Russia 
16.
Sleeping Beauty Suite, Op. 66a: Waltz by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1889; Russia 
17.
Pizzicato Polka by Johann Strauss Jr.
Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1870; Vienna, Austria 
18.
Persischer Marsch, Op. 289 by Johann Strauss Jr.
Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1865; Vienna, Austria 
19.
Brennende Liebe, Op. 129 by Josef Strauss
Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1863; Vienna, Austria 
20.
Delirien, Op. 212 by Josef Strauss
Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1867; Vienna, Austria 
21.
Unter Donner und Blitz, Op. 324 by Johann Strauss Jr.
Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1868; Vienna, Austria 
22.
Die Fledermaus: Tik-Tak-Polka, Op. 365 by Johann Strauss Jr.
Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874 
23.
An der schönen, blauen Donau, Op. 314 by Johann Strauss Jr.
Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1867; Vienna, Austria 
24.
Radetzky March, Op. 228 by Johann Strauss Sr.
Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1848; Vienna, Austria 

Sound Samples

Vaterländischer Marsch
Rathhaus-Ball-Tänze, Walzer, Op. 438
Entweder - oder!, Polka schnell, Op. 403
Tritsch-Tratsch, Polka schnell, Op. 214 (mit Sängerknaben)
Wiener Bürger, Walzer, Op. 419
Albion, Polka, Op. 102
Jokey, Polka schnell, Op. 278
Danse diabolique
Künstler-Gruss, Polka francaise, Op. 274
Freuet euch des Lebens, Walzer, Op. 340
Sperl-Galopp, Op. 42
Copenhagener Eisenbahn-Dampf Galopp
Feuerfest, Polka francaise, Op. 269 (mit Sängerknaben)
Carmen-Quadrille, Op. 134
Panorama aus "Dornröschen"
Walzer aus "Dornröschen"
Pizzicato-Polka
Persischer Marsch, Op. 289
Brennende Liebe, Polka mazur, Op. 129
Delirien, Walzer, Op. 212
Unter Donner und Blitz, Polka schnell, Op. 324
Tik-Tak, Polka schnell, Op. 365
Neujahrsgruß / New Year's Address / Allocution du Nouvel An
An der schönen blauen Donau, Walzer Op. 314
Radetzky-Marsch, Op. 228

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 Enjoyable Pot Pourri June 15, 2012 By j. friedman (fort Lauderdale, FL) See All My Reviews "This recording is fun, not only for the spirited performance of old war horses but also for its equally zestful attention to certain novelty numbers such as Hans Christian Lumbye's "Copenhagen Steam Railway Gallop" and Helllmesberger's "Danse Diabolique." A great pick-me-up on a gloomy day." Report Abuse
 Mariss does not dissapoint January 16, 2012 By Percy Abols (Ottawa, ON) See All My Reviews "As with his first intro on his first 2006 concert, his intro for the 2012 one is super. He does seem to know how to research for minteresting musical tidbits..... What I love best about him is his absolute exuberance in conducting and it comes across in how the orchestra responds to him. Kind of reminds me of von Karajan at the outset. Do enjoy this disk ...it refreshes ones soul...and with all the depressing economic news we do need a bit of a lift> Percy Abols" Report Abuse
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