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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 5 April 2008
Happy Birthday to Herbert Von Karajan on his 100th Birthday,Born 5th April 1908. I have just spent two wonderful hours watching this DVD, totally spellbound by the music & the performance of the Berlin Philharmonic & the Birthday Boy. I liked the lighting & the lack of audience participation, no coughing or applause, just the music. Good minimalist packaging, too. I would highly recommend this DVD & at it's unbelievable price a bargain not to be missed. Buy it!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
If you like the more modern light footed quick fire approach to Beethoven this will not be for you. The orchestra is of a size which Beethoven would not have recognised-- a huge string section and and doubled trumpets give a Wagnerian feel at times even in the last part of the Pastoral. The storm booms rather than crackles. Those emphatic timpani whacks are almost lost!¬The last movement of the Seventh sometimes loses rhythmic excitement. The triumphant final shouts of horns and trumpets lack exhuberance.

In its way though this disc is an important, and extremely cheap, insight into Karajan's distinctive way with Beethoven. There is an undoubtedly heroic feel about the whole of the Fifth, and much beauty of sound throughout especially in the delighful woodwind solos of the Pastoral.

Karajan himself is more animated than in earlier filmed performances and actually LOOKS at his players! There is a great sense of something really important going on even if the humour of the 8th and the 3rd movement of the 7th is too suave. Beethoven without his rough edges!

I am glad I bought it because it is enjoyable and complements other performances like those of the excellent Carlos Kleiber in the 7th.
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