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Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    



Franz von SUPPÉ (1819 - 1895)
Light Cavalry – Overture (1866)
Franz SCHUBERT (arr. LISZT) (1797 – 1828)

The Wanderer Fantasia, D. 760 (1822)
George ENESCU (1881 – 1955)

Rumanian Rhapsody No. 1 (1901)
Bedrich SMETANA (1824 – 1884)

Overture to The Bartered Bride (1866)
Richard STRAUSS (1864 – 1949)

Waltz Sequence from Der Rosenkavalier (1911)
Franz LISZT (1811 – 1886)

Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 (1847)
Johannes BRAHMS (1833 – 1897)

Hungarian Dance No. 5 in G Minor (Orch. Schmeling) (1859)
Johann STRAUSS II (1825 – 1899)

Overture to Die Fledermaus (1874)
Thunder and Lightning – polka (1868)
Johann STRAUSS I (1804 – 1849)

Radetzky March (1848)
Paul LINCKE (1866 – 1946)

Berliner Luft (1902)
Mikhail Rudy – piano
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Mariss Jansons
recorded in the Waldbühne, Berlin, 16th June, 1994
Video directed by Brian Large.
TDK DVD - WBDAR [101 minutes]


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In the summer months, the Berlin Philharmonic gives a Concert in the Waldbühne, a large open air park in Berlin. I suppose these concerts are akin to the UK’s Kenwood and Leeds Castle events with the exception that the current concert uses the Berlin Philharmonic with an internationally famous conductor.

This DVD is directed by Brian Large, and we have imaginative camera work and superb sound to enhance our pleasure, incidentally shared by the vast audience sitting or standing all around the stage.

The current concert is made up of popular classics primarily of late 19th century works from composers of mid-European birth. These are the kind of pieces which would make up a good Classic FM programme.

The Berlin Philharmonic plays superbly for Mariss Jansons, and with this event being somewhat less serious than a lot of their usual musical activities, the enjoyment on the faces of the players is clearly evident. The quality of the playing is in no way compromised. We have a slight mishap with the music score in the cello desks during the Suppé, with an attendant slight gap in the performance, but this merely enhances the whole effect of the concert.

The audience is extremely well behaved, with none of the drunken rowdiness which occasionally mars functions like this in Britain. The most extrovert audience behaviour appeared to be three scruffs dancing, to the astonishment of the nearby listeners, but this may have been judicious camera placement rather than anything else. Like the Proms however, the audience appears to be extremely calm and collected until the last piece is reached, when sparklers are lit and waved about in the dark. If the repertoire attracts you, then go out and buy this disc. I guarantee you will enjoy it, and with such good sound, notes and production, it is a winner.

John Phillips


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