Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
New Year's Concert 2009
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Special Interest, Classical
The ever popular New Year s Concert from Vienna returns in another sparkling performance, broadcast live — to over 50 countries! Daniel Barenboim makes his New Year s Concert debut and brings with him a number of works that... more »
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The ever popular New Year s Concert from Vienna returns in another sparkling performance, broadcast live
to over 50 countries! Daniel Barenboim makes his New Year s Concert debut and brings with him a number of works that have never been performed at the concert before.
The live concert features popular waltzes, gallops and polkas from the Strauss family including The Blue Danube, The Gypsy Baron March, Thunder and Lightening Polka and much more. The CD is at a special 2-for-1 price. The DVD includes complete performance as featured on the CD as well as special ballet bonus performances.
Musically Superb Outing from the Wiener Philharmoniker But..
John Kwok | New York, NY USA | 02/22/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's an annual treat and tradition of mine to see the New Year's Concert as it is broadcasted live on PBS here in New York, and then, weeks later, to hear this great orchestra perform live at its favorite North American venue, Carnegie Hall (I have had the pleasure of meeting several of its musicians, including one of its concertmasters, and all have spoken enthusiastically about performing at Carnegie Hall.). I was especially looking forward to hearing this year's concert under the baton of Daniel Barenboim, especially when he had taken them on tour to Carnegie Hall a few seasons ago. Musically, I am not disappointed with this year's outing, enjoying once more the excellent sounds of the orchestra in its permanent home, Vienna's Musikverein. But much to my surprise, Barenboim's conducting was more routine in this concert than what I remembered from him here in New York City. More routine except for his humorous conducting of the last movement from Haydn's "Farewell Symphony", performed as a lighthearted tribute to the composer in this, the 200th anniversary of his death.
As New Year Concerts go, this one is replete with the usual assortment of favorites like the two traditional encores, Johann Strauss II's "The Blue Danube Waltz" and his father's "Radetzky March". And then there are some surprising novelties like Johann Strauss II's "Schnellpost-Polka" and Hellmesberger's "Valse Espagnole" (which, to my ears anyway, did evoke musically a fine portrait of Spain.). There is certainly no other ensemble like the Wiener Philharmoniker, whose members are each capable of exacting, virtuoso playing (to which I can testify affirmatively, having heard them perform brilliantly in chamber music recitals several times here in New York City at the Austrian Cultural Forum New York). I have no doubt that long-time fans of the Wiener Philharmoniker won't be disappointed with this year's concert, but those who remember vividly earlier performances from the likes of Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Riccardo Muti and Zubin Mehta, among others, may be slightly disappointed."
Vienna at it's Finest
Official Use Only | 02/15/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"With this concert Maestro Barenboim and the Vienna Philharmonic provided a grand and joyful start to 2009, blending familiar Neujahrskonzert works with some entertaining alternatives. The conductor's great wit and style were evident in the performance, which I found to be among the more memorable of the annual concerts. This two-disc album captures the entire program with great sound. If you're looking for the brooding complexity of Mahler, this concert most likely isn't for you; however, if you enjoy the clasic beauty of melodic 19th-century Viennese music, you won't go wrong here."
Great concert, but you might consider the DVD
T. Fisher | 02/13/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I should start by saying I do not own the CD. I have this concert on DVD. It is very enjoyable, although I generally like Strauss waltzes and polkas in small doses. I am a real Barenboim fan, however, and I think he brought freshness to the concert this year.
I have written a more detailed review of the DVD. Here, I just want to say you might want to consider the DVD version instead, for one specific reason. One of the real highlights of the concert was the final movement of Haydn's "Farewell" Symphony (No. 45). It gets its name from the fact that the musicians walk off one by one, leaving just two violins playing at the end, before they also finally get up and leave.
This was a message from Haydn to his Eszterhazy boss at the time that it was time to end an unexpectedly long stay at the Hungarian summer residence and head back home to Eisenstadt, Austria. The musicians wanted to get back to their families. It worked -- they all packed up the next day!
Barenboim and the VPO pull off the piece with great playing and humor. Barenboim acts sufficiently surprised as the orchestra members start walking off. At the end, Barenboim cuts up with one of the remaining violinists and then continues conducting after the last have left the stage. This all prompts plenty of laughter from the audience, even while the music is still playing. But the joke is visual -- if you only have the CD, the audience laughter may be a distraction only. It is very audible on the DVD.
Otherwise, if you are a fan of Johann Strauss II and the other traditional staples of the Vienna New Year's Concert -- including Josef Strauss and Hellmesberger -- I'm sure you'll love the CD. Barenboim pulled off the concert's standard fare with the best of them.