Clemens Krauss: The New Year Concerts 1951-54 | Australian Eloquence ELQ4827363

Clemens Krauss: The New Year Concerts 1951-54


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Label: Australian Eloquence

Cat No: ELQ4827363

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 2

Genre: Orchestral

Release Date: 3rd November 2017



A series of three classic Decca studio albums, newly remastered and compiled in one complete set for the first ti me. Of all the conductors who have championed the music of the Strauss family with the Vienna Philharmonic, it is Clemens Krauss who was one of the greatest pioneers.

He it was who conducted the first New Year’s Day concert in 1939, and continued to lead the occasion on each New Year until his death in May 1954, but only beginning with the second half of that 1954 concert was the event recorded for commercial release. For each of the previous years, Krauss and the Vienna Philharmonic had gone into the studio during the summer to set down a mix of waltzes and polkas which would, when released shortly after the concert proper, make a memento of the occasion for its increasingly worldwide audience on radio. The various ‘New Year’s Concert’ albums are now presented together in a 2-CD set.

A new editorial note by the opera director and critic Mike Ashman gives context to the stupendous popularity of the Strauss family’s music, both in their time and ever since, to the all-too-short career of Krauss and to the tradition of the New Year concerts in Vienna.

Krauss himself was Austrian to the core, the son of a young Viennese court dancer and a banker well-connected at the Habsburg court. He had the unique lift of the waltz-rhythm at his command, and the unquestioned respect of the Vienna Philharmonic’s famously individualistic musicians, as these treasurable recordings demonstrate.

‘For those to whom The Blue Danube means something that you hear rushed through on the pier or in a café, this playing will be a revelation of sheer delight. Clemens Krauss does it all to perfection. It is good to have some less-known pieces ... All ranges of brows, high to low, should have this record by them to restore spirits when in dumps.’ - Gramophone, May 1954 (Third New Year’s Concert)

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