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New Year Concert 2009 Wiener Philharmoniker



Componist Daniel Barenboim Nummer 147882 Uitgever Decca Omschrijving

NEW YEAR’S CONCERT 2009 • Daniel Barenboim, conductor; Vienna PO

J. STRAUSS I Zampa. Radetzky March. J. STRAUSS II A Night in Venice: Overture. Tales from the Orient. Annen. Schnellpost. Roses from the South. Magic Bullets. The Gypsy Baron: Overture; Entrance March. Treasure Read more Josef STRAUSS Music of the Spheres. HELLMESBERGER Valse espagnol. HAYDN Symphony No. 45, “Farewell”: Finale

As always, the challenge presented by this most traditional of concerts is to balance coherent and thoughtful exploration of the less familiar items in the catalog of 19th-century Straussian, Austrian, and central-European popular music with fresh readings of the chestnuts, including, of course, the obligatory last two encores on the program. In this case, Barenboim guides his audience, appropriately, through a travelogue of the Mediterranean and the East. Remarkably, 2009 marked the first time that Daniel Barenboim had ever been invited to conduct this event, perhaps a reminder of how seldom his commitments to Berlin and Chicago have allowed him to appear in this most southern of Austrian cities.

Generally, Barenboim’s approach is thicker, more legato than many of his colleagues in this yearly endeavor. The results are not always favorable, as in his beautifully shaped but still sluggish overture to Johann Jr.’s operetta, A Night in Venice . The waltz melodies of the Overture accelerate idiomatically, but even the percussion contributions hold it down. Faring much better are three excerpts from The Gypsy Baron , as well as a string of “exotica” (especially Tales from the Orient and the Spanish Waltz by Hellmesberger) that run through the first half of the concert, in which the full attacks of the strings and darker orchestral textures seem more idiomatic.

This thickness is also apparent in an intense, driven account of the finale of Haydn’s “Farewell” Symphony, chosen doubtless to mark the bicentennial of the great Austrian’s death. But here the more deliberate tempos do not flag, each line is lovingly shaped, even in the turbulent opening pages, and the rich highlighting of details pays off as the players depart the stage, to the audible titters and occasionally interrupting applause of the audience. The solo string playing in the last page achieves a memorable gossamer shimmer. Barenboim barely lets the final sounds die away before launching into the quick polka “So ängstlich sind wir nicht!” which attentive listener’s will recognize as Papacoda’s entrance song from A Night in Venice.

Other highlights include Johann Sr.’s Zampa polka, with its vaguely Balkan twists, the extraordinary delicacy of the Alexandrinen polka, and Josef Strauss’s gorgeous, expansive, and rarely heard Music of the Spheres waltz (a work of almost Wagnerian atmosphere, in a Lohengrin sense).

Barenboim’s readings of The Blue Danube and Radetzky March are no mere throwaways, but are invested with a warmth and vitality, and, in the case of the march, a striking dignity that render them among the most memorable in the entire series of New Year’s concert recordings. Decca’s acoustics are clear, spacious, and immediate. As warmly recommended as these works are played


01 Opening Credits
02 Johann Strauss II - Ouvertüre (Eine Nacht in Venedig)
03 Johann Strauss II - Märchen aus dem Orient
04 Johann Strauss II - Annen-Polka
05 Johann Strauss II - Schnellpost-Polka
06 Johann Strauss II - Rosen aus dem Süden
07 Johann Strauss II - Freikugeln
08 Johann Strauss II - Ouvertüre
09 Johann Strauss II - Einzugsmarsch (Der Zigeunerbaron)
10 Johann Strauss II - Schatz-Walzer
11 Joseph Hellmesberger II - Valse espagnole
12 Johann Strauss I - Zampa-Galopp
13 Johann Strauss II - Alexandrinen-Polka
14 Johann Strauss II - Unter Donner und Blitz
15 Josef Strauss - Sphären-Klänge
16 Johann Strauss II - Éljen a Magyár
17 Joseph Haydn - Finale ("Abschiedssymphonie")
18 Johann Strauss II - So ängstlich sind wir nicht!
19 Neujahrsgruß
20 Johann Strauss II - An der schönen, blauen Donau
21 Johann Strauss II - Radetzky-Marsch

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