The New Year’s Concert of the Vienna Philharmonic will mark the cultural start of 2021. We are talking about the most mediatic event of the classical. With one of the best orchestras in the world on stage, and one of the most outstanding conductors on the podium. A program of short, attractive and elegant pieces, made up of waltzes, polkas and marches of the Strauss family and their contemporaries. Also located in the incomparable setting of the Golden Hall of the Viennese Musikverein.
But, for the majority, this concert is also the ritual with which we wake up, since time immemorial, every January 1st. A high-quality television broadcast featuring engaging music, refined floral decorations, ballet scenes in colorful locations, choreography and costumes, coupled with an engaging documentary for the intermission.
This 2021 edition will be irremediably marked by the coronavirus pandemic. And the health emergency, with all of Austria immersed in its third confinement , will prevent the presence of the public in the room. The Vienna Philharmonic with the Neapolitan Riccardo Muti will, however, occupy their usual location on stage, without a safety distance or masks, as a result of the strict controls they must undergo daily.
But there will be no physical reaction from the spectators after each piece or during the popular Radetzky March . With this, much of the magic and festive element of this appointment will be lost.
A decline that the ORF (Austrian Broadcasting) has tried to alleviate with a curious virtual initiative to collect applause and images through the Internet. We will enjoy, however, almost two hours of wonderful music. And of other curiosities that we will deal with in the next lines.
Despite its undeniable beauty and glamor, this Viennese musical date has a somber origin. It arose from Nazi propaganda during the annexation of Austria as a province of the Third Reich. Clemens Krauss directed its first edition, on December 31, 1939, at the head of a Vienna Philharmonic declared “clean of Jews” . But, since 1941, it takes place on its correct date. After the Second World War its origins were whitened and it became a showcase of Austrian cultural excellence. This year we will see its 81st edition.
This word means “musical society” and refers to the Vienna Society of Friends of Music. In 1870 he opened this new venue, at Karlsplatz , whose golden hall became the home of the Vienna Philharmonic.
It is inspired by Greek classicism, with its famous rows of caryatids or the representations of Apollo and the nine muses on the ceiling. And its rectangular parallelepiped or “shoe box” shape gives it one of the best acoustics in the world.