I scribbled a few words at the time of the live broadcast, http://www.colinscolumn.com/new-years-concert-2023-with-the-vienna-philharmonic-and-franz-welser-most-live-on-bbc-two-television-bbc-radio-3/. Suffice to say that the concert has transferred very nicely to CD – excellent sound, with applause neatly trimmed – but it’s the music and the performances that make for something special. Most of the pieces played had not been heard at a New Year’s Concert before, and each proved to be a wonderful discovery, played and conducted with the utmost sympathy and insight, Franz Welser-Möst shaping the Waltzes seductively, living and breathing them, and letting the faster/cheekier numbers off the leash with poise and relish, the Vienna Philharmonic inspired. Not even Sony’s now-standard idiocy of not presenting the longer second half uninterrupted (seventy-five minutes this year) can dampen enthusiasm, but it really is a daft policy on the company’s part. Forget that and it’s great listening on Sony Classical 19658717392 (2 CDs); also available on DVD, Blu-ray, and three LPs.

Postscript: It’s been a good year so far for the lighter side of musical life – see Les Nuits de Paris, below.

Programme for the 2023 New Year’s Concert (*new to this event)

Part #1

Eduard Strauß Wer tanzt mit? Polka schnell, op. 251*

Josef Strauß Heldengedichte. Walzer, op. 87*

Johann Strauß Zigeunerbaron-Quadrille. op. 422*

Carl Michael Ziehrer In lauschiger Nacht. Walzer, op. 488*

Johann Strauß Frisch heran! Polka schnell, op. 386*

Part #2

Franz von Suppé Ouvertüre zur komischen Operette Isabella*

Josef Strauß Perlen der Liebe. Walzer, op. 39*

Josef Strauß Angelica-Polka. Polka française, op. 123*

Eduard Strauß Auf und davon. Polka schnell, op. 73*

Josef Strauß Heiterer Muth. Polka française, op. 281*

Josef Strauß For ever. Polka schnell, op. 193*

Josef Strauß Zeisserln. Walzer, op. 114*

Joseph Hellmesberger Glocken-Polka und Galopp (aus Excelsior)*

Josef Strauß Allegro fantastique. Orchesterfantasie, Anh. 26b *

Josef Strauß Aquarellen. Walzer, op. 258

RELEASED TODAY, January 27: Les Siècles & François-Xavier Roth record Les Nuits de Paris – Dance Music from Folies Bergère to Opéra – for Bru Zane.