The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Today is New Year’s Day 2018. The annual concert from Vienna airs this morning from 10 to noon on Wisconsin Public Radio and then tonight from 8 to 9:30 on Wisconsin Public Television. Here are details, background and the playlist

January 1, 2018
Leave a Comment

By Jacob Stockinger

No event in classical music has become more iconic than the annual New Year’s Day concert given in Vienna’s luxurious Golden Hall by the Vienna Philharmonic under a guest conductor.

It may be predictable and repetitive, but it surely is beloved. The broadcast reaches 50 million listeners and viewers in more than 90 countries.

The concert, which is always heavy on Strauss family waltzes , polkas and marches as well as some music by other composers from that era, will first air this morning from 10 a.m. to noon CST on Wisconsin Public Radio.

Then later tonight it will add pictures and more  — scenic landscapes, royal interiors, classic architecture, a celebrity narrator and dance interpretations by the Vienna City Ballet — when it airs again from 8 to 9:30 p.m. CST on Wisconsin Public Television.

The guest conductor this year is Riccardo Muti (below), the music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Here is some background from Vienna:

https://www.wienerphilharmoniker.at/new-years-concert/new-years-concert-main

Here is the complete program or playlist from WQXR-FM in New York City:

https://www.wqxr.org/story/new-years-day-2018-vienna-riccardo-muti-vienna-philharmonic

And here, with sound samples, is a list of the distinguished conductors who have led the event over 30 years. Find your favorites and relive some memories:

https://www.wqxr.org/story/be-our-guest-vienna-philharmonic-thirty-years-guest-conductors-new-years-day

Here is more background on the television broadcast, part of PBS’ “Great Performances” series which will be hosted for the first time by Hugh Bonneville (below, in a photo by Nick Briggs) of “Downton Abbey” fame. He succeeds Walter Cronkite and Julie Andrews.

And here is background from the “Great Performances” website:

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/gperf/

You can also consult the German-language YouTube video at the bottom.

If you want to relive this year’s experience, the CDs and DVDs will be available very shortly from Sony.


Classical music: Wisconsin Public Radio and Wisconsin Public Television again ring in the New Year with music — but too late. Plus, tomorrow morning WORT broadcasts a recording of the Willy Street Chamber Players

December 30, 2015
2 Comments

ALERT: The Ear’s friend and radio host colleague Rich Samuels writes: “I’ll be airing the performance of Felix Mendelssohn‘s Octet in E-flat Major, Op. 20, by the Willy Street Chamber Players (below)  on this Thursday morning (Dec.  31) at 7:14 on my “Anything Goes” broadcast on WORT-FM 88.9.  (It was recorded July 31, 2015 by WORT at Madison’s Immanuel Lutheran Church). I think this was the high point of the ensemble’s inaugural season. It’s nice to know WSCP will be back next summer and that they have a special event scheduled on Jan. 23 and 24.” 

willy street chamber players b&w

By Jacob Stockinger

Today’s post is just a simple reminder of the various programs that Wisconsin Public Radio and Wisconsin Public Television will soon air to once again ring in the New Year with classical music.

Both organizations are outstanding friends of classical music, although sometimes The Ear wishes there was more music and fewer British mysteries — which this year interfere with arts programming and push music broadcasts later.

NEW YEAR’S EVE

On Thursday night from 10 to 11:30 p.m., Wisconsin Public Television will air an all-French program from New York City with Alan Gilbert (below top) conducting the New York Philharmonic and guest soloist mezzo-soprano Susan Graham (below bottom). “Live From Lincoln Center” will broadcast “La Vie Parisienne” (Parisian Life) program includes music by Jacques Offenbach and Camille Saint-Saens.

New York Philharmonic

Susan Graham USE

Also featured are classical pianist Inon Barnatan (below top), who performed a recital for the Wisconsin Union Theater, and jazz pianist Makoto Ozone (below bottom) in “The Carnival of the Animals.”

Inon Barnatan

makoto.ozone.01

The Ear likes the program and wonders if it was decided before or after the recent terrorist attacks in Paris.

