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The maestro returns
on 23 May 2008
There has always been a school of thought that claims the orchestra doesn't really need a conductor & that his/her influence is only minimal. For me Herbert Von Karajan has always been the one conductor who completely disproves that theory. For good or ill his influence upon an orchestra is always clearly felt & his own particular style is indelibly stamped upon every recording of his work.
Karajans style of lightening quick, abrupt & forceful interpretation seems to divide music lovers straight down the middle, you either love him or hate him,. Occasionally his temperament jarrs & doesn't work well with a piece but this is rare & all too often the excitement & pace he injects lifts even the most mundane or often repeated piece to a state of breathless expectation that is hard not to enjoy.
This 6 CD collection is really a sampler for a complete collection release from EMI but in truth it is in itself complete & quite magnificent. The engineering quality is superb considering the age of many of the recordings. The selection chosen,( the '100' of the title), range from the instantly recognizable to the not so often heard & each & every one is worth it's inclusion. As a whole these 100 tracks serve to not only showcase Karajan's abilities to great effect but are a superb collection of some truly great orchestral pieces in their own right.
Well packaged & at a price that means less than 5p a piece this is ridiculously good value for money. If you are a fan of the man already then perhaps the complete collections may be worth considering but if you are new to him & want to give it a try or just want a comprehensive collection of orchestral classics then quite frankly it is almost impossible to find anything to fault in this collection.