The new 'tradition' of New Year's Eve concerts celebrated in Dresden and conducted by Thielemann started in 2010. The first two focussed on the music of Lehar but for this 2012/2013 concert the focus has moved to the Hungarian, Kalman. Kalman was initially resident in Vienna and successfully blended the Viennese style of light music with his own Hungarian input which included links to the popular gypsy flavours of the time. His most popular music comes from this earlier period in his life. This disc offers a well-balanced and fairly comprehensive survey of his music. Only the final item departs from Kalman and is the An der Elbe waltz by Strauss which concludes the concert.
The concert essentially highlights arias sung by the two soloists with additional items played by the orchestra, sung by the choir and danced by the ballet company. Ingeborg Schopf makes a very fine job of replacing the indisposed Diana Damrau at the very last minute. She is the leading soprano of the Dresden State Operetta company and is obviously at home with the repertoire. Her voice is well able to cope with the demands placed upon it in her four solo arias and also in the fifth piece, where she leads the chorus. She also partners Piotr Beczala in four duets with suitable aplomb.
The chorus are featured in three pieces and sing with gusto and enthusiasm plus some energetic gypsy clapping! The ballet sequence takes the form of a mini-story in much the same way as is familiar with the regular Vienna New Year's Day concerts. The dancing is expertly done and the costumes are exquisite. The orchestra play extremely well throughout under the attentive and meticulous Thielemann, who became their principal conductor in September 2012.
Piotr Beczala, however, clearly steals the show with highly enthusiastic support from the packed audience after each of his five solo arias. He has an effortlessly clear voice, ideally suited to this music and which fills the hall with apparent ease. His manner is most attractively relaxed so his popularity is easily understood. This is his second appearance at these concerts and it is easy to understand why.
The HD recording has all the expected clarity and range of colour. The sound is presented in both DTS surround (default) and stereo. Subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish with the music being sung in the original German.
This is a most attractive light music concert and is well presented. If the program of music by Kalman appeals, I would suggest that this latest disc in the new 'tradition' from Dresden would be well worth considering.
1. Happy New Year - Die Operettengala aus Dresden - Opening Credits 0:54
2. Overture 3:57
3. Höre ich Zigeunergeigen 6:50
4. Komm Zigany 6:37
5. Einmal mocht' ich wieder tanzen 3:45
6. Intermezzo 7:03
7. Heia, heia in den Bergen 3:13
8. Weißt Du es noch? 6:14
9. Zwei Märchenaugen 3:23
10. Ballet & Ensemble 4:45
11. Mein Traum, mein Traum 4:53
12. Wenn es Abend wird - Grüß mir mein Wien 5:30
13. Grand Palotas de la Reine 6:41
14. 18: Ein kleiner Slowfox mit Mary 4:19
15. Heut' Nacht hab' ich geträumt von Dir 5:14
16. Tanzen möcht ich 4:51
17. Ob blond, ob braun, ich liebe alle Frau'n 2:52
18. Carrambolina, Carramboletta 3:04
19. O komm mit mir, ich tanz mit dir ins Himmelreich hinein 4:38
20. An der Elbe, Op.477 8:26
21. Happy New Year - Die Operettengala aus Dresden - Closing Credits 2:10