However, The Ear is very disappointed by the late hour of the airing. It would be better if young people and children could hear and see it. He would much prefer prime-time broadcasts from 8 to 9:30 p.m. or maybe 9 to 10:30 p.m.

What do readers think?

La vie parisienne

NEW YEAR’S DAY

On Friday morning from 10 a.m. to noon, Wisconsin Public Radio will air a broadcast from Vienna’s Golden Hall (below) of “New Year’s Concert From Vienna,” with waltzes and polkas by the Strauss family as well as some other music.

New Year 2015 Golden Hall

This is the 75th anniversary of the event that will be broadcast to more than 90 countries and seen by some 50 million people. It is billed as the world’s largest classical music event.

Latvian conductor Mariss Jansons, who leads the Concertgebouw of Amsterdam and appears regularly with major orchestras around the world, is returning for his third stint as the conductor of the Vienna Philharmonic for this program.

mariss jansons 2015

Here is a link with more information, which is hard and confusing to find on the website (look under Seasonal Programming, not the regular schedule):

http://www.wienerphilharmoniker.at/en

In the afternoon from 1:30 to 3 p.m. and in the evening form 10 to 11:30 p.m., the 32nd annual television version of “Great Performances” will be broadcast by Wisconsin Public Television. Actress Julie Andrews (below) returns to host for the seventh time, and dancers from the Vienna State Ballet will be featured along with great landscape shots of Vienna and its historical landmarks.

And of course there will be the final clap-along encore: The Radetzky March, which you can hear conducted by Daniel Barenboim in a YouTube video at the bottom.

Julie Andrews

Once again, The Ear recalls that it used to air at a much earlier, more family-friendly hour.

For more information, go to:

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/gperf/from-vienna-the-new-years-celebration-2016/4440/

Maybe next year will see earlier broadcast times and more information about the programs and broadcast’s duration on the web and the regular radio schedule.


Classical music: Dance into 2015 this morning and tonight with waltzes and more from Vienna on public radio and TV.

January 1, 2015
1 Comment

By Jacob Stockinger

Just a holiday reminder.

Today is New Year’s Day. That brings the annual “Great Performances” presentation of the “New Year’s Day From Vienna” celebration — with waltzes, polkas, gallops and more by the Johann Strauss Family – on PBS and NPR (National Public Radio).

Vienna Philharmonic

It will all be performed in the Golden Hall (below top) by the Vienna Philharmonic with former Los Angeles Philharmonic and New York Philharmonic conductor Zubin Mehta (below middle) this year, along  with the usual help from the Vienna State Ballet and Broadway and Hollywood star host Julie Andrews (below bottom).

Vienna Golden Hall

Zubin Mehta

Julie Andrews 3

And it will be broadcast TWICE today:

ON WISCONSIN PUBLIC RADIO (WPR): THIS MORNING at 10 a.m.  New Year’s Concert from ViennaThe Vienna Philharmonic presents its annual New Year’s celebration.

ON WISCONSIN PUBLIC TELEVISION (WPT): TONIGHT from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on the main channel Channel 21/Cable 600 the program will also be run, with dancers and scenic landscape shots. (The Wisconsin Channel will run it from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.) It comes, by the way, after an all-day marathon that starts at 9 a.m. and  features all eight episodes of Season Four of “Downton Abbey.” Season Five starts on Sunday night.

And the concert’s typical ending is the poplar clap-along, audience-pleaser: The Radetzky March, heard below in a performance from New York’s Day in Vienna in a popular YouTube video.


Classical music: On Day 6 of its European tour, the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra tours Vienna and performs a benefit concert at the city’s famed Musikverein.

July 13, 2012
2 Comments

By Jacob Stockinger

As you may already know, the Youth Orchestra, the premiere performing group of the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras, is on a concert tour with conductor James Smith of Prague, Vienna and Budapest from July 7 through July 17.

The Youth Orchestra is made up of 69 musicians, age 14-18, from 19 communities in south-central Wisconsin.

