Eduard Strauss, Helmesberger, J Strauss I & II, Josef Strauss: Waltzes and other works by J Strauss I & II, Josef Strauss, Helmesberger & Eduard Strauss

COMPOSERS: Eduard Strauss,Helmesberger,J Strauss I & II,Josef Strauss
LABELS: DG
ALBUM TITLE: New Year’s Concert 2007
WORKS: Waltzes and other works by J Strauss I & II, Josef Strauss, Helmesberger & Eduard Strauss
PERFORMER: Vienna PO/Zubin Mehta (film director: Brian Large)
CATALOGUE NO: 073 4188 (NTSC system; dts 5.1; 16:9 picture format)
Perhaps it should not be surprising that Vienna-trained Zubin Mehta turns in so idiomatic a New Year’s Day concert; after all, this is his fourth visit. It’s a lovely programme, redressing the shortage of the poetic Josef Strauss in 2006 with three first-rate waltzes, including a suitably febrile Delirien Waltz and a sensuous Dynamiden, unmistakeable father of the ‘sweet and saucy’ Rosenkavalier hit. Novelty sound-effects this year are kept to the minimum of the wood-block mill-wheel in the Moulinet Polka, though there’s belated amends in humorous star turns from orchestral piccolo, double-bass principal and leader in Strauss senior’s variations on The Carnival of Venice.

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Mehta’s speech welcomes fellow Danubians Bulgaria and Romania to ‘Europe’ before the obligatory Blue Danube; the ballet here, as in Dynamiden, is optional, and surely only lovers of the simplest choreographic froth will be interested. It’s business as usual for Brian Large’s camera team, swooping around the handsome Musikverein. The extra is surprisingly enjoyable, featuring two brass ensembles playing ingenious arrangements of Austro-German classics. David Nice