Happy New Year from George Pretre!
Many years ago, the Vienna Philharmonic began the tradition of performing a special concert to celebrate the New Year. Many of you may have seen television broadcasts of this event, as hosted for many years by none other than Walter Cronkite!
For the 2010 production, for the second time, veteran Frenchman Georges Pretre is the conductor of the orchestra.
There are fast polkas, and the waltzes receive wonderful, tender, loving expressions in both music and dance. I liked the inclusion of “Wein, Weib und Gesang” (Wine, Woman, and Song) with the loveliest music that Johann Strauss Jr provided for any of his waltzes.
While listening, you’ll get to see the tons of gorgeous floral decorations, all these beautiful dancing couples, many celebrities in the audience, and occasional interiors of other Viennese palaces where the elegant dance sequences are filmed.
The whole event is a lot of fun, and expertly played by the entire orchestra. Notice how easy it is made to look! Each of these players is a highly respected professional, and there are many hours of preparation that get us to experience this event as though played by a single musician! And in the middle of all that joy, no one seems to enjoy it more than the conductor, Georges Pretre.
At the end of each year’s concert, the orchestra always performs the “Blue Danube waltz”. Click below to experience it: