Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Herbert von Karajan|
Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring. Bartok: Concerto for Orchestra
By his plastic shaping of Le Sacre s melodic lines and his control of its tremendous tensions Herbert von Karajan has proved himself, in the present recording, worthy of an eminent position in the interpretative history of... more »
Listen to Samples
By his plastic shaping of Le Sacre s melodic lines and his control of its tremendous tensions Herbert von Karajan has proved himself, in the present recording, worthy of an eminent position in the interpretative history of this major work of the world s musical literature.
Sumptous Playing Makes This CD Worth Considering
Doug - Haydn Fan | California | 09/23/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Karajan recorded several orchestra showpieces for DG that still demand attention for the out of this world execution of his Berlin players. Just try samples 8 or 19 for some idea of what's here. Originally issued on LP, the Stravinsky Rite of Spring drives along like a top of the line Mercedes going 180 miles per hour on the Autobahn. Yes, the savage and harsh sonorites are smoothed over, but for sheer power it's tough to top this unholy beast for sheeny decadent perfection. Not since Monteux's balance of dynamism and elegance with the Boston Symphony had any orchestra played this challenging score with such matchless suavity and distinction.
DG continues producing remarkable improvements over the original LP issues. Now able to overcome the restrictions of compression limiting the sounds of the long playing record, the newly remastered orchestra sounds amazing, blazing forth with unthrottled power and dynamic range.
The Bartok Concerto goes along with more success - aesthetically - than the Stravinsky, but it too suffers when too many of Bartok's sharp corners and the music's jagged edginess are smoothed over. I heartily agree with the three alternative suggestions in this wonderful music made by Santa Fe.
All in all - if you want another version in this music and enjoy great playing for playing's sake - this is your CD!"
High Emotional Content - Highly Recommended
Harry Haller | 03/27/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I don't claim to know music theory or performance history, but I listen to a lot of classical music and I know what I like. And I must say that, this Karajan's performance absolutely blows me away. I have become addicted to it.
After reading some of the reviews here, I purchased and listened to Boulez's "hallmark" performance of this piece (1969 I believe) and Stravinsky's own performance with Columbia Symphony Orchestra (1960). I then became convinced that this Karajan's performance with Berlin Philharmonic was the best, by my "standards." By that I mean that it had the most effect on me; it packed the most emotional punch.
The orchestra sounds bright and crisp, the recording is great, and I think the performance is very effective. The piece sounds romantic and dramatic. The purists may argue that this music is modern and ought to be performed like modern music, and not be conducted like Beethoven or Wagner; that it is not a romantic piece. Perhaps. Nevertheless this performance is what sounds great to me and I would highly recommend it."
Sungu Okan | Istanbul, Istanbul Turkey | 01/25/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Karajan and Le Sacre: sounds very diferrent, doesn't it? But, you can believe me, it is definitely "not" dissapointing. If you are an "objective" listener, you will be happy with that Le Sacre version.
First of all, I should say, this Le Sacre is the famous 1964 recording, not from 1977, which is better for sound quality, but more steady, dignified reading, not so risky.
Igor Stravinsky, who recorded the work himself in Sony, criticized that recording as "a pat savage more than real one". Especially, he disliked the tempo of "Ritual of Ancestors", he described it as "tempo di hoochie-koochie"! Well, as we know, Stravinsky hated Romanticisim in music, he was clearly analytic-musician. And Karajan is totally opposite of him! And so, this is why the composer wasn't like that reading. However, everybody doesn't agree the critic of Stravinsky. In the other hand, the cult pianist Glenn Gould, who very much liked that performance, said "the most imaginative and, in a purely compartmentalized sense, inspired realization".
So, when I get this CD, I was confused, but after listening, I really feel respectfully to Karajan's vision. First of all, Berliner Philharmoniker show a truly virtuosic playing. Very harmonious woodwinds, first class brass, very distinct percussion, full of warm strings. They can handle the difficulties, complexities of the score. By the way, there is a risk feeling, which it makes the music more vivid, flamboyant. just check the "Sacrifical Dance", in the last moments, your heart-beats will get faster, you can trust me. Yes, this is sophisticated, but it is a different aspect and it is worth to give a chance of course.
By the way, there is a great performance of a Bartok masterpiece, Concerto for Orchestra, which sounds so rich in that recording.