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Waseda University New Year’s Concert 2010 - ‘Traditional Vienna Waltzes’

1. First “Waseda University New Year’s Concert”

‘Waseda University New Year’s Concert 2010’ will be held to celebrate the new year. This will be the first New Year’s Concert held by the university. Within the concept of “Traditional Vienna Waltzes,” the Strauss family’s joyful, festive waltzes and polkas will be performed. Among these, the program will feature a waltz with performances by two soloists, “Voices of Spring (w/ soprano solo),” and Mozart’s “Second Flute Concerto.” Although it is not listed on the official program, we are also planning to wrap up proceedings with “that famous song,” an integral part of any “New Year’s Concert.”

The Waseda University Philharmonic Orchestra (WPO), the first to perform at a university cultural events, is a university-approved student organization that was established in December 1979, and has marked the 30th anniversary of its foundation. As well as performing regular concerts twice per year, they also take part in a wide range of musical activities, including the Waseda Festival and chamber concerts. With their aim of resonating with the graceful sound of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, to form an ensemble, they really are perfectly suited to a New Year’s concert.

(*) On December 27, 2009 (Sunday), the “30th Anniversary of Foundation Concert” will be held at Sumida Triphony Hall. Entrance is free for students and those affiliated with Waseda University (please bring some form of ID). For details, see the item 3 listed below.

Concert Summary for Waseda University New Year’s Concert 2010

[Time and date]
January 9, 2010 (Saturday)
doors open at 14:00 concert commences at 14:30 (expected to finish at about 17:00)

Okuma Auditorium

Part 1:
Johann Strauss II Operetta, “The Bat” overture
(Johann Strauß II, "Die Fledermaus Ouvertüre)
Johann Strauss II Polka, “Thunder and Lightning” op. 324
(Johann Strauß II, Unter Donner und Blitz, Polka schnell, op.324)
Josef Strauss Polka, “Fire-Proof!” op. 269
(Josef Strauß, Feuerfest, Polka française, op.269)
Johann Strauss II Waltz, “Voices of Spring” (w/ soprano solo) op. 410
(Johann Strauß II, Flühlingsstimmen Walzer, op.410)


Part 2:
Johann Strauss II Waltz, “Roses from the South”
(Johann Strauß II, Rosen aus dem Süden Walzer, op.388)
W. A. Mozart Flute Concerto no. 2 in D major
(Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Konzert für Flöte und Orchester, D-dur, KV314(285d)
Josef Strauss Polka-Mazurka, “The Dragonfly”
(Josef Strauß, Die Libelle, Polka mazur, op.210)
Josef Strauss Polka, “Without a Care!”
(Josef Strauß, Ohne Sorgen Polka schnell, op271)

Orchestral music: Waseda University Philharmonic Orchestra (New Year’s Concert - resident orchestra)
Soprano: Ayako Okita (a member of Nikikai)
Flute: Yui Chizawa (graduated with top honors from National School of Music of Paris) Conductor: Kennosuke Soya (adviser to the group; Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra)

*Free entry; all seating is assigned
*Please be aware in advance that the program and order of performance may change
*Please do not come to the venue by car
*Attendance by preschoolers is not permitted

Recruitement is ended for overcapacity. (free entry; all seating is assigned)

As this concert is intended for university students, and their parents, alumni, faculty and staff, please make applications through Waseda-net portal. Once tickets capacity is reached, we will stop accepting applications (first-come-first-accepted).

We will send “assigned seating ticket vouchers” to those who are chosen, and ask that these are brought and exchanged for “assigned seating tickets” at reception on the day of the performance. Please check the method of exchange and precautions detailed on the vouchers.

Please be aware in advance that although all seating is assigned, seating (places) cannot be chosen.


Host: Waseda University Cultural Affairs Division
Tel: 03-3203-2643 (Miyashita)
E-mail: wiener-walzer@list.waseda.jp
URL: http://www.waseda.jp/cac/news091023.html

Co-host: Waseda University Philharmonic Orchestra
URL: http://www.wasephil.com/index.php

2. New Year’s Concert; Viennese Waltzes and Strauss

Let’s now take a look at the New Year’s Concert, and the history of Viennese waltzes and the musicians (composers) who were active at the time.

(1) The History of the New Year’s Concert

When people speak of “New Year’s concerts,” they are generally referring to the “Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra Concert,” which is now said to be watched through live broadcast in more than 40 countries, by over 1 billion people as they celebrate the new year. This “Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra’s New Year Concert” was started in 1939 by Clemens Heinrich Krauss (1893-1954). Its program focused on the Strauss family’s waltzes and polkas, and was held by the Vienna Philharmonic Society (Wiener Musikverein). This represented the beginning of New Year’s concerts in the form that they exist today.

