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  Deutsche Grammophon -
  477 549-5 (2 discs)
  New Year's Concert 2005 - Wiener Philharmoniker/Maazel
  New Year's Concert 2005

Wiener Philharmoniker
Lorin Maazel (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Reviews: 2

Review by Daland January 19, 2005 (9 of 9 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Deutsche Gramophon has set a completely new standard for live recordings from the Musikvereinssaal in Vienna. I was never quite satisfied with recordings of the New Year's Concert regardless of the label. The sound was never as open, natural and spacious as I would have liked it to be. But this 2-SACD set captures the atmosphere of the concert hall in a magnificent way. The three-dimensional quality of the music is immediately evident, and the rear speakers come fully into their own (not just for the applause as on the Philips recording with Ozawa) without being too prominent. But most importantly, this recording just sounds wonderful. Just listen to the "Beautiful Galatea" overture with mellifluous strings, blooming woodwind and singing trumpets. By comparison, the two other New Year's Concerts available on SACD (Ozawa on Philips and especially Kleiber on Sony Japan) are not particularly impressive in sonic terms. If this SACD is based on a PCM recording, the result is simply astounding.
I hesitated to buy this set because I did not find the programme particularly appealing (it contains many rarities). But now it occupies a place of honour in my SACD collection. Maazel and the Vienna Philharmonic are on top form, with the conductor taking up the violin for two of the pieces (notably the Tales from the Vienna Woods). It should be noted that the Radetzky March was omitted this time because of the flood disaster in Asia (which does not make sense to me). I hope that DG will maintain this standard in future releases.

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Review by pip440 April 15, 2005 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Unlike Daland I was disappointed in the sound of this SACD. It was too recessed for my taste, especially as the rear channels are used to put you in the middle of the action, but this is a contradiction in terms with such recessed sound. Trebles should be livelier and the bass more prominent. This is not a patch on the 2002 Ozawa SACD (Philips) or the DVD-Audio (Teldec) of the Harnoncourt 2001 concert, both with livelier sound and a richer bass. The 2005 program of rarities was, however, a true delight.

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