WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Karajan Gold - Tschaikowsky: Symphonie no 4 / Vienna PO

Release Date: 01/24/2011 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 439018   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 43 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Freer and more spontaneous-sounding than his BPO performance, Karajan's characteristic molding of phrase is more natural and persuasive with the Vienna orchestra.

This is the most successful of the three Tchaikovsky symphony recordings that Karajan has made with the Vienna Philharmonic in conjunction with Telemondial video projects. The sound is less conventionally balanced than in Karajan's last Berlin recording for DG, issued in 1978, but particularly with the weight of bass that CD provides, and the extra clarity that the digital system brings, making cloudy textures reasonably transparent, the warmly reverberant recording is on balance easier on the ear than the relatively fierce-sounding earlier one. DG want to
Read more emphasize that though this new recording has been made in conjunction with a video project, the audio has not been treated simply as an adjunct. Certainly in Symphony No. 4 more than in Nos. 5 and 6, there is positive gain from a freer, more spontaneous-sounding performance. As before the playing here of the Vienna Philharmonic cannot match that of the Berlin Philharmonic in Karajan's previous versions for DG, in knife-edged precision. The Berlin performances are both purer and more refined, but the moulding of phrase characteristic of Karajan in Tchaikovsky is here more natural and persuasive with the Vienna orchestra, even when in the second group of the first movement he is a shade more expansive. So the Vienna clarinet edges into that section with more of a tenuto than his Berlin counterpart, delightfully so, while by contrast the Vienna oboe, much edgier of tone than the Berlin one, plays the opening melody ot the second movement Andantino more freshly with less obtrusive tenutos. In the Scherzo the Vienna woodwind is less brilliant and precise than the Berlin, but perhaps the biggest advantage this time comes in the extra excitement, the sense of adrenalin flowing, in the finale, again not quite so crisply disciplined.

This is a symphony which has always put Karajan on his mettle, and with the provisos I have given this new recording should please all his admirers.

-- Gramophone [10/1985]
Read less

Works on This Recording

Symphony no 4 in F minor, Op. 36 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1877-1878; Russia 
Date of Recording: 09/1984 
Venue:  Grosser Saal, Musikverein, Vienna 
Length: 43 Minutes 5 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title