CD Now Available Exclusively at Amazon.com and ArkivMusicNEW YORK, Jan. 15, 2016 — (PRNewswire) — Sony Classical is pleased to announce the release of the recording of one of the world's most famous classical music events: the 2016 New Year's Concert with the Vienna Philharmonic under the direction of Latvian conductor Mariss Jansons. The live recording is available now exclusively at Amazon.com and ArkivMusic.com and as a download through all major digital service providers. The CD will be released nationwide on January 22. The DVD and Blu-ray will be available on February 5.
Few other concerts can claim to generate such tremendous international interest as the New Year's Concert from Vienna. Under the direction of some of the leading conductors of our day the Vienna Philharmonic rings in the New Year with a gala concert that is broadcast from the magnificent setting of the Golden Hall in Vienna's Musikverein to over ninety countries around the world and watched by more than fifty million viewers. The 2016 New Year's Concert is conducted by the maestro Jansons, the third time that he has presided over this event. He made his acclaimed debut in 2006, before returning six years later for a concert that was described by the Viennese daily Der Kurier as "a red-letter day in the annals of music" and as "one of the finest concerts of recent decades," a concert worthy of being "ranked alongside the legendary New Year's Concerts under Karajan and Kleiber." Jansons made his debut with the Vienna Philharmonic in 1992, and since then he has been one of those select conductors with whom the orchestra feels a particularly close bond.
Until recently the program of the New Year's Concerts has tended to be a closely guarded secret and was often not divulged until a few days before the event, but in the case of the 2016 New Year's Concert it was revealed at an official press conference on November 30. In keeping with a long-standing tradition the program is made up of an ingenious mix of works by members of the Strauss dynasty (Johann Strauss I and II as well as Josef and Eduard Strauss) and their contemporaries. But on this occasion there are no fewer than eight works not previously heard within the framework of a New Year's Concert, namely, Robert Stolz's March of the United Nations, Carl Michael Ziehrer's waltz Weaner Mad'ln, Emil Waldteufel's waltz Espana, the Ball Scene by Josef Hellmesberger the Elder, two French polkas by Johann Strauss II (Violetta and Sangerlust), the Entr'acte Music from between Acts Two and Three of Furstin Ninetta, also by Johann Strauss II, and a polka by Eduard Strauss, Ausser Rand und Band. The New Year's Concert traditionally ends with a festive greeting and with three encores, the second and third of which have since 1958 been the Blue Danube Waltz by Johann Strauss II and the Radetzky March by Johann Strauss I.
At the same time, the New Year's Concert is celebrating its seventy-fifth anniversary. To mark the occasion, Sony Classical released a jubilee edition, The New Year's Concert: The Complete Works. This twenty-three-CD boxed set features all of the 319 works that have ever been played at a New Year's Concert, including twenty-five previously unreleased recordings from the archives of Austrian Radio, plus a bonus CD with thirteen brand-new recordings of works from the early years of the New Year's Concert when it was not yet recorded live.
The press conference was also an opportunity to announce a long-term extension of Sony Classical's partnership with the Vienna Philharmonic. This agreement provides for their continuing cooperation on the worldwide release and marketing of the New Year's Concert in all of its physical and digital formats. The partnership between the Vienna Philharmonic and Sony Classical is part of a great tradition dating back nearly thirty years – it was Sony Classical that released the legendary New Year's Concerts under Herbert von Karajan in 1987 and under Carlos Kleiber in 1989 and 1992.
For its part, the Vienna Philharmonic can trace back its roots to 1842, when Otto Nicolai conducted a Grand Concert involving "all of the orchestral players from the Imperial and Royal Court Opera." The event was initially described as a "Philharmonic Academy" and is generally seen as marking the birth of the orchestra. Since its formation, the orchestra has been run by a democratically elected committee uniquely responsible for all of its artistic, organizational and financial decisions. In the 20th century, the orchestra has worked closely with a number of eminent conductors – Richard Strauss, Arturo Toscanini, Wilhelm Furtwangler and, after 1945, its two emeritus conductors, Karl Bohm and Herbert von Karajan. The Vienna Philharmonic has given some 7,000 concerts on all five continents. Since 1989, it has performed a Philharmonic Week in New York and since 1993 it has given a similar series of performances in Japan.
The tradition of the New Year's Concert dates back to 1941. The first concert to mark the New Year took place in 1939, but on that occasion it was given on December 31. Its first conductor was Clemens Krauss, who was followed in 1955 by Willi Boskovsky. Boskovsky conducted the New Year's Concert no fewer than twenty-five times between then and 1979. The list of conductors who have presided over a New Year's Concert reads like a who's who of leading maestros. Televised lived for the first time in 1959, the New Year's Concert is regarded by the Vienna Philharmonic as a musical greeting to the world that is offered in a spirit of hope, of friendship and of peace at the start of the New Year. The recordings of the New Year's Concert are among the most important releases on the classical market and Sony Classical is keen to ensure that they are available to a broad, international audience.
Sony Music Masterworks comprises Masterworks, Sony Classical, OKeh, Portrait, Masterworks Broadway and Flying Buddha imprints. For email updates and information please visit www.sonymusicmasterworks.com.
2016 New Year's Concert: List of Works
Robert Stolz: UNO-Marsch (March of the United Nations)*
Johann Strauss II: Schatz-Walzer (Treasure Waltz) op. 418
Johann Strauss II: Violetta. Polka francaise op. 404*
Johann Strauss II: Vergnugungszug (Pleasure Train). Polka (schnell) op. 281
Carl Michael Ziehrer: Weaner Mad'ln. Waltz op. 388*
Eduard Strauss: Mit Extrapost (Express Mail). Polka schnell op. 259
Johann Strauss II: Overture to Eine Nacht in Venedig (A Night in Venice) (Viennese version)
Eduard Strauss: Außer Rand und Band (Out of Bounds). Polka schnell op. 168*
Josef Strauss: Spharenklange (Harmony of the Spheres). Waltz op. 235
Johann Strauss II : Sangerslust (Singer's Delight). Polka francaise op.328*