(Below is a photo taken in Vienna of, from left, of Eddie Wendt, tuba; Charles Dieterle, trombone; Mikko Utevsky, viola; Ben Cordell, string bass; and Paul Sekulski, violin.

Here is a link to an earlier entry with details about the tour including venues and repertoire:

https://welltempered.wordpress.com/2012/06/29/classical-music-news-wisconsin-youth-symphony-orchestras-youth-orchestra-will-tour-in-europe-from-july-67-to-july-27-it-gives-a-free-preview-concert-at-olbrich-gardens-on-tuesday-night/

Last month, Mikko Utevsky agreed to blog for The Well-Tempered Ear from his tour, which is also his fist trip abroad.

Utevsky, as you may know from reading this blog, just graduated from East High School in Madison and will attend the University of Wisconsin and the UW School of Music this fall. He has been featured in this blog and also writes comments about its postings. (You can check him out using the blog’s search engine. He is a discerning listener and critic, and a fine writer.)

Utevsky (below), who plays viola in the WYSO group, is also the founder and director-conductor of the Madison Area Youth Chamber Orchestra (MAYCO), which has already performed its first summer concert this year and will perform another on Saturday, Aug. 18 at 7:30 p.m. in Music Hall.

For more information about WYSO plus a link to this blog and Utevsky’s entries, visit:

http://wyso.music.wisc.edu/

Here is Utevsky’s fourth entry, with photos taken by WYSO’s executive director Bridget Fraser. More will follow:

By Mikko Utevksy

THURSDAY

This morning we toured Vienna by bus, including visits to the famed Hundertwasserhaus and the Schönbrunn Palace (below), the summer residence of the Habsburg monarchs.

The latter is a massively opulent Baroque building, all over gold and dripping in ornamental architecture. We were not able to tour the palace and see the fountains, but we did get to wander the extensive gardens on the estate, including a hedge maze. (Below is a photo of, from left, standing: Jinri Lee, Scott Meyer, Savannah Valigura, Naomi Black, Christie Cheng, Hattie Bestul, Yassmine Sarkarati, Rory Loo. Down in front are Ansa Seppalainen and Luke Valmadrid.)

Here is another photo with Mark Leiser standing left in the back row:

The Hundertwasserhaus is an apartment complex designed by the Expressionist painter Friedensreich Hundertwasser. It is a singularly odd building, featuring curved walls (think Gaudí’s Casa Milà in Barcelona), a grass roof, and trees growing inside the rooms. The apartments are used as low-income housing. I found it extraordinarily beautiful.

Lunch was in a downtown restaurant, as was dinner; the former was on us, and was our introduction to Viennese prices. Yikes!

Tonight was a big night: our benefit concert in the Gläserner Saal  (Glass Hall, below bottom) of the Vienna Musikverein (below top), home to the famed Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde. The hall is well-named, paneled with curved golden glassy sheets that can be rotated out to adjust the acoustic of the room. It was a bit of a tight fit, but nevertheless a rewarding space to play, not the least for its history.

The Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, the Viennese Society of Friends of Music, is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year. Its music archive is unsurpassed, as is the concentration of world-famous musicians on its roster.

To further its mission, the Gesellschaft has founded the Vienna Conservatory, started the Wiener Singverein (a massive and extraordinarily gifted symphonic chorus) and, of course, built the Musikverein, famous for its acoustically perfect Golden Hall or Grand Hall (home to the Vienna Philharmonic, which rehearses in the hall in which we played and also performs its televised annual New Year’s Day concert in the Golden Hall).

There was a certain amount of additional pressure from playing such a remarkable venue, which kept the energy of the concert high; for many, this performance was the best yet. The Viennese audience was appreciative, and in any case, the experience of giving such a concert was its own reward.

Proceeds from the tickets, incidentally, went to benefit the restoration of one of Vienna’s most venerable landmarks, St. Stephen’s Cathedral (below bottom). With a more or less full house and tickets between 25 and 29 euros, I suspect we made a small dent in the cost.

Tomorrow we depart for Prague. I can’t wait!

Cheers,

Mikko


    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,205 other followers

    Blog Stats

    • 2,091,097 hits
%d bloggers like this: