The annual Vienna Philharmonic New Year's Concert, a big splash by Austrian standards, makes for entertaining listening either for its intended purpose or just for any listener looking for a collection of Viennese waltzes and polkas, with the various generations of the Strauss family heavily represented. In fact, it may even be preferable to studio waltz recordings; Viennese dance music was meant to be heard in a room of breathing and reacting people, and a well-made live recording like this one, with applause and noise that give a sense of audience presence but do not interfere unduly with the sound of the orchestra, offers an optimal experience. The program has a preponderance of old favorites, but also includes less familiar items such as Eduard Strauss' "Ohne Bremse" (Without Brakes) and the "Delirien" (Delirium) waltz of Josef Strauss. The spoken New Year's address (CD 2, track 11) is given in German and English, and its message of welcome to Romania and Bulgaria into the European Union (given also in the respective languages of those countries) may make the album an attractive historical souvenir for some listeners. The orchestra's style in this music tends to remain constant no matter who is at the helm, but conductor Zubin Mehta imbues all the music with a lively zip. The booklet notes, translated from German into English, give a useful overview of how this central European phenomenon came into being and developed. Recommended to all waltz lovers.