Mozart; Lanner; Eduard Strauss; Josef Strauss; J Strauss I; J Strauss II

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Mozart; Lanner; Eduard Strauss; Josef Strauss; J Strauss I; J Strauss II
LABELS: DG
ALBUM TITLE: New Year’s Concert 2006
WORKS: Various
PERFORMER: Vienna Philharmonic/Mariss Jansons
CATALOGUE NO: 477 5566
Potpourritis seems to have invaded this New Year’s Day concert. Of the two selections made by Strauss junior from his own operettas,

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the Lagunen-Walzer, drawn from

A Night in Venice, gives Jansons one of the few chances to encourage a truly sensuous Vienna lilt (any of the top Josef Strauss waltzes would have done, but none is included). It’s not surprising that birthday boy Mozart figures elsewhere – rather ludicrously in the Künstler-Quadrille, where the 40th Symphony nestles inside Mendelssohn’s ‘Wedding March’, and a little more intriguingly in forerunner Joseph Lanner’s Die Mozartisten, which at least shows us how a minuet can evolve into a waltz. An undoctored Figaro Overture, however, features as what will remain one of the best Mozart performances in anniversary year.

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Detached from the lively, smiling images (see the DVD review, p101) Jansons’ New Year debut is surprisingly feminine, ideally flexible for the Blue Danube but otherwise without the virile panache of Carlos Kleiber (in the classiest specimens of this lively institution in 1989 and 1992). It’s certainly not been the best year for waltzes, but Jansons spins a good line in the faster numbers, superbly articulated. David Nice