André Rieu – The Beautiful Blue Danube
From Wikipedia: “The New Year’s Concert of the Vienna Philharmonic (German: Das Neujahrskonzert der Wiener Philharmoniker) is a concert of classical music that takes place each year in the morning of January 1 in Vienna, Austria. It is broadcast around the world to an estimated audience of 50 million in 73 countries (as of 2012).
The music always includes pieces from the Strauss family—Johann Strauss I, Johann Strauss II, Josef Strauss and Eduard Strauss—with occasional additional music from other mainly 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 Karl Michael Ziehrer. In 2009, music by Joseph Haydn was played for the first time: the 4th movement of his “Farewell” Symphony to mark the 200th anniversary of his death. There are traditionally about a dozen compositions played, with an interval halfway through the concert and encores at the end. They include waltzes, polkas, mazurkas, and marches. Of the encores, the first is often a fast polka. The second is Johann Strauss II’s waltz The Blue Danube, whose introduction is interrupted by applause of recognition and a New Year greeting from the musicians to the audience. The last is Johann Strauss I’s Radetzky March, during which the audience claps along under the conductor’s wry direction. The complete duration of the event is around two and a half hours.
The concerts have been held in the “Großer Saal” (Large Hall) of the Musikverein since 1939. The orchestra is joined by pairs of balletdancers in selected pieces during the second part of the programme. The dancers come from the Vienna State Opera Ballet and dance at different famous places in Austria, as Schönbrunn Palace, Schloss Esterházy, the Vienna State Opera or the Wiener Musikverein itself. Since 1980 the flowers that decorate the hall have been a gift from the city of Sanremo, Liguria, Italy.
Boskovsky, concertmaster of the orchestra 1936–1979, conducted the Vienna New Year’s concerts from 1955–1979. In 1980, Lorin Maazel became the first non-Austrian conductor of the concert. The practice of choosing a different star conductor every year (and occasional star soloists) began in 1987 after seven appearances in a row by Maazel. Members of the orchestra voted to rotate conductors. This may have occurred with the telecasts going worldwide, perhaps to make the audio and video recordings more marketable. The first of these rotating stars was Herbert von Karajan, an Austrian, then 78 and in frail health.