For New Year's Eve, a musical toast to brotherhood and sisterhood
I can get pretty sentimental on the last day of the year, and I thought some of you might be the same. So here's a little sentiment for New Year's Eve, courtesy of Johann Strauss' "Die Fledermaus."
There is a wonderful moment in Act 2 when all of the mirth and slapstick of the operetta gives way to something gentle and, I think, quite genuine.
This number, "Brüderlein und Schwesterlein," sends a message that boils down to: Let's all promise to get along tomorrow after having so much fun tonight -- a message perfect for a New Year's Eve toast. This scene inspired Strauss to exceptional melodic heights -- the ultimate peak in his greatest work for the stage.
I've posted two versions here, because you (OK, I) can never get enough of this gorgeous music. I also thought that ...
the contrast in interpretations might intrigue you.
The first version, which moves along nicely, is led by Nikolaus Harnoncourt. The more spacious second clip finds Carlos Kleiber in sublime form on the podium (the camera understandably spends a lot of time on him). The Kleiber video continues after "Bruderlein," so you can enjoy more of festive "Fledermaus" if you like.
So here's my New Year's Eve wishes for brotherhood and sisterhood: