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Johann STRAUSS JR (1825-1899)
Der Zigeunerbaron, overture [8:01]
Josef STRAUSS (1827-1870)
Dynamiden Waltz, Op. 173 [9:59]
Johann STRAUSS Jr.
Annen-Polka, Op. 117 [4:37]
Josef STRAUSS
Jokey-Polka, Op. 278 [2:12]
Johann STRAUSS Jr
Geschichten aus dem Wienerwald, Waltz, Op. 325 [13:12]
Unter Donner und Blutz, Polka, Op. 324 [3:18]
Maskenball-Quadrille, Op. 272 [5:48]
Josef STRAUSS
Auf Ferienreisen!, Polka, Op. 133 [2:26]
Johann STRAUSS Jr
An der schönen blauen Donau, Waltz, Op. 314 [10:35]
Champagner-Polka, Op. 211 [2:25]
Johann STRAUSS SR (1804-1849)
Radetzky-Marsch, Op. 228 [3:16]
Vienna Johann Strauss Orchestra/Johannes Wildner
rec. 2-3 April 2012, Casino Zögernitz
MARCO POLO 8.225353 [65:43]

This is a game attempt by the Vienna Johann Strauss Orchestra (Willi Boskovsky’s old band) to put on their own New Year’s Concert. It blends music of three Strausses and ends with those traditional encores, the Blue Danube and Radetzky March. I have to say, the disc is a very satisfying concert. If this is Johannes Wildner’s audition for a future New Year’s in Vienna, he’s put in a very convincing case.
 
As with any good celebration at the Musikverein, there’s a good blend of the familiar and the less so. AlongsideTales from the Vienna Woods (alas, no zither) and the Champagne Polka (hoorah, popping corks!), we get Josef Strauss’s Dynamiden waltz, an old Boskovsky standard, and one of Johann Jr.’s quadrilles, based on themes from Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera. The performances simply ooze authenticity: the Jokey-Polka is perfectly light on its feet and energetic without falling to slapstick - since “jokey” is in fact German for “jockey”! The Annen-Polka is all delicate sweetness and reveals Wildner’s knowledge of how to lend this music real poetic worth. The big numbers like the Radetzky March in no way let down the side.
 
Lest you doubt the authenticity, the Johann Jr. numbers are recorded in a new scholarly edition. The orchestra sounds very polished and professional, with so-sweet violins and piquant wind solos. The recording itself took place at Casino Zögernitz, a Viennese dance-hall founded in 1837 which once hosted performances by, yes, Johann Strauss. So if you like to pick up a new Viennese dance CD every so often, give this a spin. It’s wonderful.
 
Brian Reinhart