Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Johann II [Junior] Strauss, Yakov Kreizberg, Vienna Symphony Orchestra|
Johann Strauss: Waltzes [Hybrid SACD]
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Johann Strauss Lollipops in Glorious Sound
J Scott Morrison | Middlebury VT, USA | 03/10/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Conductor Jakov Kreizberg is not someone I would have thought would have the perfect touch with a concert of Johann Strauss Jr. favorites, but in fact he does, in spades. It doesn't hurt, of course, that he is conducting the Vienna Symphony whose members must have imbibed the Viennese waltz in their mother's milk. These performances are simply superb. The echt-wienerisch alterations of pulse, the slight lifts between beats two and three, the subtle rubato are all in place. And the sound, in both SACD and plain vanilla CD format, is spectacular. One can hear with great transparency all those marvelous touches Strauss puts in his music -- the countermelodies, the airy instrumentation, including the zither in 'Tales from the Vienna Woods,' the marvelous percussion effects. The sound is warm and yet clear as a bell.
Kreizberg's accompaniment of Mozart concerti in a CD featuring the rising violinist, Julia Fischer, was a model of its kind (and that CD went on to win prizes) but it did not prepare me for the superb feel he has for this oh-so-different music. He's the younger brother of another very fine conductor, Semyon Bychkov, and is clearly a rising star himself.
In case you're not familiar with the German names of the waltzes contained herein, here they are in English: Emperor Waltz, Tales from the Vienna Woods, Artist's Life, North Sea Pictures, The Beautiful Blue Danube, and Roses from the South. The only one not very familiar is the North Sea Pictures which Strauss wrote while on his second vacation on an island in the North Sea.
I cannot recommend this disc too highly. It is simply smashing. My wife and I, who are in the midst of packing for a cross-country move, couldn't resist dancing around the room more than a few times while listening to this sparkling music so beautifully performed.
One Of The Finest Strauss Waltz Recordings In Recent Memory
John Kwok | New York, NY USA | 08/28/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Wiener Philharmoniker (Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra) may be Austria's cultural ambassador to the world, but the Wiener Symphoniker (Vienna Symphony Orchestra) is the City of Vienna's concert orchestra, with a dual role of preserving the "Viennese Sound" made famous by its older, celebrated, artistic sibling and promoting the newest, latest, forms of classical music. It acquired its current, well-recognized tonal quality when its principal conductors in the 1950s and 1960s were Herbert von Karajan and Wolfgang Sawallisch. Other notable conductors including Josef Krips and Carlo Maria Giulini have had long, acclaimed associations with this orchestra, which should be regarded as one of Europe's finest, alongside the Wiener Philharmoniker. In current Principal Guest Conductor Yakov Kreizberg, the orchestra has been blessed with a rising young Russian-American conductor who may yet be as celebrated as eminent predecessors such as Krips, Karajan, Sawallisch, and Giulini. Such qualities are evident in this 2006 Pentatone hybrid SACD recording (A relatively new recording firm I haven't heard of before, comprised of Dutch veterans of Philips.) of some of Johann Strauss II's finest waltzes, which is indeed a sonic celebration of Johann Strauss II's music, the classic Viennese sound, and of this fine orchestra too.
This recording contains some of the finest performances I have heard anywhere of such great Johann Strauss II waltzes as "Tales from the Vienna Woods", "Artist's Life", "The Blue Danube" and "Roses from the South". It's an intriguing musical exploration of Strauss' ability as a composer, since he wrote many waltzes that possess intricate orchestrations, ranging from "The Blue Danube" to "Tales from the Vienna Woods", and "Emperor Waltz"; the latter could be regarded as a "tone poem" in miniature, because of its ornate rhythms (march as well as waltz beats) as well as elaborate orchestration. Under Kreizberg's baton, the Wiener Symphoniker performs with ample relish and conviction, as if it was the sole heir of Johann Strauss II's musical tradition. Recorded in June, 2004 at the Vienna Konzerthaus via the DSD recording process, this Strauss recording clearly rivals the Wiener Philharmoniker's New Year's Concert recordings for Philips and Deutsche Grammophon with regards to optimal sound quality. But, again, this is a recording which will be popular with fans of Johann Strauss II's best known waltzes (Though I will note that this selection includes one, "Northsee Pictures", which I haven't heard before.) and the classic Viennese Sound.