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New Year's Concert 2013 ()

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The New Year's concert of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra has evolved into one of the regular tourist attractions of the old Austrian capital. The orchestra may make noise about introducing some innovation to the program, as it does here with pieces by Verdi and Wagner in observation of the 2013 bicentennials of the births of both of those composers. But really this is a ritual that needs to be repeated annually, for the benefit of Austrians and visitors alike. The center of the program is the Strauss family, above all the waltz king Johann Strauss II, with tasteful admixtures of other Viennese composers and a few sprightly pieces that are not dances, and so it is here. The conductor this time around is Franz Welser-M÷st, who also ran the show in 2011. The same stolid quality that tends to dismay American critics when it comes to this conductor turns out to be just the ticket for this event, which he brings in with maximum precision and flash. He's aided by strong live engineering from Sony... Hide synopsis

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