11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
, 6 Jun. 2014
This review is from: Beethoven: Symphonies & Overtures 1951-1955 (Karajan Official Remastered Edition) (Audio CD)
This beautiful set had been massacred by EMI engineers in 2008 and they had suppressed a good half of the music with their zealous interference.
With this new remastering, we are back to the essence of this beautiful set and the magnificent tone of the Philharmonia Orchestra is for all to hear.
I will not dwell on every symphony individually but it is easy to be impressed by the way the new mastering offers us a lot of transparency, enabling each instrument to be well-identified and to sing freely. The dynamics are beautiful and Karajan's movement is superb here. Rhythmically, this is probably the most satisfactory of all Karajan sets and the Philharmonia really sings with its conductor. Never has it been more obvious than in this remastering.
My personal favs here are 1, 2, 3, 5 & 7.
9 is really good but can't quite beat the 1947 recording with Vienna - more emotional. 4 is too slow for my taste while 6 will remain a problem for Herr K throughout his career.
As a bonus CD, Warner offers us the stereo mix of the 9th: an abomination! The sound is muffled, dry and is really confined. It is good EMI stuck with the Mono mix in the first place. EMI was unbeatable for the qualities of its mono recordings in the 1950s but was really behind DG and DECCA at the time as far as Stereo was concerned.
In any case, buy this set, now the reference for this beautiful complete Beethoven series by a young Herbert von Karajan: hear the conductor and his musicians dance, like never before (or after for that matter).
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