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Herbert von Karajan - Master Recordings


Release Date: 02/12/2008 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 001050702   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Claude DebussyMaurice RavelRichard StraussLudwig van Beethoven,   ... 
Performer:  Michel SchwalbéJosé Van DamRudolf ScholzAnna Tomowa-Sintow,   ... 
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic OrchestraVienna SingvereinVienna Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 10 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 10 Hours 49 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Reviews of some of the original recordings that make up this set.

Le sacre du printemps

"The first thing to be admired about this newest record of Sacre is its efficiency. It is a splendidly drilled performance that Karajan gets from his Berlin players, with scarcely any of the momentary untidinesses that tend to afflict even the best accounts of this taxing score. Perhaps the strings just occasionally react a little sluggishly to Stravinsky's cross-rhythms (for example in those rushing fanfare-like figures just before the woodwind melody that ushers in the "Rondes printanières") but the wind and brass are excellent; only Bernstein's version with the New York Philharmonic, for instance, can
Read more boast such a good D trumpet."
-- Gramophone [12/1964]

Schubert's Symphony no 9
"Karajan gives a swift, light-weight, reading which I mostly enjoyed enormously —and not least for the supremely good playing of the BPO. (No orchestra that is not supremely good could manage it so deftly at some of Karajan's speeds.) I have not previously reviewed records of this symphony and, reading notices of earlier performances, I see references to the management of speed changes within movements, which are sometimes awkward. With Karajan the problem does not arise for, having set a tempo, he sticks to it. There are no grandioso statements at a speed which won't work for the rest of a movement. The introduction, for instance, starts at a swiftish andante and goes on like that, so that the following woodwind music is light and lyrical. The allegro may not be quite ma non troppo (though what Schubert meant is anybody's guess) but at the end the ben marcato is exactly that and no more. The scherzo has superb brio, while the finale is exceedingly well judged; how pointed the woodwind playing is, with such a clearly defined dotted rhythm over the basic triplet accompaniment, while there is a nice relaxation for the second subject, not to mention a superb fff climax."
-- T.H., Gramophone [2/1971]

Ein Heldenleben
"This is a most distinguished performance of Ein Heldenleben. It was warmly praised by DC when it was first issued in December 1959 and it remains, both as a performance and as a recording, a version to reckon with...Karajan's 1959 Ein Heldenleben is a glowingly self-contained performance, gloriously played, finely characterized. The love music, the battle, the works of peace (so difficult to balance, even Kempe goes awry here in his HMV set SLS880, 6/74) and the E flat major coda are all done with much style and the very finest kind of musicianship. Just what a Berlin Heldenleben ought to be."
-- R.O., Gramophone [8/1976]

Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, La Mer, Daphnis and Chloé Suite No. 2
"Just listen to the quality of the orchestral playing in the Prelude, or La Mer, and compare this to what Abbado started and Rattle finished--turning a magnificent orchestra into a miscellany of players devoid of any characterful corporate identity...the Faun is pretty stunning, and the Second Daphnis suite features some diaphanous string textures that have to be heard to be believed."
-- --David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com

Mozart's Requiem
"Karajan's earlier (1976) recording is a dramatic reading, with excellent solo singing as well as an incisive contribution from the chorus, there is no lack of strength and the score's lyrical elements are sensitively managed."
-- Penguin Guide [2003/4 Edition]

Tchaikovsky's 1st Piano Concerto
"Richter gives a performance which is strong without being bombastic, and which is also always polished. The Vienna Symphony Orchestra, too, displays these qualities. Both partners tend to sound restrained, as if determined to reveal at all costs the poetry of the music, and in this aim they certainly succeed. Once or twice a listener may feel that the restraint is, for him, overdone; there are passages in the development of the first movement which undoubtedly run the risk of sounding tentative. But to set against them there are many more passages in which Tchaikovsky's music is illuminated with brilliance...There are those who think the Tchaik is a battered old war-horse, but not Richter, not Karajan, not the Vienna Symphony, not DGG, and not, it may be guessed, anybody fortunate enough to meet it for the first time played like this."
-- M.M., Gramophone [3/1963]

Rococo Variations
"No quibbles about the Rococo Variations, where the opulent yet flexible Berlin Philharmonic strings outpoint their Viennese colleagues. However, the show belongs to Rostropovich, whose stylish ease and effortless technique have long justified this recording's reference status. If you want proof, go straight to the lyrical third variation, where the cellist's suave bow arm and subtle dynamic shadings suggest the opera singer of one's dreams."
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com

