For the 30th anniversary of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra's New Year's
concerts, Carlos Kleiber appeared at the conductor's podium to conduct his
first Strauss family extravaganza. "What Carlos Kleiber presents here is
the fulfillment of all waltz dreams," wrote the trade magazine "Fono
Forum." All the beloved Viennese melodies such as the "Fledermaus"
overture, the "Accelerationen" waltz, "Bei uns zu Haus," "Csardas,"
"Pizzicato Polka" and, of course, the "Blue Danube" waltz and the "Radetzky
March" - all these Viennese warhorses took on an unexpected elegance,
spirit and wit. Kleiber's rubati and accelerandi, his sensitivity towards
everything that is found between the staves of the music invest these
pieces with a new urgency. Pieces that we thought were so overplayed as to
be trite and meaningless assume a freshness and vitality that is nothing
less than amazing. "There won't be anything more beautiful this year,"
gushed one of Vienna's leading dailies - and it was probably right.