This is another release in EMI’s highly successful 50 BEST series. This 3CD set contains 50 tracks from the finest EMI recordings of the famous Wiener Philharmoniker, know in English as the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, under some of the world’s greatest conductors including Wilhelm Furtwängler, Herbert von Karajan, Rudolf Kempe, André Cluytens, Riccardo Muti and many others.
The 2018 Vienna Philharmonic New Year's Concert took place on January 1, 2018, under the baton of Riccardo Muti in the Musikverein in Vienna. This year's concert marked the fifth time - after 1993, 1997, 2000 and 2004 - that Riccardo Muti, whose close ties with the Vienna Philharmonic extend over several decades, conducted this prestigious event.
The 2018 New Year's Concert was broadcast in over 90 countries and followed by as many as 50 million television viewers around the world.
This is a truly great operetta interpretation. Gardiner's approach is on an altogether more inspired plane than his rivals. In the Viennese rhythms, he shows himself utterly at home – as in the Act 2 Dance scene, where he eases the orchestra irresistibly into the famous waltz. But there are also countless instances where Gardiner provides a deliciously fresh inflexion to the score.
Made after his official resignation from the Berlin Phil and six months before his death, this last recording is likely - at least in part - reflective of Karajan's mental tossing and turning before he died. We could gather that he felt quite wronged, and wanted to express forgiveness then to bid the world a farewell.
Myung-Whun Chung is one of the leading conductors of his generation. Also a prize-winning pianist, he is particularly noted for his interpretations of the music of French composer Olivier Messiaen. There has rarely been as talented a group of siblings as Myung-Whun and his two older sisters, cellist Myung-Wha Chung (born 1944) and violinist Kyung-Wha Chung (born 1948). Myung-Whun made his performing debut as a pianist in Seoul at the age of 7. At 8, he flew to Seattle, WA, to begin his American musical studies.
Veteran Austrian pianist Rudolf Buchbinder has turned in mid-career to live recordings, believing that the live situation makes possible a greater degree of spontaneity. In solo repertoire this has sometimes led him to follow his impulses into bold, unexpected interpretations. Here, in Beethoven's five piano concertos, there's less of an opportunity to color outside of the lines, even though Buchbinder serves as his own conductor (a tall order in Beethoven in itself). Yet his approach still works very well. He may deserve credit right off the bat for getting the sometimes recalcitrant Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra to go along with what he's doing; the performances have a satisfying unity between soloist and orchestra.