Viennese Night at the BBC Proms

Release Date: 6/28/2011
Label: ICA Classics
Catalog Number: ICAD 5026
Performer: Sheila Armstrong
Number of Discs: 1

Physical Format:

DVD
In Stock
$24.99
Notes and Editorial Reviews
VIENNESE NIGHT AT THE BBC PROMS James Loughran, Walter Susskind, János Fürst, cond; Sheila Armstrong (sop); Royal PO; BBC SO; BBC Northern SO ICA ICAD 5026 (DVD: 88:35)

If the word “delightful” were used to describe a classical music video, this would be the one. We have a selection of Johann Strauss II waltzes and polkas, along with his father’s setting of the Radetzky March, Lehár’s Gold and Silver Waltz, and The Light Cavalry Overture of Suppé. All are performed with affection and warmth. But the key to enjoyment here is, to a large degree, the audience.

The Proms in London is an experience unlike any other. Taking place in Royal Albert Hall, London’s magnificent, round multipurpose 1871 venue, the Proms is an eight-week summer season of reasonably priced concerts (one every night). In addition to the 5,000 seats in the hall, there is a section in front of the stage for standees, known as “prommers.” Prommers are a unique experience; groups of them might create a chant to shout at performers (not during the music), and there is an interaction between them and the musicians and the music that does not exist anywhere else in the world. In these excerpts from various Viennese nights in the 1970s, we see the prommers swaying, bouncing up and down (not always together with the music, and not always together with each other), and in a few cases ( The Blue Danube for instance) dancing with each other. You might think that this is, or should be, irrelevant to your experience with the music, but in fact it is central to it. You feel like you are there—and you certainly cannot help smiling.

Nine of the 16 performances here are conducted by James Loughran, three by Walter Susskind, and one—a bonus track—by János Fürst. Sheila Armstrong sings two excerpts from Die Fledermaus . While none of these performances are revelatory, all of them are idiomatic, and all benefit from the conductor actually interacting with the audience. The sound and video quality from these BBC telecasts is fine; some are stereo, some are mono, but all are well balanced and clean. The bonus track featuring the Suppé, conducted by Fürst, is not quite of the high quality of the other 15 tracks, a fact noted in the booklet, but it is more than adequate.

When you want a break from the emotional rigors of a Shostakovich or Mahler symphony and wish to spend an hour and a half smiling from pure pleasure, this DVD will do the trick.

FANFARE: Henry Fogel

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Recorded live at the Royal Albert Hall, 1974-1979.

Picture format: NTSC 4:3
Sound format: Enhanced Mono, Ambient Mastering / LPCM Stereo
Region code: 0 (worldwide)
Menu language: English
Running time: 89 mins
No. of DVDs: 1 (DVD 9)
Works on This Recording
1. Die Fledermaus: Overture by Johann Strauss Jr.
Conductor: James Loughran
Orchestra/Ensemble: Hallé Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1874 ; Vienna, Austria
2. Unter Donner und Blitz, Op. 324 by Johann Strauss Jr.
Conductor: Walter Susskind
Orchestra/Ensemble: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1868 ; Vienna, Austria
3. Pizzicato Polka by Johann Strauss Jr.
Conductor: Walter Susskind
Orchestra/Ensemble: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1870 ; Vienna, Austria
4. Das Spitzentuch der Königin: Rosen aus dem Süden Waltzes, Op. 388 by Johann Strauss Jr.
Conductor: James Loughran
Orchestra/Ensemble: Hallé Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1880 ; Vienna, Austria
5. Die Fledermaus: Klänge der Heimat "Czardas" by Johann Strauss Jr.
Performer: Sheila Armstrong (Soprano)
Conductor: James Loughran
Orchestra/Ensemble: Hallé Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1874 ; Vienna, Austria
6. Die Fledermaus: Mein Herr Marquis by Johann Strauss Jr.
Performer: Sheila Armstrong (Soprano)
Conductor: James Loughran
Orchestra/Ensemble: Hallé Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1874 ; Vienna, Austria
7. Gold und Silber, Op. 79 by Franz Lehár
Conductor: Walter Susskind
Orchestra/Ensemble: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1902 ; Vienna, Austria
8. Leichtes Blut, Op. 319 by Johann Strauss Jr.
Conductor: James Loughran
Orchestra/Ensemble: Hallé Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1867 ; Vienna, Austria
9. Tritsch-Tratsch-Polka, Op. 214 by Johann Strauss Jr.
Conductor: James Loughran
Orchestra/Ensemble: Hallé Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1858 ; Vienna, Austria
10. Der Zigeunerbaron: Overture by Johann Strauss Jr.
Conductor: Walter Susskind
Orchestra/Ensemble: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1885 ; Vienna, Austria
11. Der Zigeunerbaron: Einzugs-Marsch by Johann Strauss Jr.
Conductor: James Loughran
Orchestra/Ensemble: Hallé Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1885 ; Vienna, Austria
12. Vergnügungszug Polka, Op. 281 by Johann Strauss Jr.
Conductor: James Loughran
Orchestra/Ensemble: Hallé Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1864 ; Vienna, Austria
13. Perpetuum mobile, Op. 257 "Musikalischer Scherz" by Johann Strauss Jr.
Conductor: Walter Susskind
Orchestra/Ensemble: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1862 ; Vienna, Austria
14. An der schönen, blauen Donau, Op. 314 by Johann Strauss Jr.
Conductor: James Loughran
Orchestra/Ensemble: Hallé Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1867 ; Vienna, Austria
15. Radetzky March, Op. 228 by Johann Strauss Sr.
Conductor: Walter Susskind
Orchestra/Ensemble: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1848 ; Vienna, Austria
16. Die leichte Kavallerie: Overture by Franz von Suppé
Conductor: Janos Fürst
Orchestra/Ensemble: BBC Northern Symphony
Period: Romantic
Written: 1866 ; Vienna, Austria
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