Monday, January 2, 2012

Traditions (part 2)

We have lots of Christmas traditions - and one wonderful New Year tradition.

Happy New Year! Gel candles, perfect anniversary or hostess gift::All Pretty Things
For as long as I remember we have watched the Vienna New Year concert. In the beginning - it was black and white (yes, I am ancient, and even if I wasn't, my mom got her first colour TV less than 20 years ago!) and I remember being mesmerized by all the flowers and dancers and, of course, the music. The castles - sure, they looked gorgeous, but we had castles too (not as grandiose, I'll give you that) and in black and white the Austrian ones aren't as dramatic.

Colour or not - every January 1st we would glue ourselves on the couch and for a couple of hours we would let the music (and the presenter's stories) carry us to another world. A world of elegance and grace, of beauty and peace.

The pieces will change every year - and they were always wonderfully chosen; however the 2 last pieces were always the same: the 'Blue Danube' waltz and the last encore, the 'Radetzky March'. Probably through repetition they became like an 'anthem' for our household (my son won't be that impressed by the Blue Danube, he has never seen it either; however... the Radetzky March - he'll be willing to listen it almost any time)

Of the conductors I vividly remember Herbert Von Karajan, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta and Ricardo Mutti. I also remember when they introduced the first non-Austrian piece just a few years back, the last movement of Hayden's "Farewell" Symphony - William was watching in amazement how each musician would play their part and then... leave... One of the cutest pieces of classic music, for sure :)

So here we are, at the beginning of a New Year - starting it on a high note, watching that wonderfully happy music flowing through the wonderful Viennese castles... and the ballet dancers moving so wonderfully through paintings and sculptures older than the New World!

May you find peace and joy and beauty in everything you do!

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