The concert always ends with three encores: a galop or polka chosen by the conductor, and kept secret until the concert itself, followed by a waltz, and then closing with the Radetzky March, which is the Austrian equivalent of The Stars and Stripes Forever. That waltz? Not just any waltz, but the most famous waltz ever written: On the Beautiful Blue Danube.
Most years, the concert footage of Blue Danube is combined with ballet footage, but a couple of years ago, they did something different, using the waltz to trace the flow of the river itself, from its headwaters in Germany all the way to where it empties into the Black Sea. How utterly captivating! Here is On the Beautiful Blue Danube (conducted by Georges Pretre).
And hey, why stop there? From the same concert, here is that final encore number, the Radetzky March. Note the snare drum opening, before our conductor even reaches the podium, and note the audience participation, with our conductor indicating when they should clap softly and when they should clap loudly.
Let 2013 commence proper!
(For those interested, through January 16 you can watch this year's concert broadcast here.)