However, the New Year’s concert itself, which celebrates the new year with waltzes and polkas, actually has a history of more than 150 years. The first time it was held was when Johan Strauss I. conducted the “Strauss Orchestra” that he had set up himself, for the “Concert to See in the New Year” that continued from New Year’s Eve through to New Year’s Day.

(2) The History of Viennese Waltzes

As it is used these days, the term “Viennese waltzes” (Wiener Walzer) no longer simply refers to Viennese-style waltzes, but has rather come to implicitly include music and dances such as polkas, gallops and marches in its meaning. However, it is said that waltzes originate from a fast-tempo, triple-time dance called the “Weller” that the farmers of Tyrol and Bayern danced to. This spread into the imperial city of Vienna through Innsbruck, and gained popularity there, and as well as Austria, it also spread into areas in the Habsburg Empire. Through this process, waltzes gradually came to be incorporated into social functions such as various balls as well as liturgies and ceremonies at the royal palace, and eventually waltzes were also incorporated into the most prestigious imperial ball held at the royal palace (the Kaiser Ball) and the Habsburg Royal Court Ball, and a refinement and modification of the dance into the Vienna waltz was accomplished. Then, a social gathering at the 1814 Vienna Meeting - famous for the declaration that “We shall dance at meetings” - was decisive in popularizing this Vienna waltz, after which the waltz subsequently spread throughout all of Europe.

As such, the Vienna waltz has always been music made for dances and balls, but it has also gradually come to be treated as music for genuine concert formats. The fact that real Viennese waltzes are not in simple triple-time, but rather have “slight rhythmic sways,” is because they were originally music made for dances. For the listener to appreciate this “indescribable, pleasant rhythmic fluctuation” requires advanced musicality and technique on the part of the performer. How the Waseda University Philharmonic Orchestra will go about performing this “vital part of waltzes” will be one thing to enjoy at this New Year’s Concert.

(3) Musicians (Composers) who were Active at the Time

The names of the following musicians could be given when speaking of famous composers of Viennese waltzes who were active at the time.

Josef Lanner 1801-1843
Johann Strauß I. 1804-1849
Johann Strauß II. 1825-1899, oldest son of Johann Strauss
Josef Strauß 1827-1870, second son of Johann Strauss
Eduard Strauß 1835-1916, third son of Johann Strauss
Franz Lehár 1870-1948

Particularly popular from that time onward were Johann Strauss I. and the “Strauss family” comprising his three sons. Johann Strauss I. and his oldest son, Johann Strauss II., were referred to as “the father of the waltz” and “the king of the waltz,” respectively. As well as composing, they also both formed their own “Strauss Orchestras,” and while touring many areas, gave performances of the pieces that they had written themselves.

Johann Strauss II. was also close friends with Johannes Brahms (1833-1897), a great composer who was living in Vienna at that time. Legend has it that, speaking about Johan Strauss II.’s famous masterpiece, “On the Beautiful Blue Danube” (An der schönen, Blauen, Donau Walzer,op. 314), Brahms was so charmed by its beautiful sounds that he lamented, “Unfortunately, this is not a work by Johannes Brahms.”

3. Waseda University Philharmonic Orchestra and the 30th Anniversary of Foundation Concert

The resident orchestra for the New Year’s Concert, Waseda University Philharmonic Orchestra, were and as a student orchestra that was formed in December 1979 with the approval of Waseda University, they are now marking the 30th anniversary of their foundation. The orchestra is comprised of more than 100 people, including mainly Waseda University students, and also students from universities such as Japan Women’s University and Tokyo Woman’s Christian University.

As described earlier, as well as performing regular concerts twice yearly, they also conduct a wide range of musical activities, such as performing at Waseda Festival, at chamber concerts, and voluntarily holding music classes for children. Treating the orchestra as an extension of chamber music, they are aiming to create rich and varied music, born from the organic integration of members’ expressive desires.

As this year is one for commemorating the 30th anniversary of their foundation, a “30th Anniversary of Foundation Concert” will be held at Sumida Triphony Hall (home to the Shin-Nihon Philharmonic Orchestra). A summary of details for the concert is given below, and entry is free for students and affiliates of Waseda University. (Please bring some form of ID).

Concert Summary for 30th Anniversary of Foundation Concert

[Time and date]
December 27, 2009 (Sunday)
doors open at 13:30 concert commences at 14:00

Sumida Triphony Hall (nearest station: Kinshicho Station, JR/ Hanzomon line)

C. C. Saint-Saens, Symphony No.3 "Organ"
F. J. Hydon, Symphony No.101 "Clock"
L. H. Berlioz, Roman Carnival Overture

Orchestral music: Waseda University Philharmonic Orchestra
Organ: Eri Niiyama
Conductor: Hakaru Matsuyama

[Detailed Information]
For details, please see Waseda University Philharmonic Orchestra’s URL link below.