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Daniel Barenboim conducts the Vienna Philharmonic in its annual New Year's Day concert. John Suchet's Album of the Week, 6 January 2014.
It's now a tradition stretching back 74 years that the Vienna Philharmonic performs a concert on 1 January each year in the Golden Hall of Vienna's Musikverein.
This year's programme had a sub-theme marking the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I. The orchestra considered it to be especially relevant to invite Daniel Barenboim to conduct the New Year's Concert, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of its collaboration with him and in recognition of his work towards reconciliation in the Middle East.
It's always impressive that Sony Classical can get this album out at such speed after the concert and it's always a treat. This year's concert follows the proven formula, blending well-known classics with premieres of works and a few surprises that have never been performed before at the New Year´s Concert. So, alongside the expected waltzes and polkas from the Strauss family, there is the aptly titled Olive Branch Waltz from Josef Strauss and the Moonlight Music from Richard Strauss' opera Capriccio. A seasonal delight.