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Home > Orchestra : Orchestra

 

Das Philharmonische Tagebuch

Fri, 07. December 2007

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New Year's Concert 2008 with Georges Prêtre

New Year's Concert 2008

Georges Prêtre became the first French conductor to lead the traditional New Year's Concert of the Vienna Philharmonic in the Golden Hall of the Musikverein in Vienna on January 1, 2008. Thus Viennese charm blended with French esprit to provide a unique musical experience which was seen and heard by millions of television viewers throughout the world by way of the Austrian Television Network's 50th broadcast of this annual event.

Georges Prêtre's appearance at the New Year's Concert brought an added dimension to the list of New Year's Concert conductors which includes such illustrious names as Willy Boskovsky, Lorin Maazel, Herbert von Karajan, Claudio Abbado, Carlos Kleiber, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Seiji Ozawa and Mariss Jansons. This year’s programming revealed a French flair, which as usual featured several lesser known works. Millions of viewers around the world experienced Prêtre leading the Philharmonic in an Austro-French co-production of performances of pieces like the "Napolean March", the "Paris March", and "Freut Euch des Lebens", as well as the "Russian March" and the "Chinese Gallop". The program included 21 compositions in total (including encores) by the composers Johann Strauss, Jr., Johann Strauss Sen., Joseph Strauss, Joseph Hellmesberger Jr. and Joseph Lanner. The upcoming European Football Championships 2008, to be held in Austria and Switzerland were commemorated with the Sport-Polka by Josef Strauss as an encore, during which a flag-waving concertmaster received a yellow card from "referee" Prêtre!

The broadcast of the New Year's Concert in ORF 2 provided additional firsts: for the first time the Albertina was the backdrop for the ballet of the Vienna State Opera and Volksoper, and choreographer Nicolas Musin concocted a brash and witty ballet insert to commemorate the afore-mentioned upcoming European Football Championships. The Lipizzaner "danced" to the music of the polka francaise "Die Pariserin" in Vienna's Spanish Riding School and the "Blue Danube" Waltz was danced this year live for the first time in the Musikverein, to the choreography of Christian Tichy. The direction of the broadcast was once again in the proven hands of Brian Large.

 

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