Customer Review

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mostly outstanding addition to the films about Karajan, 3 April 2013
This review is from: Karajan: The Second Life [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Thoughtful contributions, and never-seen before footage of rehearsals make this film a must-see for fans and sceptics alike.
'Karajan-the Second Life' avoids duplicating material covered in the two outstanding documentaries already in circulation. The third on EMI is of less importance.

I was particularly interested in what the resourceful recording technicians had to say.
In some instances,undoing Karajan's meddling at the mixing desk, hoping he wouldn't notice!
All of this has been elegantly woven together in a format not unlike the award winning documentary 'Traces to Nowhere' by the same director. Infact, atleast two of the contributors are the same.

My main gripe concerns the casual use of film footage, which sometimes contradicts what is being spoken about.
For example, Karajan's live Mahler 9 is the key subject at one point, and yet it's maddeningly interwoven with footage of
Mahler 5. I guess no footage exsists for Mahler 9,but i'm not in favour of this kind of approximation!
Even more confusingly, the famous 2nd Viennese School box set is being fervently praised against a backdrop of Karajan rehearsing the 'Rite of Spring'
In many respects Stravinsky is diametrically opposite to Schoenberg, Berg and Webern.
A more telling use of music is towards the start where Schonberg's Variations op.31 is a magically underpins a night time shot of Berlin traffic near the Philharmonie concert hall.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 20 Aug 2014 20:55:18 BDT
John Fowler says:
As we get older, we don't hear highs as well as we used to, but Karajan insisted on final approval for his digital CDs, which meant a treble boost.
This explains why so many early CDs developed a reputation for harsh sound.

DG remixed them and smoothed out the treble for the "Karajan Gold" reissue series.
This was done posthumously, of course, which made it easier.

One feature of this DVD that I especially enjoyed was the tour of the interior of the Jesus-Christus Kirche.
I normally don't like modern church architecture - the Jesus-Christus Kirche was built in 1931, but looks like it could have been built in the 1950's.
The interior at least is quite impressive.
Plus it was a much better recording studio than the Philharmonie Concert Hall.
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