Who is Afraid of 20th Century Music?
It might be thought that New Year as customarily marked in Vienna is a pleasurable yet ever increasing anomaly, so full marks to Metzmacher and his Hamburg orchestra for assembling so varied yet representative a selection, confirming the vibrancy of 20th-century music.
Eclectic is the watchword here: a full-bodied but charismatic reading of Bernstein’s Candide Overture launches an evening which mixes self-contained items and extracts with no regard for chronology, but a real feeling for their musical follow-through. Enjoyable in its own right, the programme is also a vehicle allowing Metzmacher to demonstrate his sympathies for a wide range of repertoire. Post-war German music is featured by representative miniatures from Henze and Kagel, as well as an intriguing
In all respects, Metzmacher gets the right balance between commemoration and celebration, to the delight of an audience clearly enjoying its ‘alternative’ night out. While the impact of certain items would have been heightened without the applause that follows, the need to capture the event as it happened is evidently, and rightly, the point of this release. Let’s hope it’s the beginning of a whole new tradition.'