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Ludwig van Beethoven: Overtures [Import]

Herbert von Karajan Audio CD
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 17.31 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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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 (17 April 1996)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • ASIN: B000001GAB
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 113,010 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Disc 1:

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Beethoven: The Creatures Of Prometheus, Op.43 - Overtura. Adagio - Allegro molto con brioBerliner Philharmoniker 5:210.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Beethoven: "King Stephen or Hungary's First Benefactor", Op.117Berliner Philharmoniker 6:440.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Beethoven: The Ruins of Athens, Op.113Berliner Philharmoniker 5:240.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Beethoven: Music to Goethe's Tragedy "Egmont" op.84Berliner Philharmoniker 8:190.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Beethoven: Overture "Coriolan", Op.62Berliner Philharmoniker 8:560.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Beethoven: Overture "Nameday", Op.115Berliner Philharmoniker 6:510.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Beethoven: Overture "The Consecration of the House", Op.124Berliner Philharmoniker10:141.49  Buy MP3 

Disc 2:

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Beethoven: Overture "Leonore No.1", Op.138Berliner Philharmoniker10:391.49  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Beethoven: Overture "Leonore No.2", Op.72aBerliner Philharmoniker14:441.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Beethoven: Overture "Leonore No.3", Op.72bBerliner Philharmoniker14:411.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Beethoven: Overture "Fidelio", Op.72cBerliner Philharmoniker 6:580.79  Buy MP3 

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars vintage quality??? 4 Jan 2005
Format:Audio CD
A disappointing vintage set of the Beethoven overtures,but a 'must - have' for some Beethoven collectors:it includes rarities such as Namensfeier and King Stephen.
In spite of digital remastering(originally recorded in 1966)the sound quality lacks the richness of modern recordings.Much of the inner orchestral detail lacks clarity.The massive grandeur of this music is not heard to its' best effect and the spine tingling thrill of the conclusion of Leonora 3 fails to occur.There are much better individual recordings elsewhere.However,if sound quality is not critical to your musical enjoyment,then this collection represents good value for money.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Berliner Philharmoniker & Karajan at their best 29 May 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format:Audio CD
As usual, Karajan and BPO are at their best. Where else can one find a complete set of Beethoven's overtures that is played with such an intensity and accuracy? The understanding between the orchestra & conductor is obvious. Playing is tight and tempo is generally fast. Although some hiss is present and balance between difference sections may not always be ideal, the quality of playing outweighs these imperfections.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars After forty years still a front-runner for best Beethoven overtures collection 30 Jun 2012
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Karajan's best period for Beethoven, which makes it among the best periods in the second half of the twentieth century, came in the Sixties. These eleven overtures were recorded in two sessions in 1965 and 1969, showing all the power and integrity of the conductor's mature Beethoven style without the glossiness that would soon creep in. All the performances are of a piece, given large-scaled readings that tend to merge the earliest overture (Creatures of Prometheius 1801) with the latest (Consecration of the House 1822). All of full of energy and commitment, and the measure of their success is that in the succeeding forty years, no one has made a better collection. IN fact, few later conductors have bettered any of these readings, unless you can accept the turn to HIP Beethoven that makes his music sound like bastardized Haydn rather than the revolutionary turn to Romanticism that it actually represents.

I think the three-star reviewer is entirely off base about the sound, which isn't remotely treble-laden on my system; if anything, the recordings are a bit distant, boomy, and dull on top. But that's a quibble; this is good analogue sound for the era. I can agree, however, that Karajan cannot be compared to Furtwangler, but then, they come form very different musical - and philosophical - worlds as far as Beethoven is concerned. Karajan doesn't reach for the utmost tragedy, triumph, or moral authority, as Furtwangler so memorably did. Without acceding to Toscanini's tight, disciplined style, Karajan certainly took it in mind. There's a great consecration of the House Over. From Klemperer in full Romantic style, but Karajan's fast, thrilling one is great, too.

On the used market this set is a great bargain. Strangely, there aren't many collections of Beethoven overtures, and none that are this complete. I wouldn't be without the Klemperer on EMI, although it omits a few (no one needs to bother with Namensfeier more than once, a work so generic that Beethoven published it as suitable for any grand occasion). There is a Szell collection that is basically Toscanini in better sound, a stodgy Colin Davis, a pedestrian Masur, and, coming closer to a true rival, and early Abbado, now out of print, that covers all of this music with the Vienna Phil. in less exuberant readings that represent probably the young Abbado's best Beethoven.
3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Karajan as 'Flash Harry' Sargent 14 Sep 2011
By Bernard Michael O'Hanlon - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Beethoven put in some ordinary days at the office, even in his maturity. What if our knowledge of his output were confined to the Name-Day Overture, the Consecration of the House, King Stephen and the Ruins of Athens? Down the ranks he would have plummeted. This is your life, Louis Spohr 2!

We all remember Beecham's comment on Karajan - it was worthy of Martial. While this collection is our only chance to hear him in Leonore I & II, it might as well be Flash Harry on the podium. These performances was recorded either in 1965 or in early 1969 in the lead up to the Beethoven bicentenary when DG needed to plug some holes in their catalogue. At the time, both the conductor and the orchestra were at the height of their fame and boy did they know it. Karajan was often photographed with his various array of sports-cars and in this instance, he used the Berlin Philharmonic in such a fashion to hammer his way through these pieces. It is the triumph of virtuosity over truth-telling. One never senses a Klemperer like determination "to wrestle these pieces to the ground" irrespective of what the gallery thinks. If Fidelio the opera - one of Beethoven's most personal creations - had been lost forever, one would be hard-pressed to reconstruct its aspirations on the basis of these slick performances.

Nor is a comparison with Furtwangler in Coriolanus to Herbie's advantage Brahms: Symphonies, Hungarian Dances, Haydn Variations; Beethoven: Overtures / Furtwangler, Berlin PO, Vienna PO. The latter could serve as a prelude to a production of Oepidus at Colonus. Karajan's interpretation makes all the right gestures but fails to instil any genuine catharsis

Worse still, the remastering of this collection was inept. All of these performances are treble-heavy

Genuine "Olympic Grandeur" is to be found in Karajan's remakes of Coriolanus, Egmont, Fidelio and Leonore 3 that were used as so-called fillers for his digital Beethoven set. Here, with death perched on his shoulder, Karajan exorcised the Flash Harry within to deliver stunning renditions: Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 "Eroica"; Egmont Overture & Beethoven: Symphony No. 8 / Overtures: Fidelio, Leonore III, Coriolan. The better instincts of the Berlin Philharmonic are duly engaged. They are fulsomely recorded as well.

Direct your energies there. Nor do you need these Louis Spohr calling-cards.
4 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling performances 26 Sep 2006
By S. Heinen - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Brilliant performances. Brilliant recordings. Brilliant pieces. Reasonable price. It's hard to go wrong here.

The only negative is I wish the jewel case was thinner. These thick ones do not fit in my CD holders very well.
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