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Herbert von Karajan

Beethoven: 9 Symphonien (5CD + Blu-Ray Audio)

Karajan recorded the Complete Symphonies of Beethoven no fewer than four times for Deutsche Grammophon, but this first 1963 recording was financially the most daring, artistically the most radical, and commercially the most successful.

The 1963 Berlin set dazzled like no other, aided in no small measure by the clean, clear, daringly “lit” recordings made in Berlin’s Jesus-Christus-Kirche by the young Günter Hermanns who debuted on these recordings as Karajan’s principal recording engineer.

Critics and the record-buying public were enthused above all by the urgency and beauty of the music-making and by the fierce sense of joy which reached its apogee in a thrillingly played and eloquently sung account of the finale of the epic Ninth Symphony.

50 years on from its original launch, the set remains the best-selling Beethoven cycle of all time.

CD 1
Symphony No. 1 in C major op. 21

Symphony No. 2 in D major op. 36

CD 2
Symphony No. 3 in E flat major op. 55 “Eroica”

Symphony No. 4 in B flat major op. 60

CD 3
Symphony No. 5 in C minor op. 67

Symphony No. 6 in F major op. 68 “Pastoral”

CD 4
Symphony No. 7 in A major op. 92

Symphony No. 8 in F major op. 93

CD 5

Symphony No. 9 in D minor op. 125

Symphonies Nos. 1–9
Symphony No. 9: Rehearsal

WALDEMAR KMENTT tenor | WALTER BERRY bass-baritone
WIENER SINGVEREIN | Chorus Master: Reinhold Schmid
Recordings: Berlin, Jesus-Christus-Kirche, 12/1961 (No. 1); 1/1962 (Nos. 2, 8); 2/1962 (No. 6); 3/1962 (Nos. 5, 7); 10 & 11/1962 (Nos. 3, 4, 9)