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
CATALOGUE NO: 477 6225
Zubin Mehta is a favoured son of Vienna, and 2007 was his fourth time on the hallowed Neujahrskonzert rostrum. It’s easy to hear why they keep inviting him – there’s a twinkle in the lightly tripping rhythms of the opening march ‘Zivio!’ (from Strauss II’s operetta Jabuka), a smile in the music-making not automatically achieved by other conductors who are less instinctively attuned to the Viennese tradition. The first polka, Josef Strauss’s ‘Moulinet’, here combines an effortless delicacy of touch with winning swagger, while Eduard’s hurtling ‘Ohne Bremse’ (‘Brakes off’) benefits from Mehta’s fabled clarity of baton artistry, precisely pinning an underlying rhythm that allows the orchestra to relish ‘Edi’s train effects without undue danger of imminent derailment. Strauss I’s ‘Furioso-Galopp’ and ‘Leichtfüssig’ (‘Light-footed’, a fast polka by Hellmesberger, the only non-Strauss family member featured) similarly go off like firecrackers. To the exquisite tone-poetry of the famous ‘Blue Danube’ waltz, Mehta brings a knowing discretion of touch, freeing the amazing Vienna Philharmonic to weave its customary magic. Overall, then, this is a superb New Year’s Concert and without doubt one of the most warmly endearing in recent memory. Terry Blain

Advertisement