Author Topic: *Tears of Joy*  (Read 5203 times)

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BorisG

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Re: *Tears of Joy*
« Reply #20 on: November 27, 2007, 09:25:13 PM »
Very much agreed, though I did enjoy both the 2nd and 3rd, as well as the superb 4th from "Karajan: The Music, The Legend". 8)

I also listened through the whole bunch the day I bought them, and watched the Tchaikovsky DVDs about a week ago (I think). With apologies for the huge delay - you might've noticed it's been a while since I even logged in GMG, if nothing else - here are my general impressions:


Volume 1 - Strauss: Ein Heldenleben

Well, this is a known and (by some of us) loved performance, exactly as it was, and "bundled" with an excellent "Till Eulenspigel" from a few years later. Nothing new here.


Volume 2 - Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4

BorisG covered me.


Volume 3 - Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1, Rococo Variations

Again, an old classic, as it was.


Volume 4 - Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 3

BorisG covered me here as well, though I'd like to note that it's incredible how Toscanini-like Karajan's reading of those two was, during that period! :o


Volume 5 -Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring, Bartok: Concerto for Orchestra

Well, this is Karajan's earlier "Rite", the one Stravinsky disliked, newly remastered and all; but I think I'll agree with Stravinsky about this one. Or in any case, I prefer Karajan's latter account of the work. And the Bartok I can say little about, as it's a piece I know very little. :(


Volume 6 - Debussy: La Mer, "Prelude" (you-know-what), Ravel: Bolero

Again, the same as a previous issue, exact same sound, etc. Still fantastic performances, though.


Volume 7 - Schubert: Symphonies Nos. 8 & 9

A very interesting disc, to me. The 8th probably works better than the 9th, but all in all very unsettled, yet still melodic and very "flowing" Schubert.


Volume 8 - Opera Intermezzi

Interesting, well-performed, but not entirely "my repertory", so I'll refrain from commenting any further. I did enjoy it greatly, if that helps...


Volume 9 - Mozart: Requiem, "Coronation" Mass

My favourite Karajan Requiem, still as it was (sound-wise), and coupled with a very well performed/recorded Coronation Mass, which I hadn't heard before (this version, that is).


Volume 10 - Beethoven: Violin Concerto

The hidden gem in this reissue! When I read that it was getting remastering (it being a 1979 recording), I'll admit I wondered just what they might improve. But in this incarnation, this recording sounds positively fantastic: Mutter's tone sounds as natural as if she played the concerto next to me (so to speak), and the orchestra comes out spectacularly clear.


Karajan: The Music, The Legend

A superb Brahms 4th with some genuinely breath-taking moments, a very interesting previously-unreleased Bach piece for 2 violins (BWV 1043), and the 5th Hungarian Rhapsody, by Liszt. Also a wonderful booklet with tributes to Karajan, though all in all I'd easily have payed the full price for this even if it only contained that Brahms 4th. ;D


Finally for the CDs, worth mentioning is the very nice booklet that comes with the entire "Master Recordings" box, which if nothing else has a lot of the "Karajan factor", for "fanboys" like me. ;)



Now, concerning the "Tchaikovsky 4th, 5th and 6th" DVD, there is only one thing for me to say:

It contains what are easily the best Karajan performances of all three symphonies I've personally heard (comparing with the two BPO recordings on DG and the BPO recording on EMI), and is the purchase I will recommend first and foremost, from these wave of new releases. Perhaps the first music DVD I'm tempted to watch/listen to instead of an ordinary recording!

Thanks for the bundle synopsis.

No need for me to improve on Mutter's Beethoven. I have it on her "Face to Face with Beethoven" CD, which I think sounds fine, though it makes no mention of a new remastering.

I prefer Karajan's first DG Rite of Spring, though the work is done better by others. I had it from the 100 Masterpieces series. The Bartok's done better by many others. Do not know why they included this. A weak moment perhaps.

His Tchaikovsky 4 thru 6 I prefer on EMI Gemini, newly remastered. Sound is still better on DG, but I detect a greater sense of urgency on EMI.

Let us pray once again for 1966 Bruckner 9.

Renfield

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Re: *Tears of Joy*
« Reply #21 on: November 27, 2007, 09:45:43 PM »
His Tchaikovsky 4 thru 6 I prefer on EMI Gemini, newly remastered. Sound is still better on DG, but I detect a greater sense of urgency on EMI.

