What follows ought to be the best part of the concert, but the Elisabeth section is in fact extremely disappointing. Nothing more so than Der letzte Tanz; after his wonderful performance on the original cast album, I was expecting extraordinary things from Kröger on this song, and he simply didn't deliver. In fact, this is even worse than his version on Favourites, although at least the orchestration is normal. All of the smoothness, brightness, seductiveness is gone from his voice, and his...embellishments...on the vocal line have to be heard to be believed. In fact, the first time I heard this track, I couldn't stop laughing, it was so bizarre! In all fairness, however, I should mention that the person who played it for me that first time thinks it's fabulous; IIRC, the words she used included "commanding" and "seductive", so as usual YMMV.
I have to admit, though, that Hakvoort does a much better job with Ich gehör nur mir here than on the 1996 live cast recording. I still don't like her, however; as usual, she sounds far older than Sisi's sixteen and a quarter (this scene takes place a few days after her wedding), and I don't like some of her mannerisms. But while she'll never live up to Pia Douwes, or even Janza Kata, in the role, Hakvoort does do a relatively good job here.
They start Boote in der Nacht with Franz Joseph's "Du möchtest alles" verse, presumably because Hakvoort's already got plenty to sing in this portion of the concert. She and Gernot do sound good together, and the fact that they both tend to sound too old for the early portions of the show (Elisabeth, not this concert! :)) doesn't matter, since they are doing Boote rather than Nichts ist schwer....
The first real highlight of this half of the concert--and the beginning of a series of much better tracks than earlier--is You're Nothing Without Me; I've thought for ages that Kröger would make a good Stine, and here he doesn't disappoint. Gernot's Stone is also more than acceptable, and the two together--well! Except for a couple of pronunciation problems on Kröger's part (all minor, although "I tell you, you out of my mind" does sound rather funny :)), this track's essentially perfect. I could listen to this one over and over; especially that final note....
First, I should mention that I despise Rocky Horror. I think it's too dumb to be funny, and poorly written as well (the stresses fall on wrong syllables all over the place, and forget clever rhymes!). So I really hate it that I can't always bring myself to skip Sweet Transvestite; Kröger just sounds too good, I must admit. And I really hate that. Especially because it begs the question: if he can sound this rock and this good at the same time now, why didn't he on the Elisabeth songs??
Once again we're treated with a quartet. This time it's What I Did For Love, started by Hakvoort.
The audience had clearly been enjoying the concert, from the very audible--and frequently long-lasting--reactions to most numbers, and for the most part, I share their enthusiasm. Even though there are several numbers I dislike, I've never been the least bit sorry I bought this recording (even though I was worried at the time that it would all be like the Elisabeth section, which I'd heard in advance), and I recommend it highly.