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Herbert von Karajan

Karajan Complete Sibelius Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon (5CD+ Blu Ray Audio)

If there is one musician who represents orchestral conducting better than anyone else during the 20th century, it has been Karajan. On the one hand, his charisma, his passionate approach to music, his unique ability to extract the most brilliant sonorities from the orchestra and, on the other hand, both his cult of technique and recording studios and his profound knowledge of the recording market made him the most popular and acclaimed conductor of the whole century.

In 1981, Gramophone wrote that “No living conductor has done more for the music of Sibelius than Herbert von Karajan.” No one has championed him more consistently on record than Karajan who has recorded multiple accounts of the Fourth Symphony the, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh and of Tapiola. Karajan's intense love of nature may in part have drawn him to Sibelius who had himself so extraordinary a capacity to identify with his natural environment. For many, his Tapiola from the mid-1960s remains unsurpassed evoking the mood of the Nordic forests. Karajan’s affinity to the composer is perhaps felt most keenly in his recordings of the Fourth Symphony, a work – as he put it himself – without compromise. It was a work which obviously meant a great deal to him: He made it a condition of acceptance on his appointment as conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker that his very first concert should include the Fourth – this at a time when Sibelius had few champions in Germany. Karajan was throughout his career, a loyal advocate of Sibelius, and as Gramophone closed the same article: “Sibelians are in his debt.”

TRACK LIST

CD 1
Symphony No. 4 in A minor Op. 63
The Swan of Tuonela Op. 22/2
Gerhard Stempnik english horn

CD 2
Symphony No. 5 in E flat major Op. 82
Tapiola Op. 112

CD 3
Symphony No. 6 in D minor Op. 104
Symphony No. 7 in C major Op. 105

CD 4
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D minor Op. 47
Christian Ferras violin
Finlandia Op. 26
Valse triste Op. 44/1

CD 5
Finlandia op. 26
The Swan of Tuonela Op. 22/2
Gerhard Stempnik english horn
Valse triste Op. 44/1
Tapiola Op. 112
Pelléas et Mélisande Op. 46 (Suite)

Herbert von Karajan, Berliner Philharmoniker

Blu-ray Audio disc, does not include the recordings on CD 5