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The Vienna Philharmonic New Year's Concert 2023

By François Hudry |

The Vienna Philharmonic's New Year's Concert is a traditional part of the start of the new year. In 2023, with guest conductor Franz Welser-Möst, a few things were done differently, all whilst still upholding age-old traditions.

The programme of the famous New Year's Concert was newly compiled by this year's guest conductor Franz Welser-Möst and the musicians of the Vienna Philharmonic, but still preserved the age-old Viennese tradition. In this year's concert, Josef Strauss stole the show from his brother Johann with four waltzes and just as many polkas, which were surrounded by other pieces from the Strauss family, as well as lesser-known works by Carl Michael Ziehrer, Franz von Suppé and Josef Hellmesberger.

© Dieter Nagel

With their impeccable appearance and unflinching seriousness, lightened only now and then by a mischievous smile, the Philharmoniker surpassed themselves as always in the care and precision with which they shaped this concert, conducted for the third time by their compatriot Franz Welser-Möst and broadcast live by a hundred radio and television stations from all over the world. Welser-Möst's unobtrusive, friendly conducting recalls times when Willi Boskovsky's good-natured likeness could be seen at the New Year's breakfast in front of the television.

© Dieter Nagel

Of 15 works, 14 were performed for the first time. Furthermore, this year's New Year's Concert offered an additional novelty: the much-noticed presence of girls alongside the Vienna Boys' Choir. Together they sang Heiterer Muth, a French polka by Joseph Strauss, to the delight of the audience. Despite threats from climate activists who wanted to disrupt the concert, it went off without any incident thanks to the security forces called in by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra to assist.

LISTEN TO THE "NEW YEAR'S CONCERT 2023" BY FRANZ-WELSER MÖST ON QOBUZ