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2006 Neujahrskonzert (New Year's Concert)
Johann II [Junior] Strauss, Josef Strauss, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
2006 Neujahrskonzert (New Year's Concert)
Genres: Special Interest, Classical
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #2


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Splendid Neujahrskonzert from Mariss Jansons and the Wiener
John Kwok | New York, NY USA | 05/19/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I could sense a special chemistry between conductor Mariss Jansons and the Wiener Philharmoniker when he led them on their 2005 North American tour - which visited only New York City - during three special concerts I heard back in early March, 2005 at Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium. The orchestra's performances were as vibrant and warm as those I had heard a few years earlier under the batons of Bernard Haitink and Nikolaus Harnoncourt. So I was surprised and delighted to hear that Maestro Jansons would make his New Year's Concert debut for the 2005-2006 season. Indeed, I believe the orchestra made a rather wise, quite inspirational, choice, since the CD liner notes written by the Wiener Philharmoniker's president, violinist Clemens Hellsberg, mentions Jansons's familiarity and strong affinity with the music of the Strauss family.

Jansons leads the Wiener Philharmoniker in a fine program comprised mostly of waltzes, polkas and marches composed by Johann Strauss, Josef Strauss, and the "Waltz King" himself, Johann Strauss II. But a special highlight of this year's concert is the Mozart overture from "Le nozze di Figaro" ("The Marriage of Figaro"), paying tribute to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in honor of the composer's 250th birthday. Other highlights include the premieres of Joseph Lanner's "Die Mozartisten" waltz and Josef Strauss's "Telephon" polka. Needless to say, the Wiener Philharmoniker plays with ample gusto, led enthusiastically by Jansons in heart-felt, stirring interpretations of popular, venerable Viennese music like Johann Strauss II's "Fruhlingsstimmen" ("Voices of Spring") and "Kunstlerleben" ("An Artist's Life") waltzes. Once more the performance ends on a familiar note with the two traditional encores of Johann Strauss II's "An der schonen, blauen Donau" ("The Blue Danube Waltz") and Johann Strauss's "Radetzky-Marsch" ("Radetzky March"); the latter ending in thunderous applause from an enthusiastic, appreciative audience.

Deutsche Grammophon's sound engineers have done a superlative job recording this live concert. It may be the best I have heard so far in the annual "New Year's Concert" series. On a more personal note, I regard this CD as recording the most memorable "New Year's Concert" I have heard from the Wiener Philharmoniker since the 2003 New Year's Concert which was conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt. Once a year one of the world's greatest orchestras throws a wonderful hour and a half long party of light classical fare for the entire world to enjoy. If you are a devout fan of Maestro Jansons, the Wiener Philharmoniker and the Strauss family, then don't hesitate to buy this splendid two-CD set; otherwise, you'll miss hearing this exceptional recording of the Wiener Philharmoniker's latest party."
Wonderful music
W. Corey | So. California, USA | 05/22/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I watched the New Year's Concert on TV and was immediately impressed by Jansons who was unknown to me. Having watched previous concerts from Vienna, I believe this is the best one in quite a while. I now have the CD and will be listening to it frequently until the next New Year's Concert in January. I hope Mariss Jansons will be invited back to Vienna again to conduct once more!"