Beyond great playing and great conducting, there are two things the Wiener Philharmoniker
's annual New Year's Concerts need to succeed: tradition and variation, the tradition of programming only works by the Strauss
family, plus a handful of other acceptable 19th century Viennese dance composers and the variation of programming familiar as well as unfamiliar works in new and interesting configurations. The 2008 New Year's Concert commemorated in this two-disc set certainly fulfills those two requirements. Along with Strauss favorites like the "Tritsch-Trasch Polka," the "Radetzky Marsch," and "An der schönen, blauen Donau" are six works that have never before been programmed for a New Year's Concert, among them the "Napoleon Marsch," the "Versailles Galop," and a lively little dance simply called the "Pariserin."