Neujahrskonzert 2001

(New Year's Concert 2001)

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Details At A Glance

Category Music Booklet
Featurette - The Ballets (11:34)
Notes - A History Of The New Year's Concert
Notes - The Musikverein
Notes - DVD-Audio catalogue
Notes - Credits
Year Released 2001
Running Time
108:11 minutes
(not 120 minutes as stated on packaging) 
RSDL/Flipper RSDL (57:16)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Movie
Region 1,2,3,4,5,6 Director Brian Large
Teldec Classics 
Warner Vision Australia
Starring Wiener Philharmoniker
Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Case Transparent Amaray
RPI $39.95 Music The Strauss Family
Joseph Lanner

Pan & Scan/Full Frame Auto Pan & Scan Encoded Audio (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448 Kb/s)
Audio (Linear PCM 48/16 2.0, 1536 Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
Macrovision Yes Smoking No
Subtitles None Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, during credits

Plot Synopsis

    On the first perfect digital day of the third millennium (010101), the crowds flocked into the magnificent Musikverein in Vienna, Austria to partake of that great tradition, The New Year's Concert. I suppose there is something quite intrinsically wonderful about that. The dawn of the third millennium and people are still wandering into magnificent buildings from a much earlier age to listen to superb music created by and for a much different age - thereby continuing a tradition that has so far lived through sixty years. The concert this year was under the direction of Nikolaus Harnoncourt, a name that I would not readily associate with the music of the Strauss family. These concerts, though, have often produced some wonders, perhaps none more so than the magnificent concert of 1987 under the baton of Herbert von Karajan - generally regarded to be the best of the annual concerts. And so it is that a conductor whom I would not recognize as a Strauss conductor manages to produce a rather enjoyable concert. Perhaps not quite in the league as those under the magnificent Willy Boskovsky and the aforementioned Herbert von Karajan effort, but certainly not far short of them.

    Since 2001 is the bicentenary of the birth of the great Austrian composer of light music, Joseph Lanner, his works get a bit of a run here along with those of the Strauss Family. The pieces on offer here comprise:

  1. Radetzky-Marsch Op228, Johann Strauss I (original version)
  2. Die Schonbrunner, Walzer Op200, Joseph Lanner
  3. Jagers Lust, Jagd-Galopp Op82, Joseph Lanner
  4. Morgenblatter, Walzer Op279, Johann Strauss II
  5. Electro-magnetische Polka Op110, Johann Strauss II
  6. Electrofor-Polka schnell Op297, Johann Strauss II
  7. Overture: Eine Nacht in Venedig, Johann Strauss II (Berlin version)
  8. Harlekin-Polka Op48, Josef Strauss
  9. Dorfschwalben aus Osterreich, Walzer Op164, Josef Strauss
  10. Steyrische Tanze Op165, Joseph Lanner
  11. Vergnugungszug, Polka schnell Op281, Johann Strauss II
  12. Seid umschlungen, Millionen, Walzer Op443, Johann Strauss II
  13. Der Kobuld, Polka Mazur Op226, Johann Strauss II
  14. Luzifer-Polka Op226, Johann Strauss II
  15. Ohne Sorgen, Polka schnell Op271, Josef Strauss
  16. An der schonen blauen Donau, Walzer Op314, Johann Strauss II
  17. Radetzky-Marsch Op228, Johann Strauss I
    The programme pretty much mixes up some old chestnuts - there would probably be a riot in Vienna if the Radetzky-Marsch was not played - with some slightly less well-known works from the prolific Strauss Family and from the almost forgotten Joseph Lanner. Mind you, the reason why they can keep trotting out these old chestnuts is for the very simple reason that they are great music that never ages. Once again the Wiener Philharmoniker is well up to the task of this music, so there is nothing to hinder the enjoyment here at all.

    Some traditions keep going because people have not got the good sense and taste to let them die. The New Year's Concert tradition keeps going because I cannot imagine a better way to start a New Year: great music, great venue. One day I would love to be able to afford the reputedly exhorbitant amount of money that it apparently requires to purloin a ticket for this gig. Until then, I guess I shall just have to hope that we keep getting fine quality recordings like these of the event to enjoy all year round.

Transfer Quality


    Well this is going to be short and sweet indeed: damn good in all respects! Since that is perhaps too brief for the purposes of objective review, I shall expand on that superlative a little.

    This would appear to have been a high definition recording for broadcast around the world and therefore is in the increasingly more common aspect ratio for television broadcasts of 1.78:1. It is of course 16x9 enhanced. For those with a Pan and Scan bent however, the transfer does come with Auto Pan and Scan encoding so you can enjoy a truncated version of the transfer.

