Vienna New Year's Day Concert 2024

Oh dear, I see that we are due to have another wooden performance in a few days’ time from Christian Thielemann.

What has happened to all the great conductors of light music?

Carlos Kleiber will be turning in his grave!

I totally agree. The sign of a good conductor is one who doesn’t let his ego get in the way of the music.

I think that the great Vienna concerts in the last 30 or so years were conducted by Karajan in (his only ever appearance), C Kleiber twice (the second, at very short notice, to replace an ailing Leonard Bernstein) and Georges Prêtre (who seemed to reappear out of nowhere for his sole appearance).

Georges Prêtre, if my memory serves me correctly, gave two concerts, which were very good. We had years of Maazel which seemed interminable. I recall two good concerts by Abbado many years back. I’d like to see Manfred Honeck invited to conduct this concert. He has the right credentials but I suspect Viennese politics plays a part.

I don’t think that Herr Honeck has been forgiven (yet) for leaving the orchestra to go to Pittsburgh (or wherever it was) as chief conductor.

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He might be eyeing on a Chicago Music Director spot.

Bring back Beecham from the grave? :grin:

Very well. Each second year he lies correctly in his grave then.

There are always the flowers to enjoy.

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I’m not aware of Beecham ever being a devotee of the Strauß family, I think that he preferred his ‘lollipops’ to have a French flavour. And that sort of light music was catered for in Beecham’s time by ‘Glorious John’ Barbirolli and the rather dire Malcolm Sargent (who was, apparently, a pretty dreadful man, with no woman ever being ‘safe’ with him in a taxi).

And I don’t remember seeing a record of Beecham conducing the Vienna Philharmonic, although that would no doubt have been a strong contest of wills!

I’m not aware of Beecham ever being a devotee of the Strauß family, I think that he preferred his ‘lollipops’ to have a French flavour.

Well, Strauss stuff has the same fluffy vanilla flavours as the lollipop stuff he did. Smooth and elegant. thats the sort of style that viennese like no? I’m not knocking Beecham as some of his recordings are actually pretty good!

I dunno if he ever conducted Vienna Phil. He had his own band so he might have not bothered with it.

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I think that Beecham was very happy with founding the London Philharmonic and, later, the Royal Philharmonic orchestras, on the strength of his inheritance from the Beechams Pills family fortune.

Although he liked to conduct French orchestras for French music, and his famous ‘Carmen’ with Victoria de Los Angeles and Nicolai Gedda was made with the French National Radio orchestra.

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I could not watch the NY concert with Thielmann. It was just too stiff! :anguished:

Check back, Kuma - I predicted a wooden performance nine days ago!

Yeah… I had a feeling… he’s better off doing more traditional German repertoire. Once I saw him attempt Gershwin score. Same results. Just too stiff!

I see Riccardo Muti is invited back to conduct next year!

Are there any decent living Austrian conductors left ?

Manfred Honeck disappeared off to Pittsburgh (or wherever).

I like all the stiff / wooden wordplay. This light music is primarily intended to be played in ball rooms / gala’s so that rich people can secretly touch and seduce their noble lady next door while dancing and drinking expensive wines.

I never understood why this is played in a concert setting. It’s intended for dancing.

Manfred Honeck is a superb Austrian conductor. Sample some of his many recordings with his Pittsburgh orchestra. I have long been hoping he would conduct the New Year’s Day concert.

I’ve attended a few concerts with him leading the CSO and was never impressed. But I thought he might be ok for benign dance programs. :slightly_smiling_face:

I also have his Bruckner recording. A huge disappointment. This is where Thielemann shines.