Gaiety and temperament are the keynotes of this New Year's Eve program with the London Philharmonic Orchestra recorded live in Munich's Herkulessaal on New Year's Eve 1979. It begins with "Gaieté Parisienne," an arrangement of Jacques Offenbach's most popular operetta melodies. This is followed by a generous helping of central European esprit in the Slavonically inspired dances of Léo Delibes' "Coppélia" ballet, and in the Viennese lightness of Franz von Suppé's "Pique Dame" Overture, a delicious little work by the founding father of the Viennese operetta. Amilcare Ponchielli's "Dance of
the Hours" has delighted "promenade" concertgoers for years now – perhaps because it reminds us of his two great pupils Puccini and Mascagni? The luscious lyricism of the waltzes from Richard Strauss's "Rosenkavalier" is dispelled by the solemn majesty of Sir Edward Elgar's "Pomp and Circumstance March No. 4." From Victorian England, we travel to Czarist St. Petersburg, to the magical world of Peter I. Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker Suite." And since all good things must come to an end, the Land of Sweets disappears under a vigorous sprinkling of fiery paprika in Johannes Brahms's "Hungarian Dance No. 5," which closes the program on a spicy note.