New Year’s Concert in Vienna, tonight

January 1, 2009

For those interested, the annual New Year’s Concert in Vienna will be broadcast tonight in the Australian  eastern states at 21.15 on SBS.  Tonight’s concert will be directed by Daniel Barenboim.

From last year’s concert under Georges Pretre:

UPDATE: Well, that was fun.  A little Teutonic, perhaps, and probably because of Barenboim’s affinity with the Berliners.  There was definitely a degree of emphasis in the upper bass which made the sound rather heavy and thick.  A lighter touch would not have gone amiss. And I didn’t think the orchestra really sparked, as if they and Barenboim were not really at one.

Interesting that Baremboim included in the traditional New Year message a plea for ‘human justice in the Middle East’.  Given his well-known sympathy for the Palestinian cause, that was pretty pointed.  Hmm.



  1. Shades of “The Leopard”, “Russian Arc” and Istvan Szabo’s film on Wilhelm Furtwängler. And more besides!

  2. The Austrian novelist Thomas Bernhard (check out the superb “Extinction”) contextualises the pre and post WW2 corruption and complicity of Austrian society, its ongoing failure to acknowledge its willing historic role in the destruction of its Jewish population and its shallow, populist, contemporary tourist-oriented classical music tradition and mass concert performances aimed at obscuring that.

    Enjoy the concert!

  3. You are patently disingenuous in everything you write on Israel vs the Palestinian people which is why you convince no one with your historically contextless, stolid, beside-the-point, dictated from afar, boring set pieces.

    And you failed in the concert program Barenboim’s deliberate acknowledgement of his collaborator Edward Said (Strauss’s Fairytales from the Orient waltz) and Said & Barenboim’s joint Arab-Israeli orchestral project which the concert program notes explicitly refer to.

    But then that’s no doubt related to the fact you stupidly said on another thread here that Said equals Osama Bin Laden and therefore is to be completely dismissed forever more and on all accounts.

  4. Don’t get me started on Said, Tad Pole – faux-Palestinian (actually Egyptian Arab) and academic charlatan par excellence.

  5. For goodness sake, Tad Pole, you’re like a moth to a flame.

  6. Rob, I think you have acquired yourself a troll. Just sayin.

  7. Yes, sl, but I think it’s kind of sweet. Perhaps I should keep it as a pet?

    Easily dealt with, anyway.

  8. AC-DC, you and Rob obviously have more in common beyond mere politics and favoured rhetorical devices.

    For instance, you anthropomorphise insects and he dehumanises commenters.

    And the personal is political too, let’s not forget.

    Two words for you, munchkins: Mirror Image

  9. Here’s some more anthropomorphising for you: every time I read one of your posts I feel like a dog watching TV.

    Two questions:

    What is it with you and non sequiturs?

    What is it you want?

  10. He’s a troll, AC, so he’s trolling.

  11. AC, dogs are looking in the wrong place if they are trying to understand people from tv.

    OTOH, since we are speaking of other animals, parrots have a remarkable physiological intelligence and ability to relate to humans that dogs don’t: the ability to imitate the human voice.

    Just think, AC, the parrot listens to the human voice, takes some kind of interest in what is being said and wishes – heaven only knows why, old bean – to reproduce it. This physiological intelligence enables the parrot to manipulate literally 100s of muscles in its speaking apparatus – a noise-making apparatus which is utterly different from the human one.

    But it has no teeth and no soft palate, its tongue is different from ours, its vocal cords are too, and it has a beak. Yet it’s able to reproduce articulate human speech so well that sometimes humans being are actually deceived by it. Indeed, very often parrots, with their curious sense of humour, will annoy dogs by imitating their masters and calling them. Hah!

    The more one thinks of this extraordinary behaviour, the odder it becomes. It has nothing to do with instinct or biological survival. Parrots, for some unknown reason, simply desire to imitate, and their physiological intelligence is able to arrange the relevant muscles so as to reproduce the sounds it hears with a precision which no merely conscious mind could possibly equal.

    Amazing, eh.

  12. Thanks for that. Are you looking for a cracker?

  13. Not bad at all, Taddy. Perhaps you’re not just a troll.

    But could a parrot mimic Mario Lanza? Or did Lanza the parrot mimic Caruso?

  14. A parrot could certainly mimic Mario Lanza. But a parrot could never replicate his emotional intelligence, diction and vocal range. Lanza the man may well have been like Caruso. Perhaps he even saw further, reached further, because he stood on the shoulders of that giant.

  15. AC, you disappoint me. I didn’t think, until now, that you were a total boofhead. And definitely male, btw.

  16. Why, because I don’t get distracted by the non-sequiturs you throw out?

    Your cute allusions might be interesting if I hadn’t read some of your earlier paranoid conspiracy and AQ- single narrative offerings.

    I won’t stoop to call you “a total boofhead”, because that would be juvenile, but you certainly are annoying. Until you can stay on topic and avoid misdirection, you’ll have to remain “disappointed” with my reception to your capering.

  17. No idea what you’re on about AC with your crazed phraseology and allusions to AQ. I thought you meant ‘Australian Quarterly’ at first, speaking of actual non-sequiturs (yours).

    If you think there are no connections between the Crusades, anti-semitism, anti-Islamism, and the associated roles of the Saxon Empire, the German Empire established under Prussian leadership, the development of Nazism, Israel’s genocidal wars against and expulsion of the Palestinian people from their homelands and not unrelatedly the use of European in particular German classical music traditions to shore up and legitimise all these racist, tyrannical regimes, then that’s your problem.

    As I asked on another music thread here, what do you think Bach’s Christmas Oratario, to give an important indicative example, was really about?

  18. You tell us, Taddy.

  19. “On one level, Bach’s music yearns for a paradise of social equality by praising a Savior-King, who has no regard for configurations of earthly might. Yet Bach depicts the political inversions literally embodied at Christmas with musical signs that derive their meanings—and power—from the very hierarchies they simultaneously claim to displace. Not merely in its style, but more fundamentally, in its mixture of courtly grace and saber-rattling fury, Bach’s Christmas music is the music of absolutism par excellence. In his cantatas Bach foretells a utopian future beyond and above contemporary power relations, even while articulating with his unique compositional voice the fineries and brutalities of 18th-century politics.

    “I will begin by confronting the bloodcurdling militancy of Bach’s cantata for the second day of Christmas, Darzu ist erschienen der Sohn Gottes (BWV 40), before touching quickly on the magisterial coronation scene of his Ascension Oratorio (BWV 11); finally my discussion of these themes will turn to Bach’s Christmas Oratorio of 1734-5, BWV 248, which narrates and glosses the events of Christmas beginning with Christ’s birth and closing with the feast of the Epiphany twelve days later. This series of six cantatas was itself drawn largely from works written originally to honor Bach’s Saxon rulers.”


  20. Taddy, that sounds as daft as feminist musicologists describing Beethoven’s 7th Symphony as ‘an incomplete act of rape’

  21. “sounds daft”. LOL. Such intellectual rigour which, funnily enough, is typical of your one-sided “histories” and current affairs updates here.

    Don’t you just die of boredom living in such an crippling self-imposed mental straitjacket?

  22. What about another parrot post, Taddy? You were moderately interesting for a moment there.

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