on 31 January 2008
I bought this CD because it was cheap and I was curious about Karajan's 'dinosaur' approach to this type of repertoire. Well, I was staggered! There is a white-hot intensity that I've not encountered in any other performance of this piece.
It's brought about by Karajan's direction, Schwarzkopf's heavenly voice and the wonderful baritones of Hotter. There's something eerily glorious about the choir's sound and with a sympathetic balance in the mono recording, the whole thing goes along wonderfully. The VPO has definitely played better than this, but that's a small grumble. I'm converted!