Notes and Editorial Reviews
A marvelously atmospheric and committed account of the Bartók, and a refined and spacious reading of the Hindemith.
Karajan first recorded the Bartok in 1949 (Columbia) and rerecorded it in the late 1960s (DG). Though not quite so well recorded as the DG, this is a marvellously atmospheric and committed account, in some ways fresher and more spontaneous than the later version. The difference in recording quality is not really an issue, however: the DG has rather more body in the middle register but perhaps less detail at the top. I would prefer this to its mid-price rivals, the DG Karajan and the 1977 Ozawa version with the Boston Symphony Orchestra (DG), good though they both are.
account of the Mathis symphony is fine-spun in texture and spacious in design. He produces more refined and transparent textures than one is accustomed to in Hindemith, and both the dynamic nuances and details of phrasing are attentive without one being unduly conscious of any beautification. The finale is splendidly dramatic too. (I should say that Jeremy Noble, writing in 1962, thought differently and while marvelling at Karajan's consistently beautiful sound would have welcomed sharper definition and bite.) Although the recording has a certain pallor when put alongside Walter Legge's Philharmonia recordings of this period, it is thoroughly atmospheric.
-- Gramophone [8/1982]
reviewing an LP release of this album
Works on This Recording
Symphony "Mathis der Maler" by Paul Hindemith
Herbert von Karajan
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
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