Ah, Spring in Vienna!
Anton Karidian | Tennessee | 09/07/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For years I've much enjoyed the "New Year's in Vienna" concerts shown on PBS every January 1 with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Recently I was glad to discover this "Springtime in Vienna" series of DVDs with the Vienna Symphonic Orchestra as a nice complement to those. Whereas the New Year's concerts mostly schedule music by the Johann Strauss family, these Spring concerts are more varied, but both focus on shorter, lighthearted classical pieces. The program for "Springtime in Vienna, Volume 1" is as follows: 1)Rosamunde by Franz Schubert, 2)Three German Dances by W.A. Mozart, 3)Variations on Mozart's Reach Me Your Hand, My Life by Frederic Chopin (with Hans Graf on piano), 4)The Knight of the Rose Waltzes by Richard Strauss, 5)Come and See by Carl Ziehrer, 6)One Will Come and Life is Worth Living by Franz Lehar (with soprano Tamara Lund), and 7)Embrace Each Other and Madding Crowd by Johann Strauss (with tenor Nicolai Gedda).
The Vienna Symphonic Orchestra and soloists perform here very well, and are ably conducted by Heinz Wallberg. The concert runs about 90 minutes, with no bonus tracks. According to the booklet in another DVD of this series, this concert is from 1984. Camerawork very judiciously alternates between full orchestra, sections thereof, conductor, soloists, and beautiful concert hall. Scenes around Austria as well as dancing have been tastefully interspersed throughout the concert, though the orchestra is usually shown. I would rate the picture and sound quality as fairly good. The picture is a bit grainy, in 4:3 full screen, and with the outdoor scenes more variable in quality. Audio is in stereo, generally good and low distortion.
All in all, this is a very enjoyable musical interlude that should put you in a Springtime mood."