America chills on Vienna New Year’s concert

America chills on Vienna New Year’s concert


norman lebrecht

January 22, 2016

There was a time, not long ago, when a rush release of the New Year’s Day concert cleared 100,000 sales and more.

The first week’s sales of this year’s concert, conducted by Mariss Jansons on the Sony Classical label, achieved just over 400 units, according to Nielsen Soundscan.



  • Michael says:

    A sign of the times, chilling on Classical CD sales in general, not just the New Year’s Concert.

  • Randolph Magri-Overend says:

    I reviewed last year’s NYE concert with Zubin Mehta…the series has now Reached kitsch status with constant repeats of the previous year’s music…if you’ve bought one CD you’ve bought next year’s and the previous one too

  • FreddyNYC says:

    I get the feeling sales will tick up considerably for next year’s concert……

  • cherrera says:

    1) I must possess every recording of the Blue Danube played by the Vienna Philharmonic. In heaven, there would be as many recordings of it as there are drops of water in the Blue Danube.

    2) Uh, maybe sales are down because you can see the actual performance on youtube?

    3) I can’t get enough of conductors wishing me “Happy New Year” in accented German.

    4) Uh, maybe sales might go up if all proceeds went to Syrian refugees? (Or maybe not)

  • Eli says:

    Missed the concert on PBS – in hospital. Tried to contact Sony Classical to find out if BluRay DVD included ballet: 2 weeks later no reply and NO SALE

  • MacroV says:

    I can’t imagine the New Years concert ever sold 100,000 copies in the U.S.. Maybe worldwide.

    But I’m not sure why people would buy it. It’s a charming annual event, an important tradition in Vienna. But a DVD of Strauss waltzes and polkas isn’t necessarily something people want to watch often enough to buy. Maybe the CD, but there are several dozen previous editions of similar repertoire.

    I have one: the second Carlos Kleiber concert. No need for others.

    • Peter says:

      Well, “I can’t imagine people would buy… ” could be said for about 90% of all the nonsense people actually DO buy.
      Have you ever seen a yearly sales chart? You want nothing but vomit after seeing it. Exceptions apply, as with anything in life.

  • Abram kreeger says:

    Very old news and a sign maybe Lebrecht’s area is not caught up on technology. Classical music is not dead – though it sure made for great publicity. But how about writing about the death of the cd and the slow death of great sounding recordings? That would be better reporting.

  • Daphne Badger says:

    Let’s see what transpires next year when the Blessed Gustavo gets a chance to massacre it, shall we…?

  • Brian says:

    I’m not sure why they release a recording of virtually the same concert every year in the first place. It’s always Strauss waltzes, no? If you bought the 2014 version, do you really want 2015’s? How about Sony break that contract and divert their resources to something a bit more imaginative?

    • Peter says:

      Sony is not a sponsor. Sony is a business.
      “Imaginative” doesn’t sell.
      Welcome to the post-enlightenment age, where people with lots of money buy useless shit like cave men with dollar would do.

      • Peter says:

        I correct myself, cave men would probably buy useful things. Maybe “jelly fish with dollar” is more fitting allegory.

    • Herbert Pauls says:

      It may sometimes seem like the same program repeated over and over, but in fact, during the history of this concert (which began after WW2), there have about 315 different works performed, according to Sony’s 23 CD box. Surprised me too.

    • Peter says:

      Why not? Music is essential to life. So is bread. So why not buy it often?

  • Peter says:

    in short, you misogynist, knowing it all, never happy losers here, are not the target group and outright irrelevant to the music sales. If a lable would target their products at you guys, it wo not even sell a dozen CDs world wide. But receive probably thousands of request for free sample CDs and online one-star-reviews how the recording sucks and how you know all about its faults, even though you never even heard it.