Among the Most Exciting New Year's Concerts in Recent Memory
John Kwok | New York, NY USA | 05/18/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I could sense a special chemistry between conductor Mariss Jansons and the Wiener Philharmoniker when he led them on their 2005 North American tour - which visited only New York City - during three special concerts I heard back in early March, 2005 at Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium. The orchestra's performances were as vibrant and warm as those I had heard a few years earlier under the batons of Bernard Haitink and Nikolaus Harnoncourt. So I was surprised and delighted to hear that Maestro Jansons would make his New Year's Concert debut for the 2005-2006 season. And of course, I eagerly watched the live telecast of the concert, seeing again the same chemistry I noticed back in March, 2005. Now here on this DVD I have the grand opportunity of seeing this concert often since the sound and video quality is the best I have seen from Deutsche Grammophon.
Of course Jansons leads the Wiener Philharmoniker in a fine program comprised mostly of music composed by Johann Strauss, Josef Strauss, and the "Waltz King" himself, Johann Strauss II. But a special highlight of this year's concert is the Mozart overture from "Le nozze di Figaro" ("The Marriage of Figaro"), paying tribute to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in honor of the composer's 250th birthday. Other highlights include the premieres of Joseph Lanner's "Die Mozartisten" waltz and Josef Strauss's "Telephon" polka. Needless to say, the Wiener Philharmoniker plays with ample gusto, and Jansons looks as though he is having a grand time at the podium, especially when he fires the antique pistol during the "Bandits' Galop", leading the orchestra in heart-felt, stirring interpretations of popular, venerable Viennese music like Johann Strauss II's "Fruhlingsstimmen" ("Voices of Spring") and "Kunstlerleben" ("An Artist's Life") waltzes. From time to time, the camera cuts away from Maestro Jansons and the Wiener Philharmoniker, offering some splendid dancing by members of the Wiener Staatsopern Ballet in several historic Austrian castles owned by the Habsburgs and other noble Austrian families dating from the zenith of the Habsburg Austro-Hungarian empire; the most breathtaking sequence occurs to the strains of "The Blue Danube Waltz". Once a year one of the world's greatest orchestras throws a wonderful hour and a half long party of light classical fare for the entire world to enjoy. If you are a devout fan of Maestro Jansons, the Wiener Philharmoniker and the Strauss family, then don't hesitate to buy this splendid DVD; otherwise, you'll miss seeing and hearing the Wiener Philharmoniker's latest magnificient party."
A. GUNER | Istanbul, Turkey | 01/06/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD is one of the best in the whole series of Wiener Philharmoniker New Year concerts. From the first piece you sense the special rapport established between the conductor and the orchestra and it continues throughout the whole concert.
In response to the other rewiever who cannot find the ballet programmes on the DVD, I should say that they are there and it is very clearly indicated once you put the DVD in your player...it asks you whether you want to watch the concert or the two ballets and the Mozart tour. If the second option is chosen this rewiever will be able to watch the ballets...New Year's Concert 2006 / Mariss Jansons, Wiener Philharmoniker, Wiener Staatsopern Ballet"