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John Austin Says, in 2-19-2010 at 08:04:58 from     

Almost 70 years after the first of these new year concerts occurred comes this lavish 2010 production. The now familiar pattern was established by Austrian conductor Clemens Krauss. Here, for the second time, veteran Frenchman Georges Pretre. is the conductor.

Fast polkas and gallops are as dashing as one could wish, and the waltzes have never received such tender, loving treatment. I especially welcome the inclusion of “Wein, Weib und Gesung” with its introduction given in full – the longest and loveliest Johann Strauss Jnr provided for any of his waltzes.

While listening, you’ll see acres of gold panelling, tonnes of gorgeous floral decoration, rows of giant chandeliers, some celebrities in the well-dressed audience, and occasional interiors of other Viennese buildings where the elegant dance sequences are filmed.

Otto Nicolai, the founder of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra is commemorated, there is a sizzling polka by Danish composer Lumbye, and an Offenbach overture which later became the Barcarolle from “The Tales of Hoffman” is included.

Amidst so much to enjoy, it seems that no one enjoys it more than the conductor, Georges Pretre.

Rating: 5 / 5

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