This is another TDK DVD recording of a live popular
concert in Berlin’s mammoth Waldbühne outdoor stadium. These concerts
always conclude the Berlin Philharmonic’s season; in this instance it
was recorded on a warm summer’s evening in July 2001 beginning in sunshine
and ending with some mild fireworks in darkness.
I am not sure that DVD visuals add anything to the
enjoyment of a purely orchestral concert like this other than conveying
a sense of end-of-term enjoyment and I should warn prospective purchasers
that the TDK sound needs a lot of volume (risking neighbourly relations)
to really savour these performances to the full.
There is much to enjoy here. Sarah Chang clearly enjoys
the challenges of the two popular Sarasate virtuoso fireworks items
and Ana Maria Martinez’s wonderful smoky voice adds zest and fire to
her arias. I wish though that such gusto could have been added to Domingo’s
staid readings of the Chabrier and Rimsky-Korsakov works (with some
fluffed horn notes in the latter). On the positive side it was interesting
to hear some of the less well-known items like Moncayo’s Mexican folkloristic
dance piece, Huapango (it is easy to see where Elmer Bernstein
found inspiration for The Magnificent Seven).
Colourful light entertainment with noteworthy contributions
from Chang and Martinez. Like the curate’s egg, good in parts.