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New Year's Concert 2010 / Pretre, Vienna PO [DVD]

Notes & Reviews:

Georges Pretre returns to Vienna's illustrious Musikverein to conduct a compelling program that combines adored classics with no less than four intriguing premieres. Idolized in Vienna, the legendary French maestro, Georges Pretre is a leading expert on and interpreter of the music of the Strauss family. The Wiener Philharmoniker's 2010 New Year's Concert comes complete on 2 CDs for a 2 for 1 price. Also released on DVD, featuring the complete concert, supplemented by ballet highlights and the traditional intermission feature.

"Veteran French conductor Georges Pretre wasn't an obvious choice when he first conducted the Vienna Philharmonic's New Year concert two years ago, aged 83. He does, however, bring distinctive qualities to this very familiar repertoire...

For much of the time Pretre uses minimal gestures, and I daresay an orchestra less totally immersed in the idiom might have difficulty discerning his intentions. The Vienna Philharmonic is, however, famously peerless in Strauss family music, and in the end it's their inimitable combination of grace, incisiveness and intuitive rhythmicality that leaves the truly abiding impression. Delightfully sprightly wind playing in Perpetuum mobile, the dashing joie de vivre of Der Carneval in Paris, the magically nostalgic violins in Blue Danube - the list of special moments is truly a long one. Sound is excellent, particularly in 5.1 surround format, which is preferable to the standard CD issue of this event.

There's half an hour or so of bonus material, including complete versions of the two specially filmed dance sequences interpolated in the telecast... and a short 'behind the scenes' feature..." BBC Music



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