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January 01, 2009

New Year traditions

I have to confess that I enjoy the new year traditions here in Mausi's home. The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra's New Year concert is always great fun and this years was certainly exception. There is a special supper on New Years Eve, followed by watching the Chancellor's New Year Message while sipping sparkling wine and then the "Silvester" festivities around Germany on the telly until it is finally time to go up into the loft and watch the ring of fireworks from our mountain eyrie as we can see the fireworks fired in Bleibenstadt, Hahn and all the surrounding villages from the loft - not to mention, of couse, those fired by the neighbours as well. Mind you, with the temeratures here hovering around -3*C something warming to follow is a welcome prelude to bed!

New Years day itself is a quieter affair, with one of the best things being the Venna Philharmonic's "Silvester Conzert" broadcast live from the Concert Hall in Vienna on ZDF. Daiel Barenbaum's conducting style is, I think, best described as unique. It makes for fascinating watching as the orchestra strut their stuff with a wide range of Strauss pieces and other works mixed in. There is ballet too, staged in some stunning palace settings and danced to perfection by some really skilled dancers. This year's offering included a short Concerto by Josef Hayden which sees the orchestra grow smaller and smaller during the final movement as players up and walk off. The piece was composed as a protest at the Prince Esterhazy's demands on his musicians - and he apparently took the hint and gave them a little more time off! The concert always finishes with the Radetzky March and audience participation - which Barenbaum played to a "T".

And now for some ski-jumping - on the TV. Eddie the Eagle I ain't!

Posted by The Gray Monk at January 1, 2009 01:07 PM

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Pat - happy New Year! 'Twas a wonderful review of the New Year's Day Concert in Vienna. I watched it also, as it is my New Year's Day tradition to do so. I agree that Barenbaum's style was "unique." The Radetzky March and the Blue Danube are my faves.

Posted by: Cindy at January 4, 2009 10:44 PM