Let us pray once again for 1966 Bruckner 9.

We are still talking about the newly-released Tchaikovsky 4-6 DVD, right? ;)

And yes, that 9th would be most welcome indeed!

head-case

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Re: *Tears of Joy*
« Reply #22 on: November 27, 2007, 09:52:47 PM »
Let us pray once again for 1966 Bruckner 9.
Why would you prey for it when it is in stock at Amazon?  Actually almost everything in this set has been available in many previous incarnations.  The live DVD's will be nice to see, and it will be nice to have that Brahms 2, 3 in a better remastinging, but all of the rest I have somewhere or another (including that excellent Bartok concerto for orchestra).

Renfield

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Re: *Tears of Joy*
« Reply #23 on: November 27, 2007, 09:55:43 PM »
Why would you prey for it when it is in stock at Amazon?  Actually almost everything in this set has been available in many previous incarnations.  The live DVD's will be nice to see, and it will be nice to have that Brahms 2, 3 in a better remastinging, but all of the rest I have somewhere or another (including that excellent Bartok concerto for orchestra).


It's the remastering he prays for. ;)

And the Concerto for Orchestra I simply do not know as a piece, so I'll come back with comments on it only when I do. :)

BorisG

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Re: *Tears of Joy*
« Reply #24 on: November 28, 2007, 08:47:38 AM »
It's the remastering he prays for. ;)

And the Concerto for Orchestra I simply do not know as a piece, so I'll come back with comments on it only when I do. :)

Thanks for correcting. I have not experienced those 1973 DVDperformances, just two years after the EMI. Apparently, the DVDs were only available in Japan (beginning four or five years ago), until Universal overcame some Unitel roadblocks.

The 2-minute clips for 4 & 5 at You Tube are invigorating, but the cameras stay on Karajan almost the entire time. Is that indicative of the rest of the videos?

head-case

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Re: *Tears of Joy*
« Reply #25 on: November 28, 2007, 12:13:17 PM »
It's the remastering he prays for. ;)
The '66 Bruckner they are currently selling is based on what I thought was a nicely done remastering job from the early 90's, I thought.  I don't think there is much in the original source that a new master can bring out.  Those Brahms 2/3 recordings are a different story, they are only available in a "musicfest" release which sounded awful to me.

BorisG

  • Guest
Re: *Tears of Joy*
« Reply #26 on: November 28, 2007, 02:26:16 PM »
The '66 Bruckner they are currently selling is based on what I thought was a nicely done remastering job from the early 90's, I thought.  I don't think there is much in the original source that a new master can bring out.  Those Brahms 2/3 recordings are a different story, they are only available in a "musicfest" release which sounded awful to me.


Galleria 1966 Bruckner 9. Some cleaning of extraneous noise. They chose to retain Gunter Hermanns (or inferior DG recording equipment) usual shrillness in the climaxes. Modern thinking by Emil Berliner Studios would probably just darken the proceedings, as they've done with 1963/4 Brahms 1 - 3, and others.

I am beginning to think it is a lost cause. That the original sources were too buggered up from the very beginning.

The 1963/4 Brahms 2 & 3 were also reissued by French DG in 2006, with no new remastering.


Renfield

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Re: *Tears of Joy*
« Reply #27 on: November 28, 2007, 06:14:43 PM »
Thanks for correcting. I have not experienced those 1973 DVDperformances, just two years after the EMI. Apparently, the DVDs were only available in Japan (beginning four or five years ago), until Universal overcame some Unitel roadblocks.

The 2-minute clips for 4 & 5 at You Tube are invigorating, but the cameras stay on Karajan almost the entire time. Is that indicative of the rest of the videos?

Actually, for a Karajan video performance, the focus on Karajan is less prominent than usually. Which is even more interesting, given that he directed that specific set of videos himself.

Do note that "less prominent" doesn't necessarily mean he's shown less: he's still shown a very great lot, if perhaps a bit less than in the late "Legacy For Home Video" productions. But the way he is presented, and the way the orchestra are shown when they are given the spotlight are both much more natural than in other cases - enough for it to make an impression on me as I was watching.

So well-directed, in a nutshell; and of course superb performances, as I said above! :)

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