Thanks to dotCommonwealer Nicholas Clifford, I am listening to the Vienna Symphony Orchestra annual New Year's Eve concert (presumably being rebroadcast). It is ending with the Blue Danube Waltz to be followed by the Radeztky March  (after which the great Joseph Roth novel is titled).

Approximately two hours of Viennese Waltz's gets you up for the New Year. But as we approach the 100th anniversary of the opening scenes of WWI, you have to wonder whether the Austro-Hungarians spent too much time in musical froth, and not enough asking what Emperor Franz Joseph was up to. And Freud? What did he make of all this?

Dah, Dah, Dah, DahDe! Happy New Year with hopes the 2014 ends more peacefully than 1914.

Margaret O’Brien Steinfels is a former editor of Commonweal. 

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