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Strauss: Ein Heldenleben; Wagner / Karajan, Berlin PO

Release Date: 03/11/1997 
Label:  Dg The Originals Catalog #: 449725   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Richard StraussRichard Wagner
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 5 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

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... [violinist] Michel Schwalbé...in the 1959 recording, is quite outstandingly good... 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, 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.

– Gramophone [8/1976], reviewing Ein Heldenleben
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Works on This Recording

Ein Heldenleben, Op. 40 by Richard Strauss
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1897-1898; Germany 
Date of Recording: 03/1959 
Siegfried Idyll by Richard Wagner
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1870; Germany 
Date of Recording: 02/1977 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  3 Customer Reviews )
 A Heroic Performance March 13, 2015 By owen  ryan (lakewood, CA) See All My Reviews "This was Karajan's first post-war recording for DG and remains today among his finest. This is a visceral no-holds barred recording which shows the BPO to be one of the best. Though this is a very dramatic performance it also brings out the finer or more delicate areas in this composition, in large part due to the virtuostic violin playing of Michel Schwalbe. There might be other fine performances of this work but I think only one is in the same league and that is Fritz Reiner with the Chicago Symphony. Reiner is the Richard Strauss conductor par excellence. For $2- more you can get the RCA hybrid SACD which includes a tremendous Thus Sprach Zarathustra. But if you already have Reiner in your collection add this Karajan masterpiece--you won't be disappointed." Report Abuse
 Classic Gem September 28, 2014 By Henry S. (Springfield, VA) See All My Reviews "Listening to this 55 year old recording goes a long way toward explaining and exemplifying the illustrious legacy of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and Herbert von Karajan in the pre-digital era of the 1950's, 60's, and 70's. Part of DG's The Originals series, Karajan's reading of Richard Strauss' Ein Heldenleben and Richard Wagner's Siegfried Idyll established a standard which can hardly be equaled, let alone surpassed. Please rest assured that the age of this analog recording presents not even a hint of a problem- the sound is simply awesome, deep, and strikingly resonant throughout. It provides a compelling justification for thinking that the truly top tier world orchestras (i.e.- Berlin, Vienna, Amsterdam, London, Cleveland, Chicago) have that extra 'something' that seems to separate them artistically from the rest of the pack, as excellent as the 'pack' is. In this case, the BPO is at the top of its game, and all I can do is urge one and all to sample this 'veteran' recording for a listening experience that can justifiably be called staggering. This is Richard Strauss the way it was meant to be played and heard. Recommended all the way!!" Report Abuse
 Great Piece, Great Recording December 18, 2012 By Weston Williams (Chicago, IL) See All My Reviews "Karajan was a magnificent interpreter of both Strauss and Wagner, and this recording shows it. Both are conducted impeccably and performed well. Thoroughly recommended." Report Abuse
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