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on 7 July 2011
This is a very good recording of a beautiful piece of music by one of the best orchestras around, conducted by one of the best conductors ever. The sound reflects this with the 'Scottish', in particular, being rendered crisply, and cleanly. The 'Hebrides' is utterly enchanting and relaxing. Well worth the listen.
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on 14 December 2013
Two out of these three performances are superb. The "Hebrides" overture practically has salt spray rising from it, and I credit this recording of the "Scottish" with persuading me to give the piece another chance after I had found it frankly boring when I was young and foolish. The stone in the shoe here is the performance of the "Italian". As a fellow reviewer also points out, the third movement is far too slow and somnolent. What he doesn't say is that, by contrast, parts of the first and last movements are driven so hard that even the fabled Berlin Phil can't quite maintain pristine discipline (though even then they manage to produce a lovely sound).

I know of no better performance of the Overture, and I know of none as good as that of the "Scottish", so I'll err on the side of 4 stars rather than 3. That, however, is very possibly too generous to a disc which contains a performance of the "Italian" which is taken to unmusical extremes. Buyer beware.
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on 3 November 2012
In general I am a big Karajan fan but having purchased this cd I went looking for another version. First, there are many positives to this record and many will no doubt find it perfect. The playing is very polished as you would expect and the sound quality excellent. My chief quible lay with the adagio of the Scottish. For me the pace taken by Karajan is simply too slow and, taken with the heavy playing of the BPO, sounds ponderous. It makes Mendelssohn sound Teutonic rather than from the lighter climes of Hamberg. This timing (the adagio weighs in at 11 minutes 47 seconds) is in no measure unique, indeed on investigation another well thought of recording, from Abbado, has a similarly 'sluggish' timing of the Adagio, for me it simply doesn't hold the drama of the climaxes at that speed.

In the Italian symphony too I feel the third movement 'Con moto moderato' is also far too slow and sleepish. Perhaps I've just got used to faster timings over the years, but I finally found satisfaction with the Haitink LPO version of these two symphonies; the adagio of the Scottish is 3 minutes shorter whilst the third movement of the Italian is a whole 2 minutes quicker at just under 6 minutes, producing, for me, a more satisfying flowing line. Although a more recent recording, the sound quality doesn't quite match the excellence of the DG one, and the playing is just short in weight and refinement, but I am much more satisfied with the result, whilst the Karajan version will be an interesting alternative to occasionally play.

I admire nearly all the Karajan recordings I own but am aware of at least one other example where I feel the same way; his version of At the Castle Gate from Sibelius's Pelleas et Melisande drags after being used to hearing a brisker version for years on The Sky at Night (I think by Beecham).
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on 6 January 2012
I would point out that this recording has a stated SPARS code of DDD the recording is from 1971 and is in fact ADD.Whilst this does not detract from the beauty of the recording, I originally ordered it based on the previous reviews and the fact that Amazon stated that it was Digital recording when it patently is not.
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on 20 February 2013
Music I have loved for many years and had on vinyl. Good interpretation, well played and lovely to listen to.
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on 29 July 2014
A piece of Music I have always wanted it is brilliant
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on 2 February 2015
I like to relax with music of all kinds from heavy metal to classical. This is a good addition to my collection.
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on 28 October 2009
Another excellent composition to add to my collection a very professional and well performed piece of music
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on 30 September 2015
Wonderful Pieces bought to you by a Wonderful Orchestra.
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