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Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 In D Minor Op.125 / Karajan in Italy, Vol.2: Rome 1954 [CD]

Herbert von Karajan Audio CD
1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Herbert von Karajan – A Chronology
1908 Born in Salzburg on April 5. The Karajan family originally came from Macedonia in Northern Greece and bore the name Karajannis. Herbert von Karajan’s great-great-grand¬father emigrated to Saxony but eventually settled as a merchant in Vienna. For his services in the furtherance of trade and industry, Frederick Augustus, Elector of ... Read more in Amazon's Herbert von Karajan Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (28 Nov 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: DYNAMIC
  • ASIN: B005V8K4GQ
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 278,456 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125, "Choral": I. Allegro ma non troppo, un poco maestosoTeresa Stich-Randall15:32Album Only
Listen  2. Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125, "Choral": II. Molto vivaceTeresa Stich-Randall10:27Album Only
Listen  3. Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125, "Choral": III. Adagio molto e cantabile - Andante moderatoTeresa Stich-Randall16:20Album Only
Listen  4. Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125, "Choral": IV. Finale: Presto - Allegro assaiTeresa Stich-Randall24:59Album Only

Product Description

CD Description

Karajan was unquestionably one of the most charismatic conductors of the 20th century. This live recording of Beethovens Ninth Symphony made on 4th December 1954 with the symphonic and choral groups of the RAI in Rome is an eloquent testimony.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Why? 15 Jan 2012
By Ralph Moore TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
My first thought within seconds of beginning to play this disc was, "Why?" It is not as though we are short of permanent records of Karajan's conception of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and if you must have a live performance - of which Karajan authorised comparatively few, being so prolific in the studio - there is a good mono recording on Audite of the 75th Anniversary performance by the Berlin Philharmonic under him and, again for the historically minded, the1947 studio recording made under such difficult conditions in Vienna which for all its sonic shortcomings is far preferable to what we have here. The sound is execrable; there is no other word for it and there is no evidence of a re-mastering having had any effect upon its quality. Fuzz, distortion and spatter abound. The chorus' words are wholly unintelligible; they might as well be singing through face flannels. Orchestral detail is inaudible, except when, for example, the bassoon is playing solo; otherwise all is a fug.

As far as I can tell, the soloists - staunch and stalwart, tried and tested names to a singer - are rather good, especially Teresa Stich-Randall and Gottlob Frick, a few aspirates apart. However, there are better testaments to their artistry than this to be found elsewhere. Karajan rarely altered his interpretations or tempi once he had hit upon a working formula and there is little difference in his phrasing or timings between this and his other numerous accounts, so once again, there is nothing distinctive about this version to merit its purchase. Vaguely in evidence is his ability to raise the standard of any orchestra he encountered and homogenise their sound into the one for which he was famous and the RAI Sinfonica clearly responded positively to his autocratic direction.

I remain mystified why the Dynamic label thought this was worth the investment.
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