"By tradition, a Viennese New Year concert programme is dominated by the music of the Strauss dynasty – and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra under conductor David Angus didn’t disappoint in that regard in what was an exceptional evening of music. . . A rousing reading of Zoltan Kodaly’s 1933 work Dances of Galanta launched the programme. In this single movement of five dances based on folk melodies from Galanta (now part of Slovakia) the British conductor allowed just enough lyrical freedom for orchestral players to shine while keeping a tight rein as the work’s syncopated rhythms and frenzied dance melodies built to an exuberant conclusion. . . Next came Bela Bartok’s Romanian Dances. . . The HK Phil performed the work with great agility and were fully responsive to Angus’ commands. . . The second half of the concert began with Johan Strauss II’s The Bat! Overture to Die Fledermaus. If anyone thought only the Viennese can play a waltz, Angus and the HK Phil instantly dispelled that notion. Even without the customary, slightly offset 3/4 lilt, the playing exuded a sensitive warmth. In Strauss’ Emperor Waltz, the audience was practically transported into a Viennese ballroom." -South China Morning Post
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