Celebrating a brilliant marriage between music, marketing and technology, DGG have released for digital downloading from the iTunes Music Store the Vienna Philharmonic’s magnificent 2007 New Year’s Concert just days after the concert itself (the conventional CD and DVD releases are not scheduled for release until February 13).
And the concert is a total winner. With Zubin Mehta returning for his fourth New Year’s assignment, his first since 1998, the orchestra has put together a concert rich in the less familiar, one of which (Johann Strauss the father’s Fantasy on the familiar Carnival of Venice theme) immediately if improbably goes to the top of the class both as an audiophile thriller and an intoxicating musical delight that has Mehta talking to the audience which signals their approval with roars of laughter and applause.
Whether newly-discovered delights, like the Venetian extravagance and Joseph Hellmesberger’s delicately beautiful Elfenreigen, or old favorites, like Josef Strauss’s decadent Delirien Waltz and the inevitable Blue Danube Waltz, all are presented in sumptuous, Technicolor sound. And of course, there is the incomparable Vienna Philharmonic which Mehta leads with what has become his characteristic and appropriate (considering the popularity of whipped cream in Vienna) high caloric style. It may be too much roast beef and not enough musical purity for purists, but for most listeners it will be an irresistibly overwhelming experience.
The DVD release will include performances by the Wiener Ballet as shown during the intermission of the live PBS TV broadcast.
– Laurence Vittes