New Year in Vienna and A Viennese New Year
Austrian-themed classical concerts by the SCO and RSNO
What would New Year music be without Vienna? No matter how many times orchestras sail up and down the Beautiful Blue Danube, pop the corks in the Champagne Polka or waltz their way through the overture to Die Fledermaus, audiences flock to hear their evocations of a night in Old Vienna as part of tradition. Both the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Royal Scottish National Orchestra celebrate the New Year with selections of Strauss favourites at the outset of their 2012 diaries. The SCO play on New Year’s Day in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care, with all the glitter and glamour that the world of ballrooms, chocolate cake and chandeliers has to offer.
For recently appointed RSNO chief executive, Mick Elliott, it will be the first time he’s heard his orchestra in Viennese party mood, when they present A Viennese New Year, featuring soprano Ailish Tynan. ‘I’ve yet to experience these concerts,’ he says, ‘but I know that they are thoroughly enjoyable and draw the audience in.’ Conducting the RSNO for their Viennese gala is David Danzmayr, Austrian by birth and steeped in the Viennese tradition since childhood. ‘David was assistant conductor with the RSNO until 2010,’ says Elliott, ‘and it’s great to get his particular take on New Year.’
With Handel’s Messiah another traditional RSNO favourite for the New Year, the orchestra has a lively start to 2012 before Sir Roger Norrington comes to conduct Brahms in the middle of January. ‘It’s all part of a musical journey for the audience and orchestra together,’ says Elliott. ‘There’s variety, focus and training for the orchestra over the festive period, and with Rameau and Haydn alongside Brahms 2nd Symphony coming up, there are challenges in new ways of performing which show the range of the orchestra and the quality of the RSNO.’
SCO, New Year in Vienna, Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Sun 1 Jan; RSNO, A Viennese New Year, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Tue 3 Jan; Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Fri 6 Jan.