Opera Intermezzi
"Karajan's collection of "Opera Intermezzi" is a real pleasure: fine-spun strings, verismo drama, and space to appreciate the delicate beauty of these gems, from Verdi to Mascagni."
-- Deutsche Grammophon
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
La mer by Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903-1905; France 
Date of Recording: 1965 
Length: 22 Minutes 39 Secs. 
2.
Daphnis et Chloé Suite no 2 by Maurice Ravel
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913; France 
Date of Recording: 1965 
Length: 15 Minutes 15 Secs. 
3.
Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune by Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1892-1894; France 
Date of Recording: 1965 
Length: 9 Minutes 51 Secs. 
Notes: Composition written: France (1892 - 1894). 
4.
Ein Heldenleben, Op. 40 by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Michel Schwalbé (Violin)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1897-1898; Germany 
Date of Recording: 3/1959 
Length: 45 Minutes 37 Secs. 
5.
Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche, Op. 28 by Richard Strauss
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894-1895; Germany 
Length: 15 Minutes 30 Secs. 
6.
Symphony no 3 in E flat major, Op. 55 "Eroica" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1803; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 11/1963 
Venue:  Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin 
Length: 50 Minutes 0 Secs. 
7.
Symphony no 4 in B flat major, Op. 60 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1806; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 11/1963 
Venue:  Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin 
Length: 31 Minutes 9 Secs. 
8.
Le sacre du printemps by Igor Stravinsky
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1911-1913 
Date of Recording: 10/1963 
Length: 34 Minutes 38 Secs. 
Notes: Version: 1943
Composition written: Switzerland (1911 - 1913).
Composition revised: USA (1943). 
9.
Concerto for Orchestra, Sz 116 by Béla Bartók
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943; USA 
Date of Recording: 9/1965 
Length: 38 Minutes 57 Secs. 
10.
Boléro by Maurice Ravel
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1928; France 
Date of Recording: 1966 
Length: 16 Minutes 5 Secs. 
11.
Requiem in D minor, K 626 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  José Van Dam (Bass), Rudolf Scholz (Organ), Anna Tomowa-Sintow (Soprano),
Agnes Baltsa (Mezzo Soprano), Werner Krenn (Tenor)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein
Period: Classical 
Written: 1791; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1975 
Length: 52 Minutes 50 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is sung in Greek and Latin. 
12.
Mass in C major, K 317 "Coronation" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Rudolf Scholz (Organ), José Van Dam (Bass), Agnes Baltsa (Mezzo Soprano),
Anna Tomowa-Sintow (Soprano), Werner Krenn (Tenor)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein
Period: Classical 
Written: 1779; Salzburg, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1975 
Length: 25 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is sung in Greek and Latin. 
13.
Concerto for Piano no 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter (Piano)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Russia 
Length: 36 Minutes 11 Secs. 
Notes: Composition written: Russia (1874 - 1875). 
14.
Variations for Cello and Orchestra on a Rococo theme, Op. 33 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich (Cello)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1876; Russia 
Length: 18 Minutes 53 Secs. 
15.
Symphony no 2 in D major, Op. 73 by Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1877; Austria 
Length: 40 Minutes 49 Secs. 
16.
Symphony no 3 in F major, Op. 90 by Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883; Austria 
Length: 32 Minutes 1 Secs. 
17.
Symphony no 8 in B minor, D 759 "Unfinished" by Franz Schubert
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1822; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 10/1964 
Length: 24 Minutes 3 Secs. 
18.
Symphony no 9 in C major, D 944 "Great" by Franz Schubert
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1825-28; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 9/1968 
Length: 46 Minutes 26 Secs. 
19.
La traviata: Act 3 Prelude by Giuseppe Verdi
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/1967 
Venue:  Jesus Christ Church, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 25 Secs. 
20.
Cavalleria Rusticana: Intermezzo by Pietro Mascagni
Performer:  Wolfgang Meyer (Organ)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/1967 
Venue:  Jesus Christ Church, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 28 Secs. 
Notes: Composition written: Italy (1888).
Composition revised: Italy (1889). 
21.
Suor Angelica: Intermezzo by Giacomo Puccini
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1918; Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/1967 
Venue:  Jesus Christ Church, Berlin 
Length: 4 Minutes 32 Secs. 
22.
I Pagliacci: Intermezzo by Ruggero Leoncavallo
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/1967 
Venue:  Jesus Christ Church, Berlin 
Length: 3 Minutes 35 Secs. 
23.
Khovanshchina: Act 4 Prelude "Entr'acte" by Modest Mussorgsky
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1872-1880; Russia 
Date of Recording: 09/1967 
Venue:  Jesus Christ Church, Berlin 
Length: 4 Minutes 5 Secs. 
24.
Manon Lescaut: Intermezzo by Giacomo Puccini
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/1967 
Venue:  Jesus Christ Church, Berlin 
Length: 5 Minutes 31 Secs. 
25.
Notre Dame: Act 1 Intermezzo by Franz Schmidt
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902-1904; Austria 
Date of Recording: 09/1967 
Venue:  Jesus Christ Church, Berlin 
Length: 4 Minutes 37 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a DDD recording. 
26.
Thaïs: Meditation by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Michel Schwalbé (Violin)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894; France 
Date of Recording: 09/1967 
Venue:  Jesus Christ Church, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 6 Minutes 1 Secs. 
27.
Fedora: Intermezzo by Umberto Giordano
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1898; Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/1967 
Venue:  Jesus Christ Church, Berlin 
Length: 1 Minutes 59 Secs. 
28.
Adriana Lecouvreur: Intermezzo by Francesco Cilèa
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/1967 
Venue:  Jesus Christ Church, Berlin 
Length: 2 Minutes 22 Secs. 
29.
I gioielli della Madonna: Act 2 Intermezzo by Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1911 
Date of Recording: 09/1967 
Venue:  Jesus Christ Church, Berlin 
Length: 3 Minutes 37 Secs. 
30.
Concerto for Violin in D major, Op. 61 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Anne-Sophie Mutter (Violin)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1806; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 48 Minutes 11 Secs. 
Notes: The cadenzas in this selection are by Fritz Kreisler. 
31.
L'Amico Fritz: Intermezzo by Pietro Mascagni
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1891; Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/1967 
Venue:  Jesus Christ Church, Berlin 
Length: 4 Minutes 56 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Ein Heldenleben, Op.40: Der Held
Ein Heldenleben, Op.40: Des Helden Widersacher
Ein Heldenleben, Op.40: Des Helden Gefährtin
Ein Heldenleben, Op.40: Des Helden Walstatt
Ein Heldenleben, Op.40: Des Helden Friedenswerke
Ein Heldenleben, Op.40: Des Helden Weltflucht und Vollendung
Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks (Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche), Op.28
Symphony No.3 In E Flat, Op.55 -"Eroica": 1. Allegro con brio
Symphony No.3 In E Flat, Op.55 -"Eroica": 2. Marcia funebre (Adagio assai)
Symphony No.3 In E Flat, Op.55 -"Eroica": 3. Scherzo (Allegro vivace)
Symphony No.3 In E Flat, Op.55 -"Eroica": 4. Finale (Allegro molto)
Symphony No.4 In B Flat, Op.60: 1. Adagio - Allegro vivace
Symphony No.4 In B Flat, Op.60: 2. Adagio
Symphony No.4 In B Flat, Op.60: 3. Allegro vivace
Symphony No.4 In B Flat, Op.60: 4. Allegro ma non troppo