    This is a wonderfully sharp and gorgeously detailed transfer with nary a whisper of any drop in quality at all throughout the transfer. Shadow detail is excellent and clarity is pretty much like fine crystal. There is no issue with grain in the transfer. There are no low level noise issues in the transfer.

    The colours are beautifully rendered, wonderfully vibrant with some lovely strength to the tonal depth. The highlight in most respects is the wonderfully different tones of the musicians supposedly black jackets: there are just these terrific little variances in the blacks highlighting the fact that no two musicians' jackets are alike. This really is great stuff. There is no problem with oversaturation at all - the slight undersaturation at times here is intended and there is no colour bleed in the transfer.

    There are no MPEG artefacts in the transfer. Apart from the seemingly usual problem of aliasing in classical music DVDs, in the usual culprits of strings and bows, there are no film-to-video artefacts in the transfer. It is only this relatively minor, but consistent, aliasing that denies this transfer reference status in my view. There are no film artefacts in the transfer.

    This is an RSDL formatted DVD with the layer change coming at 57:16. This is just before the start of a piece of music and just after the audience has fallen silent, so it is almost perfectly placed and is virtually unnoticeable and certainly not at all disruptive to the programme.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-to-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    There are two soundtracks on the DVD, a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack and a Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 soundtrack. Whilst these are flagged as English soundtracks, they are of course more correctly Audio soundtracks since there is no actual language involved here. A little surprisingly, the Linear PCM soundtrack is the default. I listened to both soundtracks.

    Whichever way you choose to listen to this programme, the sound should not disappoint at all.

    The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is very good in general, carrying some of the softer and more top end sounds very well indeed. The only real issue I have is that in common with many classical music DVDs, the bass has been mixed a little too prevalently in the mix and comes over in a slightly unnatural way. However, it has to be admitted that this only occurs with the kettle drums and since they make only occasional forays into the music, this is not an unduly terrible problem. The sound does just come over in a very slightly artificial manner, sounding just a little compressed and not really open and vibrant. Rear surround channel use is reasonably restricted, mainly carrying audience applause and some nice echo effects from the sound bouncing off the hall walls. It actually sounds quite realistic in that regard. The front surround channels get a decent workout, presenting a nicely natural soundscape in general.

    The Linear PCM soundtrack though is an entirely different beast and this is a gorgeously open and vibrant sounding effort that really carries the music superbly. It may lack the surround channel and bass channel use but the resultant sound really has tons of presence. This is my preferred way to listening to this music. Terrific stuff.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    Actually, something is included here which makes a bit of a difference - even though it does not really amount to all that much.


    Nothing special overall.


    Presented in three languages (German, French and English), this provides a nicely detailed albeit short history of the concerts. Could have perhaps been a little longer, but worthwhile reading in any case.

Featurette - The Ballets (11:34)

    More of an adjunct to the main programme rather than an extra per se, those familiar with these concerts will know that the television recordings often include some dance sequences to accompany the music. These are they for 2001. Rather than presenting them as they probably were on television, as part of the main programme, they are included as distinctly separate items (only accessible via the menu) so that they do not disrupt the integrity of the main programme: a much appreciated gesture by Teldec I might add, as I know some do not appreciate these dance highlights. They are presented in exactly the same format as the main programme and their length is what accounts for the difference in the running time listed in the specification above and the running time shown on the DVD's packaging.

Notes - A History Of The New Year's Day Concert

    Whilst slightly duplicating the booklet, the five pages do include some photographs of some of the conductors. The actual notes themselves are quite brief.

Notes - The Musikverein

    Rather brief notes to accompany nine photographs of various aspects of this magnificent building.

Notes - DVD-Audio catalogue

    Rather blatant advertising for the initial batch of DVD-Audio titles in the Warner Music catalogue. Of interest though as it should be noted that these are to be distributed by Warner Vision Australia and will apparently have DVD-Video compatible soundtracks included too.

Notes - Credits


    As far as we have been able to ascertain, there are no censorship issues with this title.

R4 vs R1

    Since this is coded for world-wide use, it would seem that it will be identical to the Region 1 release - other than PAL formatting - once it gets a release in Region 1. Region 4 wins accordingly.


    Neujahrskonzert 2001 is an excellent programme on a generally excellent DVD. If you like the music of the Strauss Family, then there is every reason for you to be beating a hasty path to your local retailer for this title. If this is generally indicative of the sort of quality of Teldec Classics DVD-Videos, then I am all in favour of seeing a few more! Makes me almost want to go out and buy a DVD-Audio player to sample those items too.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ian Morris (have a laugh, check out the bio)
11th March, 2001.

Review Equipment
DVD Pioneer DV-515; S-video output
Display Sony Trinitron Wega 80cm. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Built in
Amplification Yamaha RXV-795. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Speakers Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL