This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.
Notes and Editorial Reviews
The recording of this new version of the symphony is nicely reverberant and quite mellow, though detail registers clearly enough. At the outset of the first movement the tempo is quite expansive. Karajan conducts with a certain autumnal passion and there is a rich glow in the BPO's playing. As the movement progresses there are a few agogic mouldings of phrase, but crucially with this conductor the basic pulse of the music is strong and well maintained. There is no Toscaninian white heat, but nothing is over-refined or too legato. The slow movement is again on the slow side, launched by glorious playing from the cellos, and while the phrasing is fully finished the music is kept well on the move. In the third movement Karajan lets the music
flow easily and naturally at first, but typically he does not unbend for the more frolicsome passages and hereabouts the characterization of the music is a little distant. There is plenty of fire at the outset of the finale, with playing which is strong and insistent: in the more introspective section of the movement Karajan matches the mood of the music well. The work ends with as exciting a climax as one has the right to expect of a conductor in his late seventies. Karajan's reading of the Haydn Variations is well integrated and unidiosyncratic.
-- Gramophone [11/1987]
Works on This Recording
Symphony no 2 in D major, Op. 73 by Johannes Brahms
Herbert von Karajan
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Written: 1877; Austria
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Superbe Brahms November 4, 2015
By charles l. See All My Reviews
"I am completely surprised to discover that no one yet has reviewed what I consider this classic recording since it came out in 1988 - and all the more as it is von Karajan's final version - on disc at least - of the Brahms D Major Symphony. I am quite partial to this reading and performance for many reasons, all of which I could include under the heading of experience and professionalism: the tempos are fluid and adaptive, the direction of the melodic and harmonic lines are the product of years of experience, the playing by the BP is top notch, the blending, harmonies and ensemble playing are exemplary, and the recording by the engineers of DGG is superbe. So what don't I like: the fact that this is the end of the line for a conductor and international ensemble. What we hear is the end of an era, pro, finished like you rarely find and extremely musical. There is different, but HvK/ BP sign here a reference version of the type of Brahms that I like to listen to - and not tire - over the years."