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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Immolation and Ash, 7 Mar 2012
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This review is from: Wagner: Tristan und Isolde; Tannhäuser; Die Meistersinger - Orchestral Music (Audio CD)
If you have ever been utterly heartbroken, approach this disc with caution.

These excerpts from Tristan will unravel those old stitches, bringing forth 'both blood & water'.

Herbie & the Berliners were smouldering in the afterglow of Meyer-gate when this disc was made; and while some fine recordings still lay in the future (say, the Brahms 1 & 2 and the Mozart divertimenti to name a few) this is the last of the "humdingers". The Prelude in particular is the wildest of laments, as if conductor and orchestra alike were conscious that the Union was damaged & irreparably so. Listen to the torrent of lava that erupts in the Prelude from 6'15" onwards. While it is a miracle of sonority, it is more than that: it's a volcanic remembrance of things past.

All that awaits is oblivion - so sings the orchestra at the climax of Liebestod. You can listen to Tristan & Isolde or you can befall it.

This, this, this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Music of the spheres, 1 May 2014
By 
Ralph Moore "Ralph operaphile" (Bishop's Stortford, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wagner: Tristan und Isolde; Tannhäuser; Die Meistersinger - Orchestral Music (Audio CD)
This is the greatest orchestra ever playing like dervishes with a genius in his Indian Summer at their helm. It's short measure at 50 minutes but you don't quaff Pouilly Fuissé by the tankard.

I have never before heard a version of the "Tannhäuser" overture and Venusberg music to rival Solti's in his complete recording but now I have - and it is overwhelming in its verve and passion. The "Meistersinger" prelude is distinguished by the velvety sheen of the BPO strings and sustained arcing of the long melodic lines. And oh, those horns and Wagner tubas at 4:01"! The "Tristan" excerpts are finer than any other version Karajan recorded by virtue of their superb recorded sound and the concentrated tone of the orchestra, which first burns like a slender, acetylene flame before erupting with frightening intensity. Its only rivals are the playing of the Bayreuth orchestra in Karajan's famous, live, 1952 recording but of course the sound there is comparatively wretched in the former and the 1972 studio recording does not enjoy the clarity of digital technology.

I was virtually bullied into buying this CD by a fellow Amazonian and I have no complaints about his coercion; this is stupendous music-making and should be sent off on the next Voyager probe to alert extra-terrestrials to the existence of the finer things our grubby and tirelessly murderous little race is capable of producing.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Karajan's greatest recordings - no shadow of a doubt!, 17 Sep 2012
By 
Mr. Mark A. Meldon (Somerset UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wagner: Tristan und Isolde; Tannhäuser; Die Meistersinger - Orchestral Music (Audio CD)
I have this wonderful disc in it's original incarnation Tannhäuser - Overture and Venusberg Music. - Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg - Prelude, Act 3. - Tristan und Isolde - Prelude and Liebestod; to see why I think it's a great recording, I would ask you to kindly click the link!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 30 July 2014
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N. D. (Stamford UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wagner: Tristan und Isolde; Tannhäuser; Die Meistersinger - Orchestral Music (Audio CD)
A request from my father. He loves it! :)
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