NEW YEAR'S CONCERT 2009 4781649

. . . highlights include Johann Strauss's "Zampa" polka, with its vaguely Balkan twists, the extraordinary delicacy of the "Alexandrinen" polka, and Josef Strauss's gorgeous, expansive, and rarely heard "Music of the Spheres" waltz (a work of almost Wagnerian, atmosphere, in a "Lohengrin" sense). Barenboim's readings of "The Blue Danube" and "Radetzky March". . . are invested with a warmth and vitality, and, in the case of the march, a striking, dignity that render them among the most memorable in the entire series of New Year's concert recordings. Decca's acoustics are clear, spacious, and immediate. As warmly recommended as these works are played.