WSO performs uplifting music from the great Viennese composers

Varvara Tarasova
Varvara Tarasova

Worthing Symphony Orchestra are promising a New Year tonic – a sparkling Viennese concert to herald in 2018.

Spokeswoman Jennie Osborne said: “Always a highlight of the WSO calendar, the annual New Year concert takes place on Sunday, January 7, at the Assembly Hall, Worthing, and is a celebration of uplifting music from the great Viennese composers – Mozart, Lanner and, of course, the Strauss Family.

“Instead of Happy New Year the Viennese will wish you Guten Rutsch. It is debated whether this means ‘a happy sliding’ or not, but either way it perfectly reflects Vienna’s famous New Year celebrations – starting slowly, gathering speed, until you crash into the New Year with wild abandon.

“From the opening strains of Joseph Lanner’s Neujahrs-Galopp (New Year’s Galop) through Johann Strauss II’s Wine, Women and Song Waltz to Mozart’s sparkling Piano Concerto No. 22 in E flat major – the first half of this concert ‘gathers speed’ beautifully, taking the audience on a musical journey through late-18th and early-19th century Vienna…and all before the interval!

“The Piano Concerto No. 22 is a work that perfectly sums up Mozart’s joyous mood in 1785 when the young composer was newly married and feted by the Viennese public after the premiere of his latest opera,Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail. Performed by guest soloist, Russian pianist Varvara Tarasova, who won all the top awards at the third Sussex International Piano Competition, it is a confident, ebullient work that sparkles with imperial brilliance and richness.

“The second half of the concert brings other delights in the shape of Offenbach’s Overture to Orpheus in the Underworld with its famous Can-Can, and the hugely popular Ciribiribin Waltz by Procida Bucalossi. Then it’s a feast of Strauss family favourites with the Thunder and Lightning Polka and the Vienna Woods and Blue Danube waltzes from Johann Strauss the younger.

“The afternoon concludes with Johann Strauss the elder’s celebratory Radetzky March. First performed in 1848, the work became an unofficial Austrian national anthem and when played in front of Austrian soldiers they spontaneously clapped and stamped their feet when they heard the chorus.

“This tradition is kept alive today by audience members who know the custom, and it is now always played as the last piece at the New Year concert of the Vienna Philharmonic and at New Year concerts everywhere…including Worthing’s Assembly Hall.”

Jennie added: “WSO is the professional Orchestra of West Sussex, and has been part of the town’s music scene since 1926.

“Made up of professional players, the Orchestra has developed a reputation for outstanding programming that combines well-known pieces with lesser known hidden gems.

“Under the leadership of principal conductor John Gibbons, WSO attracts world-class soloists and performs world-class music in the Assembly Hall – which has long been recognised by the sound engineers of BBC Radio 2’s Friday Night is Music Night as having one of the finest acoustics in the country.”

The New Year’s concert starts at 2.45pm on Sunday, January 7.

Tickets on 01903 206 206.

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