An album of lively waltzes and other dance music, consummately performed by Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Concentus Musicus Wien.
With rarely-heard dance pieces by Mozart, Lanner, and Johann Strauss I.
On his new album, Walzer Revolution, Nikolaus Harnoncourt and the Concentus Musicus Wien turn their attention to a selection of dances by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Josef Lanner and Johann Strauss the Elder himself, in order to give it a new interpretation in the spirit intended by the composers.
Harnoncourt, who more than any other conductor of our time represents a revolution in the way works are performed and in the reception of music, traces the line from the dances of Mozart to 19th-century dances that were profoundly characteristic of the society of that time.
Thanks to his typical practice of performing the works in a historical manner, he succeeds in making this dance music an authentic listening experience that is constantly denied to us by the usual modern orchestration. The purpose of the resulting album is not only to convey the true joy of listening but also to narrate music history.
“With his “waltz revolution”, Harnoncourt and his period CMW band throw down a gauntlet to the established Philharmonic professors, arguing for more transparent textures and a wider range of wind and brass colours than those available to modern orchestras...A delicious pair of discs.” Sunday Times, 18th March 2012
“Two CDs of pure joy, and full of fine scholarship as well...The performances are sinuous yet nuanced, the pacing just sedate enough to reveal fascinating detail and the revelations — Strauss’s Chain Bridge Waltz and an early version of the Radetzky March — startling and delightful.” The Times, 31st March 2012 *****
“The orchestra's period instruments (including 10 different types of trumpet) and Harnoncourt's distinctive use of rubato lend novelty to New Year's classics such as the Radetzky March. But it is Lanner's flourishes of the gothic, operatic and exotic that really catch the ear.” The Independent, 22nd April 2012
“This is fun! Instructive, too, as Nikolaus Harnoncourt once again strips away centuries of 'tradition' and goes back to basics...Harnoncourt and his players bring both 'rough trade' and many an insight into what makes this music tick...Harnoncourt plays it seriously and with respect while relishing its creative place in Viennese society and appreciating the music's balance between sophistication and amusement.” International Record Review, May 2012
“The collection succeeds, though, not just in pioneering period performances but also through imaginative programming...One way and another it's a collection that demands the attention of anyone who thinks he knows how Viennese music should sound.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2012