Vienna’s New Year’s Day concert sells just 611 US copies

Vienna’s New Year’s Day concert sells just 611 US copies


norman lebrecht

January 15, 2014

The numbers are in for the first 12 days of 2014 and they are not good. Top of Nielsen’s sales chart as expected is the annual waltz set from Vienna with all the usual hullabaloo, but the total is meagre. Just 611 sales across the whole of the US.

Second best selling is Hilary Hahn with 411.



barenboim vienna nyear



  • David Boxwell says:

    I’m listening to it on Spotify in the U.S. as I type. Which may be why it only sold 611 copies.

  • Sue Harrison says:

    On New Years Day Vienna Philharmonic offers schmaltz. We don’t care; we don’t save via DVR; we don’t listen in the 1st place and certainly don’t re-view the broadcast. With all that’s possible, why would we? So it’s amazing that as may as 611 U.S. viewers bought the program.

  • David Fleener says:

    If you watched Barenboim stand around with his hand in his pocket while the players ignored him, you would understand.

    • On the contrary. Barenboim was doing what Karajan recommended,lining the horse up for the fence and letting it take care of the jumping. Like Klemperer with the Philharmonia, Barenboim knew when to conduct the Philharmoniker and when to get out of the way.

  • Peter Burt says:

    I thought that this year’s concert was missing something – a bit of “oomph” – not a patch on the Jansons’ 2012 recording.

  • I’ve listened to the New Year’s concert on Youtube. That is probably another reason for the low sales.

  • thomas p says:

    Honestly, I find these broadcasts so musically uninteresting that I have to look at them briefly just to watch the musicians and the Vienna corpses who attend. That someone would want a recording of this crap is beyond me, but a study of the 611 purchasers might be instructive.

    • Prewartreasure says:

      Whilst I can understand (and tolerate without comment) the fact that YOU find ‘these broadcasts’ [sic] uninteresting, your posting is both rude and arrogant in the extreme.

      • thomas p says:

        I can only aspire to your understated refinement, your old-world charm, your….. humility, PrewarTREASURE. And, indeed, you are just that. You must be one the 611, if not all of them.

  • Actually, I found this year’s concert much better than recent years. Barenboim had a very interesting programme and really fired up the orchestra. I wouldn’t describe it as Kitsch at all: this was interesting and high quality music making which I enjoyed from start to finish, standing in the Wiener Rathausplatz, where there was a large screen and an excellent sound system. Moreover, unlike some conductors of this concert, Barenboim had taken the trouble to learn these rarely-played pieces by heart. I only wish he had dressed as smartly as the orchestra.

    I noticed a growing proportion of women in the orchestra. Why no comment about this here, when it is generally a matter of extreme interest on this site?

  • Gaffney Feskoe says:

    I wonder how those sales figures compare with the previous years’ concerts and if a breakout is available country by country so as to make a meaningful comparison.

  • Mark Carter says:

    Another article that fails to understand the shift from hard to soft media. This transition is not being managed well by orchestra and Opera Houses. There are exceptions such as the Berlin Philharmonic. I think this is the largest reason for the financial troubles now abounding. Its affecting the theater groups also. In your other article the LA Mayor is not all wrong. You can’t build a concert hall large enough to pay the bills, but you can grab them far and wide on the Net. Hard disc sales are not any indicator of the audience at all any longer. By the way I love the BPO Digital Concert Hall. It was money well spent and is highly recommended.

  • J.H says:

    And the copies sold on Amazon seem have something wrong. Both the two discs have same content.

  • Steve says:

    A lot of the initial US sales are from ArkivMusic, on CD-R. Do these have UPC codes on them? UPC codes are required for Nielsen Soundscan sales tracking. Do they even track CD-Rs?

  • It’s #6 on Billboard’s Classical Charts, the only non crossover album near the top.