Renée Fleming / Christian Thielemann / Dresden Staatskapelle

New Year's Eve Concert 2010

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AllMusic Review by

Just as there's a traditional New Year's Day concert by the Vienna Philharmonic, German television channel ZDF has a tradition of broadcasting a New Year's Eve concert. That concert originated in Berlin, but with the announcement of the appointment of Christian Thielemann as conductor of the Dresden Staatskapelle (beginning in 2012) the opportunity was seized to try something different. Thielemann was asked to step in ahead of his official appointment to lead the orchestra for ZDF's 2010 New Year's Eve. Instead of instrumental masterpieces, Thielemann and the orchestra chose to do highlights from Léhar's beloved operetta Die lustige Witwe (The Merry Widow), with Renée Fleming as the widow and Christopher Maltman as Danilo, and joined by members of the Saxon State Opera. The result is as festive as any New Year's concert and nearly as entertaining as a fully staged operetta. Both Fleming and Maltman are in fine voice and play their roles just as if they were performing the entire operetta. Thielemann and the orchestra choose to bring out the humor and dancing lightness of Léhar's music and don't allow the famous "Vilja's Lied" to sink into sentimentality. All the favorite Merry Widow melodies are here, with Léhar's Gold und Silber waltz thrown in as well. The performances in the three encore selections are on a par with the rest of the program, although a more rousing selection might have been a better choice for the final encore. Thielemann and the other artists lay a firm foundation for a new tradition.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Die lustige Witwe (excerpts)
1 3:15 Amazon
2 0:57 Amazon
3 2:55 Amazon
4 10:15 Amazon
5 6:44 Amazon
Die lustige Witwe (excerpts)
6 9:30 Amazon
7 3:14 Amazon
8 5:37 Amazon
9 6:03 Amazon
10 4:13 Amazon
11 3:22 Amazon
12 1:06 Amazon
13 3:43 Amazon
14 3:57 Amazon
15 1:05 Amazon
West Side Story
16 2:13 Amazon
Das Land des Lächelns
17 3:35 Amazon
18 9:43 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick