While Great Viennese Classics is largely a collection of waltzes and polkas by Johann Strauss II, pieces by his father Johann Strauss I and brothers Eduard Strauss and Josef Strauss are also included, making this more of a family affair. The Strauss name and the recognizability of most of these 19th century favorites give this CD instant appeal, though the lively and occasionally rough performances by Iain Sutherland and the City of Glasgow Philharmonic Orchestra certainly provide a fun listening experience. Easily the most celebrated piece here is the Blue Danube Waltz, though the Radetsky March, the Pizzicato Polka, the Clear Track Polka, the Tritsch-Tratsch Polka, and Perpetuum Mobile are standards that even casual listeners know. Also included are two overtures, Richard Heuberger's middling Overture to The Opera Ball, and Strauss' perennially popular Overture to Die Fledermaus, so there is a little variety in the program. The live performances are decently recorded, though audio buffs will find the orchestra to be a little distant, with a fairly booming acoustic that suggests that the microphones weren't placed close to the stage, and audience participation (with clapping as well as coughs) adds to the concert ambience.
AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson