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Every week, WRTI features a different album on the air. Learn more about them here.

Classical Album of the Week: The 2019 New Year's Concert from Vienna!


February 25, 2019. If you love Viennese coffee with whipped cream, Sachertorte, and waltzes, our Classical Album of the Week will transport you to the elegance and warmth of fin-de-siècle Vienna.

Sony Classical has recently released this year's New Year's Concert by the Vienna Philharmonic, a beloved annual happening since 1939. It was recorded live in Vienna's fabled Musikverein, on New Years' Day 2019.

In the 1980s, the Vienna Phillharmonic began the practice of choosing a different conductor each year for the New Year's concert, which is broadcast around the world. This year's conductor was Christian Thielemann, music director of the Staatskapelle Dresden.

Thielemann brings clarity and grace to these interpretations of traditional waltzes, marches, polkas and overtures by the Strauss family -- Johann I, Johann II, Eduard, and Josef. 

Also included in this year's program, music of Carl Michael Ziehrer and Joseph Hellmesberger II.

Our personal favorites on this year's album -- the atmospheric, almost Wagnerian opening to Johann Strauss II's Nordseebilder (Pictures of the North Sea,) Künstlerleben (Artist's Life,) and the ever ethereal Sphärenklänge (Music of the Spheres) by Josef Strauss. 

As is traditional, the Viennese end their New Year's Concert with their peerless versions of An der schönen blauen Donau (The Blue Danube) by Johann Strauss II, and Johann Strauss I's Radetzky March

For a little warmth and gemütlichkeit in these waning days of winter, you can't go wrong with our Classical Album of the Week, straight from the Goldener Saal (the Golden Hall) of the Musikverein of Vienna.