The new year opens with a flourish as The Halle launch in to their January series of concerts with a New Year in Vienna special.  We take a look at what they’re performing at the Bridgewater Hall.

Sunday 5 January, 3pm
New Year in Vienna
The concert includes:
Strauss II Overture: Die Fledermaus
Strauss On The Beautiful Blue Danube; Chatterbox Polka; Champagne Polka; Thunder And Lightning Polka; Kunsterleben (An Artist’s Life); Morgenblätter Waltzes (Morning Papers)
Waldteufel Skaters’ Waltz
Léhar The Merry Widow: Vilja-Lied; Zigeunerliebe: Czardás – Hör ich Cymbalklänge
Lincke Frau Luna: Schlösser die im Monde liegen
Stolz Der Favourit: Du Sollst Der Kaiser Meiner Seele Sein; Im Weissen Rossl: Mein Liebeslied Muss Ein Walzer Sein
Heuberge Der Opernball: Im Chambre Separée
Jamie Phillips conductor; Joanne Lunn soprano
New Year would not be New Year without the Hallé’s traditional concert of Viennese waltzes, polkas, marches and operettas. This year’s glittering selection will be performed under the baton of conductor Jamie Phillips with guest soprano Joanne Lunn.

Wednesday 16 January, 2.15pm; Thursday 17 January, 7.30pm; Sunday 20 January, 7.30pm
Glinka Overture: Ruslan and Ludmilla
Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto
Rachmaninov Symphony No.3
Daniele Rustioni conductor; Francesca Dego violin
For this all-Russian programme, Daniele Rustioni, one of the most compelling conductors of his generation, is joined by Francesca Dego for Tchaikovsky’s perennially popular Violin Concerto. It is rich both in melody and finely-crafted virtuoso writing and culminates in a thrilling Cossack dance. After the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, Rachmaninov left Russia, never to return. His Third Symphony is a great work of exile, notable for its profusion of melodies, aching nostalgia and technical brilliance. This enticing concert opens with Glinka’s thrilling and breathtakingly fast overture to his opera Ruslan and Ludmilla.

Thursday 24 January, 7.30pm
Berlioz Overture: Benvenuto Cellini
Saint-Saëns Piano Concerto No.5, ‘Egyptian’
Vaughan Williams Sinfonia Antartica
Sir Mark Elder conductor; Stephen Hough piano; Sophie Bevan soprano; Ladies of the Hallé Choir
Representing two distinct sides of the French musical personality, Berlioz and Saint-Saëns make an intriguing combination. Our celebration of Berlioz begins with the overture to his much misunderstood opera Benvenuto Cellini, full of revolutionary zeal. Saint-Saëns lavished on his Fifth Piano Concerto all of his carefully-crafted expertise in melody and orchestration. Written during a vogue for exotic musical influences, it combines his melodic gifts with touches of Java and the Mediterranean. Much of Vaughan Williams’s evocative score to the classic 1948 film Scott of the Antarctic was to re-surface in his seventh symphony, premiered by the Hallé almost exactly 66 years ago. It continues to fascinate audiences with its powerful fusion of symphonic precision and haunting atmosphere. This concert will be conducted by Sir Mark Elder featuring pianist Stephen Hough.

image of The Halle Orchestra courtesy Russel Hart