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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 7 January 2015
The status of this recording as one of the earliest digital classics was initially compromised by the shrill, shallow sound which made the violins shriek and was literally a pain in the ears; since then, it has been happily remastered to surprisingly satisfactory effect, which allows this recording to reclaim its spot. I don't usually subscribe to the "best ever" mentality but just a few recordings merit that title and this remains the most spectacular of all accounts of this show-off tone poem.

An atmosphere of profound mystery is established from the start by the bassoons and double bases growling above the strings' sustained F in the B minor cluster, resolving to B flat major chord then a glorious A major diapason depicting the sunrise. In fact there are so many such moments in this account that it would be superfluous to detail them all, but to mention one at random, "On the summit" is simply overwhelming with its aureate brass, stringendo strings and extraordinary sonorities. The whole recording is just one grand, astounding sweep of virtuosic playing from the BPO and Das Wunder Karajan is in full control without in any sense stifling the rapture of their sound or the virulence of their attack.

It belongs in the collection of every Strauss aficionado.
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on 27 January 2014
I have several recordings of this piece, and yet have only just discovered this version. Goodness, what I have been missing! It's absolutely wonderful. Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic have captured what Strauss was trying to convey when he composed this Symphony.
I can't believe that anyone who has experienced the absolute magic of a sunrise, could fail to be moved when they listen to movements 1) Night, 2) Sunrise, 3) The ascent. I have never heard it played like this, and I have been fortunate enough to hear it played live twice as well..
I would heartily recommend this recording. It was written for a big Orchestra, and the Berlin Phil certainly do Strauss proud...!
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on 20 July 2017
Another R Strauss wonderful Symphoney a great work.
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on 10 August 2017
Incredible piece, I enjoy it more every time I listen.
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on 9 March 2015
I was not very familiar with this work but Karajan has opened my eyes (or should I say ears?) to this amazing composition.
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on 4 March 2016
Magnificent! The shimmering opulence of sound produced by the BPO is quite astonishingly breathtaking. Highly recommended.
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on 18 August 2015
Wife Loves it
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on 2 September 2017
Does this Strauss masterpiece have any sonic rival?
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on 28 January 2016
Very good
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VINE VOICEon 30 June 2016
Recently I purchased, courtesy of Amazon a 2 CD set of tone poems composed by Richard Strauss and the Alpine Symphony was the last piece of the set. This version was performed by Solti conducting the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and the performance and recording blew me away.

Now, I have always admired the performances of Karajan and after reading some reviews was tempted to purchase this version as well. I found it really enjoyable, and yet Karajan's slower tempi adding almost seven minutes to the length of the work. The differences between the two performances can be summed up is that Solti's much faster tempi enhances the dramatic effect of the music which appealed to me, particularly during the "Dangerous moments-summit" sequence, and the final seven minutes of the work which is superbly played. Of course, other listeners may not take the same view, some perhaps feeling that Solti's quicker tempi might just compromise the very nature of the music itself.

The one thing I will agree on with other viewers is that the recordings, bearing in mind they date from 1979(Solti) and 1981(Karajan) are superb. Both versions convey a full-blooded sound which will enhance the enjoyment of any listener who loves the music of Richard Strauss.

One final point, this disc only contains one work; the Solti contains 5 of Strauss' Tone Poems which makes it better value.
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