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Herbert Von Karajan Vol 3 - Beethoven: Symphonies No 3 & 9

Release Date: 03/10/2009 
Label:  Audite   Catalog #: 23414   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Gottlob FrickElisabeth GrümmerErnst HaefligerMarga Höffgen
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic OrchestraSt. Hedwig's Cathedral Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mono 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

BEETHOVEN Symphonies: No. 3;1 No. 92 • Herbert von Karajan, cond; Elisabeth Grümmer (sop); Marga Höffgen (alt); Ernst Haefliger (ten); Gottlob Frick (bs); St. Hedwig’s Cathedral Ch; Berlin PO • AUDITE 23 414, mono (2 CDs: 123:56) Live: Berlin 9/8/1953;1 4/25/19572

"The Audite release...is remarkable on a number of levels. For one thing, each of the symphonies it offers was recorded at a concert marking a historic event, the “Eroica” from one that comprised the first post-war public appearance of the Berlin Philharmonic, that of the Ninth occurring on the 75th anniversary of that orchestra. Musically, each is a defining point in Karajan’s approach to Beethoven. The earliest of the conductor’s surviving accounts
Read more of the “Eroica” is a 1944 performance with the Prussian State Orchestra of Berlin (possibly still available on Koch 1509). It is the broadest of the six Karajan versions that I have heard. This 1953 account is very different. In many respects it anticipates the lean, comparative fleetness of the conductor’s last (all digital) effort for DG. Indeed, it is often a more incisive version than Karajan’s recording from the previous year with the Philharmonia Orchestra. But it also features occasional rhythmic ruptures that characterized Furtwängler’s approach, albeit less extreme. Unfortunately, the sound, although ample in presence and free of tape hiss, is marred by an unpleasant metallic harshness in the strings that cannot be neutralized with a treble control. But a flexible equalizer should help to improve things. This Ninth Symphony from five years later is remarkable for the way it echoes Karajan’s first studio effort (with the Vienna Philharmonic from 1947, still available on a single EMI CD). Particularly noteworthy are the cascading, explosive legatos of the first movement and, on the negative side, some undue haste in the finale. But this live account offers greater intensity in the second movement, where a first repeat (omitted in 1947) is included. Moreover, it is sonically better than that recording, and vastly superior in that regard to the strident “Eroica” included in this set. A few bloopers from the horns simply add to the “live” ethos. Certainly, for those who admire Karajan, this release should have great appeal."

FANFARE: Mortimer H. Frank
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Works on This Recording

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: 09/08/1953 
Symphony no 9 in D minor, Op. 125 "Choral" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Gottlob Frick (Bass), Elisabeth Grümmer (Soprano), Ernst Haefliger (Tenor),
Marga Höffgen (Alto)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  St. Hedwig's Cathedral Choir
Period: Classical 
Written: 1822-1824; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 04/25/1957 

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