Berliner Luft: New Year's Concert (Daniel Barenboim) (2001)
One of the things video can do is capture the sense of an occasion: Berliner Luft admirably gives us the feeling of how it was to be at this 1997 gala in the Unter den Linden State Opera of a reunited Berlin. Daniel Barenboim gives us a mixture of light and very light music; the weightiest items here are the duet "La ci Darem" from Mozart's Don Giovanni performed with charm and energy by Dorothea Roeschmann and Rene Pape, and Saint-Saens' Introduction and Rondo Cappricioso given with real fire by the young violinist Raphael Christ. Much of the rest of the programme is standard German lightweight cheerfulness - with songs such as "Untern Linden", Gluhwurmchen-idyll" and "Berliner Luft" - but Barenboim also gives us a couple of slightly rarer items: Shostakovich's "Tahiti Trot", an endlessly inventive paraphrase of "Tea for Two" and Kurt Weill's celebratory "Berlin im Licht" performed with aplomb by the gravel-voiced HK Gruber. All this accompanied by cutaways of waltzing couples and magicians moving among them doing interesting things with cards and handkerchiefs...