Just like in Vienna
The New Year’s Concert at the “Wieliczka” Salt Mine enjoys such great popularity that this year we had to organise two of them. On the 7th and 8th of January, the Warsaw Chamber was filled with the music performed by talented soloists and the outstanding Krakow Opera Orchestra. The artists took their audience on an unforgettable musical journey to the 19th century Vienna.
The concert on the underground stage in “Warsaw” featured Katarzyna Oleś-Blacha (coloratura soprano), Iwona Socha (soprano), Tomasz Kuk (tenor) and Andrzej Lampert (tenor). The audience rewarded the great performances by the soloists with tremendous ovations. Also applauded was the Krakow Opera Orchestra, conducted by Tomasz Tokarczyk. Both underground New Year’s Concerts were hosted by Katarzyna Sanocka. According to the best traditions from Vienna, the repertoire of the underground New Year’s Concerts was dominated by the Strausses. The hearts and minds of music lovers were captivated by masterfully performed waltzes, including “Voices of Spring”, polkas, such as “Tritsch-Tratsch Polka” and operettas, which their composer, Johann Strauss the Younger often referred to as comic operas. Thus, we could listen to the fragments of masterpieces such as Die Fledermaus, The Gypsy Baron, Eine Nacht in Venedig and Wiener Blut. .
Just like the Golden Hall in the Musikverein, the concert in the “Warsaw” Chamber would not be complete without the famous The Blue Danube waltz by Johann Strauss the Younger, and the Radetzky March, dedicated to Field Marshal Joseph Radetzky, composed by Johann Strauss the Elder. Deep underground, The Blue Danube sounded especially dignified. This absolute classic, famous to the point that it is recognisable even by listeners who are not acquainted with classical music, a quintessence of the era and imperial salons perfectly fitted the historic interior of the “Wieliczka” Salt Mine. The audience was also captivated by the Radetzky March, as it is simply impossible to resist clapping to the rhythm while listening to this energetic piece.
The repertoire of the New Year’s Concerts also encompassed the creations of Josef Strauss, Johann’s younger brother, who actually never wanted to become a musician, even more – he was not even educated to become one, yet he finally gave in to his brother’s persuasion. As it turns out, in the Strauss family the musical talent seems to be passed down from father to sons. Josef turned out to be not only a great conductor of the famous Strauss Orchestra, but also an outstanding and prolific composer, who wrote over 300 pieces.