Kendlinger Dirigert STRAUSS 2011 (Music of JOHANN STRAUSS II, JOSEF STRAUSS, JOHANN STRAUSS I) – Claudia Emà Camie, sop.; K&K Philharmoniker /Matthias Georg Kendlinger – DaCapo multichannel SACD 1109, 63:55 [Distr. by Naxos] ****:

Austrian Matthias Georg Kendlinger, conductor and organizer of a 51-instrument symphony orchestra, has put together an interesting selection of Strauss material, some familiar and some not. Kendlinger is a first-class Straussian.

The orchestra not only knows but understands the musical idiom of the Strauss family. The resulting performances are simply excellent, superior to some other offerings available. Anyone who loves these popular 19th century creations should enjoy this SACD. And if you don’t love them, you well may after listening to this SACD.

In all there are twelve selections. Those by Johann Strauss, the younger, are: “Furioso-Polka quasi Galopp,” Op. 260; an intermezzo from Thousand and One Nights, the waltz “Viennese Spirit,” Op. 354; “Artists’ Quadrille,” Op. 201; “The Lilac Blooms in Sievering” from the operetta The Dancer Fanny Elssler (a sequel to another operetta, Viennese Spirit, both of which were posthumously concocted from material left unfinished by the composer on his death); “Persian March,” Op. 289; the waltz “Where the Lemons Blossom,” Op. 364; the quadrille Un ballo in maschera, Op. 272; and finally the well-known waltz “The Blue Danube,” Op. 314.

There are two by Josef Strauss: the quick polka “Plappermäulchen! (Little Chatterbox),” Op. 245, and the waltz “Dynamids (Secret Forces of Attraction),” Op. 364. And the traditional follow-on to “The Blue Danube,” the “Radetzky March,” Op. 228, by Johann Strauss the elder. Soprano Camie is charming in the “The Lilac Blooms in Sievering” using a typical operetta approach.

Recorded by the Danish Broadcasting Corporation in their concert hall in Copenhagen, the up-close sound on this SACD is brilliant. The booklet insert is in German and English with historical facts and explanations of the music, plus biographies. Recommended! [The Amazon link is again only to the MP3 album file, since they don’t carry the CD…Ed.]

—Zan Furtwangler