Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Brahms, R. Strauss, Mozart|
Symphony 2 / Metamorphosen / Masonic Funeral Music
Great postwar performances, but the sound is antique
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 01/22/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"EMI's vast archives aren't all in the best shape, and there are quite a few early Karajan recordings from 1946-50 that haven't deteriorated as badly as this Brahms Second from 1949. It's a great performance, if you don't mind hearing the Vienna Phil. coming out of a table radio. Karajan helped rebuild the VPO after the war; four years later it sitll sounds scrapy in spots and not always in tune. But those rough moments are the exception--this is a powerful reading that sings. Karajan was the greatest Brahmsian after Furtwangler and Toscanini, and he strieks a pose between them--his way with the Second is lyrical and clean, without much tempo fluctuation, and never trugid. Compared to his three later recordings, this early one is slower in the slow parts and faster in the fast ones, but never to an extreme. Karajan made a specialty of this work, and every performance is treasurable.
The other major work here is the first commercial recording, I believe, of Strauss's last orchestral work, Metamorphosen, recorded in 1947. The sonics are dim and hissy, but we can hear a good deal of the performance. Karajan felt close to this elegaic work written in sorrow over the Allied bombing of the opera houses in Vienna, Munich, and Dresden. The VPO strings sound luscious thorugh the dimness, and although Karajan went on to make two later recordings with the Berlin Phil. that are classics, this historical one is the most delicate of the three."