Don’t all rush: Vienna Philharmonic unveils New Year’s Day concert

Don’t all rush: Vienna Philharmonic unveils New Year’s Day concert


norman lebrecht

November 03, 2021

The orchestra has confirmed that Daniel Barenboim will lead its annual waltz fest for the third time.

Chairman Daniel Froschauer rationalised: ‘Daniel Barenboim occupies an extraordinary place in our history. We have not only enjoyed a long and fruitful artistic partnership with him, but also a great personal friendship. As a sign of our deep artistic bond, we have asked him to take the podium at the New Year’s Concert for the third time. It is also the prelude to his jubilee year 2022, in which he celebrates his 80th birthday.’

Here’s the lineup:

Part 1
Josef Strauß Phönix-Marsch. op. 105 *
Johann Strauß Wings of the Phoenix. Waltz, op. 125
Josef Strauß Die Sirene. Polka mazur, op. 248 *
Joseph Hellmesberger Little Advertiser. Galop, op. 4
Johann Strauß Morning Papers. Waltz, op. 279
Eduard Strauß Little Chronicle. Fast Polka, op. 128 *

Part 2
Johann Strauß Overture to Fledermaus
Johann Strauß Champagne-Polka. Musikalischer Scherz, op. 211
Carl Michael Ziehrer Night Revelers. Waltz, op. 466 *
Johann Strauß Persian March, op. 289
Johann Strauß A Thousand and One Nights. Waltz, op. 346
Eduard Strauß Greetings to Prague. Polka française, op. 144
Joseph Hellmesberger Elves. Charakterstück *
Josef Strauß Nymphen-Polka. (Polka française), op. 50 *
Josef Strauß Harmony of the Spheres. Waltz, op. 235

* First performance at a Vienna Philharmonic New Year’s Concert


  • Bet says:

    No black composers?

  • Gustavo says:

    Stay safe!

  • Piano Lover says:

    New year concert=Strauss waltzes.I would have guessed without reading.
    I wonder why DB does not play some real music.These waltzes please the kind of public attending these new year concerts whre no real musical knowledge is required.Being there is a must!!!
    Other conductors act likewise.

  • Maria says:

    Oh, God! I think I’ve gone beyond this Austrian yearly ritual on the telly. All the best to those who love it and enjoy it.

  • Frank says:

    That’s one concert I will actively avoid for all kinds of reasons…

  • MacroV says:

    Don’t they usually announce the conductor a year or two in advance? Maybe different now because of COVID.

    • Steven de Mena says:

      Yes, they announce the conductor of the New Year’s Concert one year ahead, on January 1st. I believe just the PROGRAM was just announced, not the conductor.

  • Thomas says:

    In other words: Same-old, same-old, just with a diffferent celebrity conductor who can’t make a difference in any of these old chestnuts. Ages 200 and up.

  • Rob says:

    As a poor person, I can’t wait to watch it on a TV.

  • Concertgebouw79 says:

    Not very original to call back Barenboim. it was good when he did that 12 years ago but far to be good like with Mariss, Zubin or Pretre. The worst was Thielmann. I realy regret that Ivan Fischer never did this thing he would be fantastic. He’s the one I would to see in Vienna.

    • Rachelle Goldberg says:

      Hear Hear I totally endorse what you have said!

    • Sue Sonata Form says:


      • Concertgebouw79 says:

        Sorry I’am not a very big member of the Carlos Kleiber’s fan club. But I respect the members. His two new year concert were excellents of course better for me than Barenboim or the too many first of January with Muti. But the best for me concerning Kleiber was in Bayreuth in the mid-70’s a thing we can’t hear or see I think and with the Concertgebouw for the two Beethoven symphonies he did in the mi-80’s. That it’s on Youtube fortunatly.

    • Matthias says:

      Yeah, Ivan Fischer would be great. The problem is that the Vienna Phil. has a few conductors who they work with regularly and have a close relationship with: Muti, Thielemann, Mehta, Barenboim, Nelsons, Blomstedt and maybe Dudamel. They always pick one of them for New Year’s and Ivan isn’t in that group (one reason to be jealous of Amsterdam).

      Ivan’s brother Adam could be a candidate in the future, though I’m not sure that would be a great fit for a New Year’s concert. Blomstedt would be really intriguing, but they probably won’t risk it given his age. He has conducted Strauss with them before, though.

      • Concertgebouw79 says:

        I hope that the Winer read us Ivan deserves this lobbying

      • Jobim75 says:

        Don’t forget that the choice presiding of who will conduct is not only made on musical grounds. This concert still means a decent amount of money for the musicians. It is given on 30, 31 of December, then 1st of January is televised (expensive seats!) The Wpo members probably don’t get as much from cd sales as they used too.
        I must admit I am a fan of the concert, it was part of family routine to watch it for new years family meal ( I remember when I was 17 watching Kleiber and thinking ” this guy does almost nothing, he is not a conductor…I understood later …..)
        Barenboim is a bit on the heavy side, definitely not big expectations from his conducting but program is beautiful….the new element for me is that this program is disclosed so early.. Usually it is kept almost secret till a few weeks before the event, then the “encore” used to be still kept secret ( a fast polka+ Radetzky) …Times change slowly.
        And TV broadcast will probably emphasize on rare women players in the orchestra or asian players (big hit in Japan oblige)…

        • Steven de Mena says:

          Jobim75 , the program is NOT secret, it’s always announced around now. Just the encore before the Blue Danube is secret.

      • Micaelo Cassetti says:

        It was a great shame that Maestro Haitink was never invited.

  • Peter San Diego says:

    Many more rarities than usual — it might be worth listening to, for a change.

  • Gustavo says:

    Don’t forget to equip him with a body-cam!

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    At least they’re giving six unknown works their ‘New Year’s’ premiere. I’ll watch – I enjoy these. Snark away all you want.

  • Simon A Bird says:

    For me, the best way to experience this concert is warmly wrapped up in front of the Rathaus, sipping Gluhwein and watching, -erhaps joining, the couple who walt along to the relay. Magical – and free!

  • Paul says:

    Last time I watched the New Year’s concert from Vienna, and that was at least 4 years ago, I almost fell asleep. For a New Year’s celebration you need some joyful music to liven up your spirits, as you look forward to the new year, i think. Where are you Claudia Abbado? (God, rest his soul).

  • Alwyn Wood says:

    What a treat it would be to hear this ill-used repertoire played by a small ensemble consisting of real musicians (instead of production-line ones) employing point, lightness and rubato. Instead we shall have Mr Plod crushing the living daylights out of it under the weight of his elephantine orchestra. Can’t wait.

  • Luminous Patina says:

    It would be interesting to see a Vienna new year’s program led by their charismatic concertmaster Rainer Honeck as Stehgeiger, in the manner of Willi Boskovsky and Strauss Jr. himself.