8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
If you want to be alternately caressed by the cool, tapering fingers of attendant naiads, wafted aloft on roseate clouds, rocked while reclining upon the ample pneumatic charms of Venus's bosom then you might like to buy this disc.
This concert was the product of the late re-emergence of the love-affair between Karajan and the Vienna Philharmonic once he had irreparably fallen out with his long-time orchestral spouse in Berlin and the orchestra play for him like one silky, muscular, homogenous organism; I don't think I've ever heard a band play more beautifully. The amount of detail which emerges through the glorious blend of sound is astonishing; never before have I so clearly heard the scurrying sixteenth note figure for the violas in the "Tannhäuser" overture. Balances are perfect -and this was a live concert.
The "Siegfried Idyll" is a miracle of deft tenderness and nuance while the Prelude and Liebestod from "Tristan" make a supremely satisfying conclusion to a master-class in conducting and playing. While I prefer this music delivered a tad more urgently, the sheen on the sound and the application of cumulative tension despite the restrained tempo create an overwhelming erotic tension. Wheeling out Jessye Norman's plush velvet and steel soprano was the ideal programming; what other voice could have so aptly matched the sound of the VPO in this music? (What a pity she never felt able to record the whole role.) The final "unbewusst, höchste Lust" is magical.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
This is very memorable live recording of Wagner's orchestral works. Tannhauser Overture is absolutely thrilling and magnificent. Siegfried Idyll is more spontaneous and sensitive than his studio recording. Prelude & Liebestod with Norman is deeply moving and powerful.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 3 July 2013
Von Karajan died less than one year after this performance, and I love to think that you can feel his urgency to deliver a final supreme interpretation of the music he loved most.At times, he seems overwhelmed by the beauty of Wagner's music.