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Various: New Year's Concert 20 [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region Free]

4.5 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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  • Various: New Year's Concert 20 [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region Free]
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  • New Year's Concert: 2014 - Vienna Philharmonic (Barenboim) [Blu-ray] [Region Free]
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Product details

  • Format: Classical, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Italian
  • Dubbed: Multilingual
  • Region: All Regions (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Sony Classical
  • DVD Release Date: 4 Feb. 2013
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B009PDO946
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 86,317 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Coverage of the Vienna Philharmonic's 2013 New Year's Concert, featuring Franz Welser-Möst as conductor. Welser-Möst is currently the music director for both the Cleveland Orchestra and the Vienna State Opera and is recognised as one of the foremost conductors of his age.

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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This is one of the long series of New Year's Day concerts from Vienna and features the conducting of Franz Welser-Most for the second time. This may not come as too much of a surprise as Welser-Most's Viennese credentials have been recognised and supported by a major bank in Upper Austria for over 25 years as a cultural envoy for upper Austria. This level of commitment to Welser-Most is more than justified by this particular release.

There is an unusual number of first performances in this year's concert, partly to do with the 2013 anniversary celebrations of Wagner and Verdi's bicentenaries. As a result we hear Wagner's Lohengrin Prelude to Act 3 and Verdi's Act 3 ballet music from Don Carlo. In addition there are other references such as J. Strauss II's Melodies Quadrille based on Verdian themes.

Another emphasis in this year's concert is the music of Josef Strauss with seven of his works of which five receive début performances at these concerts. His popular Music of the Spheres waltz is included and is a reminder of his own qualities as a composer of Viennese music. One extra link with Josef Strauss was the presence of his great-granddaughter whose 90th birthday took place the previous July and who was briefly identified on film, clearly enjoying the concert.

Hellmesberger II and Lanner, both important figures in the Viennese musical world, are included too and the concert includes Suppe's Light Cavalry overture, last heard here in a gripping performance with Muti very much in charge. Welser-Most takes a more genial view which fits in with his whole approach to the concert.

Geniality is a strong feature of the Carnival of Venice Fantasy by J.
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Format: Blu-ray
In a concert emphasizing both the festive nature of the music being performed and the music of Josef Strauss, the middle brother, in the Strauss family dynasty of Austrian composers noted for their exceptional compositions of waltzes, polkas and other dances, this year's "New Year's Day Concert", should be noted for both the excellent playing of the Wiener Philharmoniker (Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra) and the fine conducting of Vienna State Opera Music Director - and Cleveland Orchestra Music Director - Franz Welser-Most. Most of the pieces performed include lesser known waltzes and polkas composed by Josef Strauss, regarded by his peers as the "Schubert of Waltz composers", with his best known work, the waltz "Music of the Spheres" among the highlights of the program; if for no other reason this is a concert that should be remembered for emphasizing Josef Strauss' exceptional gifts as a composer, surpassed only by his brother Johann Strauss II. It is followed later by a piece I have heard performed live by the Wiener Philharmoniker and other American orchestras before, the Prelude to Act III from Richard Wagner's "Lohengrin", in honor of the forthcoming bicentennial of his birth, but this is an especially distinguished interpretation emphasizing the warm, sonic qualities of the great hall of the Musikverein itself. Of course, the program concludes with the traditional encores of Johann Strauss II's "The Blue Danube" waltz and Johann Strauss I's "Radetzky March". To my surprise, this is the second consecutive year in which the Wiener Philharmoniker has opted not to issue the video and the CD by Deutsche Grammophon; instead, Sony is releasing both.Read more ›
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Concert 3.5/5, Picture 3.5/5, Sound 5/5

This year Austrian conductor Franz Welser-Möst returns for his second New Year's Concert. Eleven items out of 19 are first performances at a New Year's Concert, including notably Wagner's Vorspiel from Lohengrin and Verdi's Ballet music from Don Carlo, for the composers' anniversaries. Also featured are works from Joseph Lanner and Joseph Hellmesberger II, as in Welser-Möst's debut in 2011.

The more well-known items (apart from the traditional encores) are von Suppé's Light Cavalry Overture, Josef Strauss' Music of the Spheres Waltz and the Chatterbox Quick Polka, just before the start of which Joseph Strauss' great-granddaughter, now in her 90s can be spotted. At about halfway the camera also briefly catches a glimpse of Julie Andrews who has been hosting the American PBS version of the Concert for a few years with great charm.

From last year the concert is no longer directed by Brian Large as in previous years but there have been no major changes except more use of the camcat which runs on wire diagonally across the ceiling from the front to the back of the hall. The rotation shots occur too many times and too quickly for comfort and add nothing to the concert experience.

Alas video quality isn't so good and it's obvious from the outset the picture is softer than previous Blu-rays from Decca (2011 with Welser-Möst) or Sony itself (2012 with Mariss Jansons). All these are encoded in 1080i60 AVC but this year the bit-rates are notably lower than previous years: 12-33 Mbps vs. 25-30s Mbps. Both of the Sony pictures are darker than the Decca but have more white clipping (noticeable on the pages of the music) and the hall has a dark yellow hue instead of a shiny gold.
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