I went to the Czech Philharmonic’s 2018 New Year’s Concert.

Vienna Philharmonic New Year's Concert 2018
Vienna Philharmonic New Year's Concert 2018

New Year’s night in Prague!

After welcoming the New Year in Vienna, we left Vienna by train that afternoon and traveled to Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, where we went to the Czech Philharmonic’s New Year’s Concert in Prague that evening.

Although not as well known as the Vienna Philharmonic, the Czech Philharmonic is also renowned as one of the most talented orchestras in Europe.

Tickets are not as expensive as the Vienna Philharmonic, so you can buy them directly from the official website. You can buy tickets directly from the official website, which is not so user-friendly, but it is in English, so you should be able to manage. The price is not as high as Vienna Philharmonic. It’s better to buy it as soon as possible. I arranged it in May.

The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra’s New Year’s Concert has the same program not only on New Year’s Day but also on New Year’s Eve. It seems that they don’t perform for three days in a row like the Vienna Philharmonic.

It was 5:00 p.m. when we arrived at Prague Central Station. The concert starts at 8:00 p.m., but it was quite hectic considering we had to go to the hotel we had arranged in the Old Town and have a bit of a meal. Prague’s Old Town is very complicated and taxis can’t get in, so we walked for about 20 minutes from the station to the hotel.

On the way, we passed through the Old Town Square, the most crowded place in Prague. Prague in the New Year, the crowd is incomparable to Vienna. There were many Christmas market stalls in the square. I heard that Prague is famous for its Christmas market. So it took us about 30 minutes to get to the hotel after all, because we had to pull the trunk through the market.

We checked into the hotel safely. We quickly changed our clothes and went to a nearby restaurant to have a meal. Fortunately, it was empty before the crowded time for dinner, and the order came quickly.

After that, we moved to the concert venue, Rudolphinum, which is 7 minutes walk from the hotel. I arrived at the venue about 30 minutes before. It was already crowded with many people.

Also bought a commemorative program. So beautifully designed!

By the way, today’s program. It’s a pretty stale selection! But maybe it’s also good for New Year. However, there is no Czech song in the program.

I was able to enter the hall 20 minutes before the show. The main hall here is called « Dvorak Hall ». The hall was smaller than I expected, and the design was very Czech, very nice.

Apparently, there will also be TV coverage.

Then it was time for the show to begin. The conductor is impressive! Rafael Payal, a young Venezuelan conductor from the same hometown as Dudamel. His Afro hair was too impressive.

The first piece was the gorgeous Rimsky-Korsakov’s Russian Carnival. The music was very much in character with the conductor. And the orchestra played wonderfully!

The second piece is Grieg’s piano concerto. Why this choice of music? But good performance. The pianist seemed to be a local Czech.

We will have a break here. The second half is a violin trio. First, Rondo and Caprice by Saint-Saëns, then Carmen Fantasy. Well, what an ordinary combination! The soloist was the concertmaster of the Czech Philharmonic. The soloist was a concertmaster of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. I was fascinated by his gypsy-like tone and perfect technique.

The finale was Bolero. The dynamic range was amazing! Is this the power of Czech Philharmonic? I was very impressed.

Only one song for encore. A piece by Hinastera. He must have chosen it because it is a composer from the conductor’s home country. The title of the song was unknown. It was a wonderful performance.

I thought it would be a short program, but it lasted more than two hours. The hall sounded wonderful.

Fortunately, it was a sunny day in Prague and the temperature was not so low. Of course it was cold, but I was able to go back to the hotel in formal clothes and a coat.

One more New Year’s music event to go. It’s Die Fledermaus in Vienna.