Neujahrskonzert 2021

Hi y’all! I know I said I’d write a post right after New Year’s but got caught up in a lot of school work, so haven’t had the chance to sit down and write. But, I first want to share some SUPER GREAT news as of yesterday, which you can find here and here. Basically, cause of COVID-19 and all the sucky cancellations it’s forced upon the CSO, Maestro Muti will be extending his contract as the CSO’s music director till the 2023-2024 season!!! In other words…YASSS!!! I’m sure an official announcement is impending, but I had a pretty good feeling that something like this would happen, considering that there were a lot of cool projects that were cancelled due to the pandemic (e.g., the recording of the Beethoven symphony cycle, performing Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, which is now due to take place this summer in Salzburg…sad 😦 ). It’s reassuring to know that at least some of this lost time can be made up during this extension, and I’m greatly looking forward to the day that we can all return back to Orchestra Hall to hear some great music 😀

It was great to kick off the new year 2021 with the annual Neujahrskonzert, with Maestro Muti back at the podium, which was essentially a celebration of his 50-year (half century!!) collaboration with the Vienna Philharmonic! While the Musikverein was audienceless (which was a kinda surreal sight to behold haha), the music didn’t disappoint. The waltzes, polkas, marches, etc. all seemed to hold even more poignancy during this particular concert than years past, considering all the world has been through in 2020. Strangely (or perhaps not?), the concert was simultaneously both a lamentful, wistful reflection on what had passed and an exciting, hopeful wish for a new year. Crazy how Strauss’ music (though often derided as simplistic or elementary) manages to accomplish all of these different aspects, which is one of the reasons why I love listening to his waltzes (my favorite highlights were the Kaiser-Walzer, Neue Melodien-Quadrille, and the Blue Danube), not just at New Year’s, but really anytime 🙂 . Another highlight was Maestro Muti’s speech, where he made the case for culture, music, art to help benefit society…something I wish more people realized…

A nice clip from Neujahrskonzert 2021: you can hear some of Verdi’s well-known melodies from Il Trovatore, Rigoletto, etc. in Strauss’ Neue Melodien-Quadrille 😀

Anyways, with COVID-19 vaccinations taking place all over the world (I’ve already received my first shot and will be getting my second dose this weekend!), a return back to normalcy is inching ever slightly closer to all of us. I, for one, can’t wait until that happens 😀

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