Author Topic: Vienna PO's New Year's Concert --- As Fake and as Anti-Viennese as it gets  (Read 1205 times)

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Offline Florestan

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Just imagine, if you can, Johann Strauss I or Johann Strauss II or Josef Strauss conducting with a baton instead of a violin, the audience formally dressed, stiff and still, listening in awe as if they were listening to a Bruckner symphony / Wagner opera, waiting for being told and conducted when to applaud...

I say, claim and maintain that the Vienna PO's New Year's Concert is nothing else than the Brucknerization of the Waltz, ie an abomination.
Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man.  --- Rabindranath Tagore

Online JBS

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Re: Vienna PO's New Year's Concert --- As Fake and as Anti-Viennese as it gets
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2018, 07:39:48 PM »
I dissent on using the term Brucknerization, but I agree on the main point.

Of course like I have done every year for some years now, I pre-ordered the 2019 recording. :P

Offline david johnson

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I'm not a violinist, but I'll hold one to get to conduct the VPO.

Offline vandermolen

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The concert does not appeal at all to me. It's cheery origins can be found in the Third Reich.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline flyingdutchman

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The concert does not appeal at all to me. It's cheery origins can be found in the Third Reich.

It has nothing to do with what it is today.  I like the concert.

Offline vandermolen

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It has nothing to do with what it is today.  I like the concert.
I'm sure you're right. The music does not appeal to me. Well, only the Blue Danube and I only like that because of its associations with '2001: A Space Odyssey'  ::)
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Maestro267

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How did the traditional game of "How Many Women Are in the Orchestra" go?

Online Brian

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The concert does not appeal at all to me. It's cheery origins can be found in the Third Reich.
Speaking of which, my parents knew about Thielemann's political leanings and decided to switch to the Lincoln Center gala instead this holiday and give Vienna a skip.

Offline PerfectWagnerite

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Speaking of which, my parents knew about Thielemann's political leanings and decided to switch to the Lincoln Center gala instead this holiday and give Vienna a skip.
Speaking of Lincoln Center and "fake", for 2 consecutive years my wife and I went to the Chinese Lunar New Year Concert. For both years it opened with Li Huan-zhi's Spring Festival Overture as if that is the only piece ever written by a Chinese person. For the 2nd year the only thing Chinese about the concert were the performers: Cho-Liang Lin performing a Beethoven (or was it Dvorak) Romance for Violin and Orchestra, a Chinese cellist performing Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations (forget his name now), and of course the ubiquitous Yuja Wang on Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.

Offline Ghost of Baron Scarpia

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Just imagine, if you can, Johann Strauss I or Johann Strauss II or Josef Strauss conducting with a baton instead of a violin, the audience formally dressed, stiff and still, listening in awe as if they were listening to a Bruckner symphony / Wagner opera, waiting for being told and conducted when to applaud...

I say, claim and maintain that the Vienna PO's New Year's Concert is nothing else than the Brucknerization of the Waltz, ie an abomination.

Maazel, if I recall correctly, played the violin during his stint.

The New Years Concert strikes me as a dull event for rich old Austrian people, I couldn't imagine a more boring concert to attend. As for the Strauss Waltzes themselves, probably Andre Rieu got it right. I think I have the Decca 2fer with the Boskovsky recordings, but I don't recall ever listening to it. I have vague memories of listening to Karajan's old recording.


Offline Jo498

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Re: Vienna PO's New Year's Concert --- As Fake and as Anti-Viennese as it gets
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2019, 10:22:18 AM »
Maazel did it for a piece or two, I think. Certainly not for all pieces in his more recent appearances (I don't recall the earlier ones from the 1980s). Boskovsky conducted with the violin in hand in the 1960s, I think. I don't understand why this should matter in any way. I don't expect that a piece by Lully should nowadays be "conducted" with a stick large enought to severely hurt one's foot.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline Florestan

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Re: Vienna PO's New Year's Concert --- As Fake and as Anti-Viennese as it gets
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2019, 10:49:56 AM »
Maazel did it for a piece or two, I think.

Yes, for Josef Strauss' Polka-Mazur Die Nasswalderin.

The problem is that the music they play is completely incongruous with the whole concept of a formal concert. It's meant for dance and merriment, not for being listened to in silence.

The New Years Concert strikes me as a dull event for rich old Austrian people, I couldn't imagine a more boring concert to attend. As for the Strauss Waltzes themselves, probably Andre Rieu got it right.

Precisely. Andre Rieu is much closer to the original spirit of the music, including people in the audience dancing around and singing along.
Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man.  --- Rabindranath Tagore

Offline Ghost of Baron Scarpia

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Re: Vienna PO's New Year's Concert --- As Fake and as Anti-Viennese as it gets
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2019, 11:12:16 AM »
Yes, for Josef Strauss' Polka-Mazur Die Nasswalderin.