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 A Karajan Tribute August 25, 2012 By V. Guernon (South Kingstown, RI) See All My Reviews "The present set was made to commemorate Herbert von Karajan's 100th birthday in 2008. It consists mainly of recordings made between 1962 and 1967, when Karajan had successfully completed the building of his musical empire in Europe. Besides being Music Director of the Berlin Philharmonic, he was also the Artistic Director of the Vienna State Opera, and Music Director of the Salzburg Festival. Like Eugene Ormandy in Philadelphia, Karajan built the Berlin Philharmonic into an orchestra that was the envy of the world in its virtuosity and beauty of sound. Like Ormandy, he crafted a sound that was rich in string sonority and tended to blend the winds and brass into the orchestral fabric. And like Ormandy, Karajan was a musical conservative, whose performances, although well-polished, were often lacking in individuality and toughness. The words that come to mind in describing a Karajan performance are opulence and elegance. For a conductor who recorded as much as he did, he had a surprising limited repertoire. Except for Sibelius and Tchaikovsky, he recorded little outside the standard German Romantic repertoire, extending from Beethoven to Richard Strauss. He did record much opera, however, and was considered a specialist in Verdi and Wagner. The recordings in this set typical of Karajan at this time. To me, the best performances are the Beethoven "Eroica", the Brahms Symphony #2, the Debussy La mer and the Prrelude a l'apres-midi d'un Faune, and the record of opera intermezzi. I should point out that the Schubert Symphony #9 and the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the yound Anne-Sophie Mutter receive new transfers with greatly improved sound. It is too bad that Universal chose not to release this tribute as SACD hybrid discs. Karajan, who was always at the forefront of new technologies, would have greatly approved." Report Abuse
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