2009. október 29., csütörtök

New Year's Concert 2001 / Harnoncourt, Wiener Philharmoniker

Nikolaus Harnoncourt's previous Strauss outing with the Berlin Philharmonic gave ample proof of his affinity for this delightful music. Like all the best conductors of "light" fare, he treats these pieces as the masterpieces they are, and lavishes exceptional care on each and every one of the 17 works included here. It goes without saying that the Vienna Philharmonic plays as only it can in this music, and the enthusiastic audience clearly appreciates what must have been a very special evening indeed. The music simply sounds drop-dead gorgeous.

As for repertoire, Harnoncourt offers some real novelties in the form of three dances by Joseph Lanner and the original version of Johann Strauss I's Radetzky March (thus saving the more traditional edition for the encore, and allowing us to hear the piece played without the equally traditional rhythmic clapping of the audience). The Strauss II numbers range from the familiar (The Blue Danube and Morning Papers Waltzes) to the wonderfully different (the Electro-Magnetic and Lucifer Polkas, and the overture to the operetta A Night in Venice--also a notable feature of Harnoncourt's Berlin Strauss disc). Many of the recent New Year's concerts have been memorable (especially those conducted by Carlos Kleiber), but this one stands out from the conspicuously charming crowd. The stunning live recorded sound doesn't hurt either. You'd have to be deaf not be entranced by this enchanting concert. Don't miss it.


01. Johann Strauss II - Die [08:11]
02. Josef Strauss - Sphärenklänge [08:24]
03. Johann Strauss II - Auf Der [02:08]
04. Johann Strauss I - Radetzky [02:54]
05. Franz Lehár - Gold & Silver [08:50]
06. Franz Von Suppé - Light [07:03]
Cavalry Overture
07. Johann Strauss II - [02:09]
Champagner (Polka)
08. Emil Waldteufel - Les [07:47]
09. Johann Strauss II - Leichtes [02:32]
10. Johann Strauss II - Wein, [05:54]
Weib Und Gesang
11. Josef Strauss - Dellrien [07:47]
12. Joseph Lanner - Neujahrsgalopp [03:29]
13. Johann Strauss II - An Der [09:17]
Schönen Blauen Donau

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