The problem is that the music they play is completely incongruous with the whole concept of a formal concert. It's meant for dance and merriment, not for being listened to in silence.

I take for granted that the Waltzes were intended for a more informal setting, but I find it implausible that the full orchestral versions were meant for dancing. I don't have the energy to dig out a CD and read the linear notes to confirm or contradict that assumption.

 

Offline Florestan

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Re: Vienna PO's New Year's Concert --- As Fake and as Anti-Viennese as it gets
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2019, 11:24:23 AM »
I take for granted that the Waltzes were intended for a more informal setting, but I find it implausible that the full orchestral versions were meant for dancing.

Well, consider this: both Johann Strauss I and Johann Strauss II started their careers conducting, and composing for, rather small orchestras which played in such informal settings as casinos, parks and coffee houses. What I find implausible is that the original scoring of these compositions implied a full orchestra.
Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man.  --- Rabindranath Tagore

Offline flyingdutchman

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Re: Vienna PO's New Year's Concert --- As Fake and as Anti-Viennese as it gets
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2019, 01:23:07 PM »
All of which begs the question, then, do you consider the Strauss family compositions classical music?

Offline Jo498

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Re: Vienna PO's New Year's Concert --- As Fake and as Anti-Viennese as it gets
« Reply #15 on: January 01, 2019, 01:40:23 PM »
They began as dance pieces, sure. But some of them already became concert pieces in the 19th century. (Although these huge concerts like Strauss conducted in the US were certainly less formal!) Quite a few actually also had choral versions or even started out in that fashion! That's where at least some of the titles come from (The Blue Danube was actually done both orchestral and choral from the beginning). They had a few of them with the Vienna boy's choir at some earlier concerts. I found almost all of these versions extremely silly and I am happy to have purely orchestral ones.

Anyway, it is a rather futile complaint. Sure, it is a concert for rich people and politicians and it seems ridiculous in many ways. But it seems to work, still sell discs and I guess it is here to stay.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline Florestan

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Re: Vienna PO's New Year's Concert --- As Fake and as Anti-Viennese as it gets
« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2019, 02:04:02 AM »
All of which begs the question, then, do you consider the Strauss family compositions classical music?

Depends on what you mean by "classical music". Be it as it may, the Strausses stemmed from, and belong to, a tradition where the boundaries between art (as in "serious", "classical" music) and entertainment (as in "light", "popular" music) were not so clear cut as they are today, a tradition which includes such luminaries as Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Brahms and Dvořák (to limit myself only to the Viennese connection).

« Last Edit: January 02, 2019, 02:06:03 AM by Florestan »
Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man.  --- Rabindranath Tagore

Offline Florestan

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Re: Vienna PO's New Year's Concert --- As Fake and as Anti-Viennese as it gets
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2019, 02:05:14 AM »
Anyway, it is a rather futile complaint. Sure, it is a concert for rich people and politicians and it seems ridiculous in many ways. But it seems to work, still sell discs and I guess it is here to stay.

Oh, it's not a complaint, just a comment. And I certainly wouldn't want it discontinued, I greatly enjoy the music.
Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man.  --- Rabindranath Tagore

Offline springrite

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Re: Vienna PO's New Year's Concert --- As Fake and as Anti-Viennese as it gets
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2019, 02:09:43 AM »
The concert does not appeal at all to me. It's cheery origins can be found in the Third Reich.

Well, they sure have the right conductor in this occasion.  >:D
Do what I must do, and let what must happen happen.

Offline Florestan

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Re: Vienna PO's New Year's Concert --- As Fake and as Anti-Viennese as it gets
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2019, 07:36:42 AM »
Well, they sure have the right conductor in this occasion.  >:D

I wonder how many people who accuse Thielemann (mainly and mostly on hearsay) of being right-wing, or even worse, a Nazi in disguise, have actually read his article which provoked the whole kerfuffle. Here it is:

https://www.zeit.de/2015/04/pegida-dialog-christian-thielemann-dresdner-staatskapelle

Google Translate is your friend and does a reasonably good job.

I find nothing there that I cannot subscribe to myself.

Plus: he is often accused of having a repertoire limited to only the Austro-German music. But, by Jove, mastering this "limited" repertoire can be the job of a lifetime. And is it not amusing to see people for whom Beethoven and Bruckner are the daily bread-and-butter suddenly taking issues with someone who concentrate his efforts exactly in this direction?

As for his conducting the New Year Concert, he was certainly not the most charismatic or the funniest, but he did a decent job, not least because of coming up with no less than six premieres (the Helmesberger's Elfenreigen was my favorite).

NB: This post is not specifically addressed to you personally.

Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man.  --- Rabindranath Tagore