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Favourites and lesser-known classics from Johann II and his brothers. Classic FM Drive Featured Album, 21 July 2014.
The Austrian conductor Manfred Honeck has Vienna in his blood. He trained at the Vienna Academy of Music and worked for the Vienna Philharmonic, the Vienna State Opera Orchestra and the Vienna Jeunesse Orchestra. He was also well trained as assistant to Claudio Abbado in Vienna.
So there's no one better to explore the repertoire of Johann Strauss II with a couple of complementary tracks from his brothers Eduard and Josef. On this recording with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Honeck brings new life to old favourites by the junior Johann, but also delves deeper into their formidable output to find a few lesser-known pieces which he injects with verve and real humour.
Yes, the oom-pah bombast is all there, but Honeck succeeds in bringing out the subtler and softer side of Strauss as well which makes the climaxes all the more thrilling.