For the second year in a row, the Dresden Staatskapelle have won the New Year's Eve TV ratings war against the Berlin Philharmonic.
The much-criticised decision of broadcasters ZDF and ARD to air their classical offerings in direct competition with each other didn't deter more than 2 million viewers from tuning in to the early evening slot. 1.22 million (5.8% of the total) went for Dresden on ZDF and just 980,000 for Berlin on ARD. Impressive though they are, these figures represent a small drop from last year's 1.67 million and 1.19 million.
After the late withdrawal of Anna Netrebko and Erwin Schrott, Dresden fielded Angela Denoke, Piotr Beczala and Ana Maria Labin. Their all-Lehár programme under the baton of Christian Thielemann was clearly calculated to capture the Andre Rieu audience.
Simon Rattle's Berlin choice was only marginally more cerebral, with Evgeny Kissin's Grieg concerto nestling amongst toe-tapping dances by the likes of Dvořák, Stravinsky and Richard Strauss.