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The Music

After more than a century of life, the characteristic music 19th century Imperial Vienna gained over the last few years growing prestige finding its place of cult in New Year’s celebrations. At this time of the year hundreds of concerts halls and theatres all over Europe are filled with the enthusiasm ad the applauses naturally inspired by the contagious rhythm of waltzes, marches and polkas reminiscent once so trendy.

The popularity of this music is vastly due to the eternal popularity of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra concert seen on TV by millions of people each year. In Austria like in any other European city, this concert is nowadays an irreplaceable show that this festive season cannot do without.

The combination of the famous marches, polkas and waltzes of Johann Strauss and the dancing couples dressed in tuxedos and romantic dresses remind of the Viennese ballrooms of Franz Joseph and his Sissi.

Unlike the music of the most prominent Viennese composers of that time (just remember the names of Haydn, Schubert, Beethoven, Brahms, Bruckner and Mahler), the so called ballroom dance had no aim of being considered as superior arts and yet along the years its perception has changed until it can now be rightfully considered as authentic concert music. It is moreover one of the biggest symbols of the charming atmosphere of the court of Emperor Franz Joseph as significant a symbol as the Emperor’s legendary wife, the Empress Elizabeth of Wittelsbach (Sissi).

Although the current great interest in this music - so closely associated with a whole era and with a trend which is so far from us - may seem surprising, nowadays no new years celebration could be considered complete without it. The Great Johann Strauss Gala, already a classic, has irremediably associated toast and fireworks with unforgettable waltzes, such as Blue Danube Waltz, Fairytales of the Viennese Woods, The Emperor’s Waltz and Radetzky March, that traditionally close the concerts accompanied by the enthusiastic applause of the audience, will close the concert.