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Cannons, fireworks, trumpets, and drums – with the whole orchestra to play with, it’s no wonder classical music is the perfect accompaniment for a New Year celebration.
You might not be dancing the polka, but New Year’s Eve is made that little bit extra special with a glass of bubbly. The sprightly music is a little joke from Johann Strauss II, who wrote the piece to evoke the sound of champagne bottles being uncorked.
Let… there… be… LIGHT! A glorious blaze of choral music from Haydn, and a brilliantly uplifting choice for New Year’s Eve fireworks. The oratorio tells the story of God creating the world – the very first New Year’s Day, if you like!
Gradually increasing in intensity, this whirling waltz conjures all the glitz and glamour of the ballroom – this time, from Délibes' ballet, Coppélia, which premiered in 1870.
You can almost see the fireworks flying from the orchestra in this effervescent piece by Tchaikovsky. Loud, brash, over the top, yet beautifully musical, this celebratory orchestral number is bound to give you a burst of optimism as the old year draws to a close.
Each year in Vienna, some of the finest musicians come together to perform at the New Year’s Concert. This lovely polka by Strauss II was played at the very first of these concerts in 1936.
It’s unlikely your fireworks will be royal this year, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying this celebratory piece of music by Handel. This music fit for a king was first performed on 27 April 1749.
There’s nothing like a trumpet fanfare to bring in the New Year, and Stanley’s trumpet voluntary is one of the greatest of them all. Uplifting and cheery, this piece is bound to put a smile on your face in time for midnight.
Traditionally sung (or at least mimed if you’ve forgotten the words!) as the first song of the New Year, Auld Lang Syne is a folk song with words by Robert Burns. The Fantasia by Ernest Tomlinson makes the most of the familiar melody and weaves it in with other well known pieces – see how many you can spot!
Viennese waltzing not your cup of tea? How about letting Khachaturian whisk you away to a masked ball? The Soviet Armenian composer’s whirling composition is incidental music to a play by Russian poet Mikhail Lermontov, but we think it sounds just wonderful on its own.
A rousing orchestra, a fantastic waltz tune, and some meaty music played by the cellos - it can only be the Beautiful Blue Danube. It's often played as an encore at the New Year's Concert in Vienna, and we can see why!
'Die Fledermaus' literally means 'The Bat' - what's festive about that, you might ask? Listen to the first few bars of Strauss' brilliant opera overture, and think again. This lively Viennese gem was performed at the first New Year's Day Concert in Vienna.
It's not a dance, but it's certainly celebratory - one of the most celebratory songs possible, really. Sung by the angels, the text glorifies God in the highest heavens, and bids peace to all people on earth, and Bach's wonderful triple time music fits in beautifully amongst some of the best waltzes. A fitting way to start the new year!
This rollicking march composed in 1848 can't fail to put you in a good mood. We challenge you not to clap along to the lively tune, which is commonly used as an encore in concerts of Viennese light music.
Embrace the wintery atmosphere in this waltz, inspired by skaters at the Bois de Boulogne in Paris. And who better to perform this piece and play in the New Year in style than King of the Waltz himself, André Rieu?
Nothing announces an entrance like a trumpet, and there are few trumpet concertos as brassy and brilliant as Haydn's concerto in E flat, so it seems a perfect choice to announce the arrival of the new year. The final movement in particular is simply splendid, with its fast runs and elaborate ornaments.