Customer Reviews: New Year's Eve Concert 1992 - Richard Strauss Gala / Claudio Abbado, Berlin Philharmonic, Kathleen Battle, Frederica von Stade, Renee Fleming
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on November 30, 2007
This DVD can be described with one word: wow! The sound is incredible, the performances are of the highest caliber and, visually, the concert is breath-taking.

Watching the chemistry between Martha Argerich and Claudio Abbado is wonderful - they have so much fun playing the Burleske. Both the Don Juan and the Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche performances are right up there with Karajan's famous recording.

This is a no-brainer, if you love classical music this DVD is for you! Wonderful sound, performance and picture; highly recommended.
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on June 25, 2009
The 1992 Berlin Philharmonic concert for New Year's Eve is an outstanding event on DVD. In particular, the empathy shown between Martha Argerich -- the phenomenal pianist, Claudio Abbaddo -- the consummate conductor, and the unnamed tympanist--in perhaps the biggest orchestral role for the instrument (apart from the Berlioz "Symphonie Fantastique"), makes richard Strauss' "Burleske" more than a humorous display piece -- the close interplay between the three makes for one of the most electric concert performances I've ever witnessed. BRAVISSIMO!
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on March 18, 2008
I first saw this concert when it was broadcast on New Years Eve 1992 (back with PBS used to carry the Berlin show) and was completely blown away. I was looking for this DVD for years and recently acquired it. My impression hasn't changed in the intervening years. The Berlin Philharmonic and Abbado are in great form throughout. Argerich in the Strauss Burleske is her usual amazing self, and the final scene from Rosenkavalier is lovely, with Battle in good form not too long before her MET firing, Von Stade in great form, and Renee Fleming before she became a huge star. Spectacular.
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VINE VOICEon February 14, 2010
I bought this because I wanted to see and hear Strauss' Till Eulenspiegel and Don Juan by the Berlin Philharmonic, conducted by a young (1992) Claudio Abbado. It was every bit as good as I expected, but then came the delightful surprises.

First, there was Strauss' Burleske for Piano and Orchestra with Martha Argerich at the piano. What a virtuoso! How can she hit so many right notes, so rapidly in a blur of fingers dancing over the keyboard! I relished the "conversations" that Argerich and her piano had with other instruments--especially the playful exchanges with the timpani. Rarely does one see such an emotionally-involved pianist. To watch her thinking and experiencing the music--even when she's not playing--was an experience not to be forgotten. I can't wait to share it with friends.

Then, just to put the icing on the cake, out came Kathleen Battle, Frederica von Stade, and Renee Fleming to sing that incredible trio and finale from Der Rosenkavalier--and they did this very well.

This was a concert to enjoy and share with friends: a great orchestra, great conductor, great pianist, and great singing. Enjoy it with someone who loves music!
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on June 18, 2013
When my old laser disc player died I wondered if I'd ever be able to replace some of my favorite discs in DVD or Blu-ray format. I was delighted to see this DVD available through The Argerich performance is reason enough to search out this performance and watching the visual interplay she and Abbado establish is particularly exciting. The sound quality isn't up to current standards although it is actually more than good enough to enjoy this great concert disc. It's well worth adding to your collection.
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on May 19, 2011
I wonder if many of you have noticed how often "special" concerts chock full of stars often in the end disappoint considerably more than one would have thought possible prior to the event, and you end up walking away having enjoyed yourself, but without the "Wow" factor you had anticipated experiencing. Often the artists donate their services, or realize they are participating in an event which is somehow more important than the music itself, or simply perform as you see in an exhibition tennis match between the top players - which doesn't really count. This 1992 New Year's concert is kind of like that.

The pedigree of the participants could hardly be better. The Berlin Philharmonic gives a good account of themselves of course, but it must be said that now, nearly a decade later, we expect better quality sound from the Philharmonie but obviously the engineers were still having a lot of trouble there, particularly at live events. A pity since I have rarely seen Abbado seem to enjoy himself so openly while conducting as he does here. Both "Don Juan" and "Till Eulenspiegel" are driven at quite a clip as if the Maestro is afraid he'll be late for a post-concert dinner reservation. Now had he listened more to the recordings by Fritz Reiner he might have noticed there is more majesty and sensitivity in these pieces (and fun in Till) than he had time to bring out.

The two biggest disappointments from a musical point of view were the Burleske, and the closing excerpt from Der Rosenkavalier. - Now I am, like most, fascinated and often thrilled by Martha Argerich. Technically, there is nothing she can't do, and she is one of the greatest musical talents before the public today. BUT Strauss did not write Burleske as a duel for Gatling guns (represented by the timpani and piano). Ironically, Amazon carries an ad on the same page of the piece as performed by the American pianist Byron Janis, accompanied by the unsurpassed Fritz Reiner and the CSO who do not fail to bring out the charm, sweetness that it seems Argerich and Abbado had no time for that night.

Finally, the closing of Der Rosenkavalier. - I suppose it's unfair to compare this trio and duet with all the great voices who have sung these unforgettable notes for lo these many years, but I expected more from these individually superb singers of today than they delivered that night.

All in all, wonderful artists, who could have given us more, and far better recorded too.
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on July 5, 2014
The poorest sound I ever experienced and I have a rather extensive collection.. I am very disappointed with this DVD.
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on January 27, 2011
As four of the previous writers have said, this was an outstanding concert. The playing of the Berlin Phil. is simply breathtaking and the soloists are magnificent. However, the program is a little short, in my opinion, especially the vocal part where three legendary singers do very little. I expected a bunch of encores and we got none. It was very disappointing.
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on February 16, 2008
One of the most boring ,dull concerts I ever seen.Don't get fooled by claim that is such a wonderfull one.Its not
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