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This charming disc is less a potpourri of Viennese bonbons, more an act of devotion. Manfred Honeck has the Strauss family’s music in his bones – he played viola in the Vienna Philharmonic before becoming a conductor – and he persuades the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the city’s main concert ensemble, to play these waltzes and polkas as if every day were New Year’s day.

There’s nothing predictable in his choice – no “Blue Danube”, and the “Gypsy Baron” overture is preferred to its more popular “Fledermaus” counterpart – but rubato, lilt and elegance reign supreme, and you’ll find yourself partying to the sound of imperial Vienna.

Johann Strauss

Waltzes and Polkas

Manfred Honeck

(Wiener Symphoniker)

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