Just a word about presentation - any ambitions to say something fresh and worthwhile about these celebrated recordings seem completely unnecessary! Karajan invites extreme reactions - often with far more heat than light - but only a listener whose mind is too prejudiced and biased to listen will fail to find almost incalculable riches. Others conductors will do things differently, some may do things better, but none will attain such a consistent depth of beauty over so wide an horizon.
But about the presentation: DG in this set, like its predecessor of Karajan 1960s, have provided a most excellent package and a superb solution of how to present so many CDs in one set. The presentation is lavish but also practical and tasteful. It's a sheer joy to let one's fingers sift through the discs, in their 'original sleeves' and filed in their four neat little inner boxes, to see what comes out!
My main reservation before I purchased this set was that I thought there was a considerable number of CDs that I would not normally have bought and wasn't sure if I wanted them at all - the 'lesser' works. So far the greatest delight I have had from this set is playing those very discs - and discovering that while they may be 'lesser' in some respects they are presented by Karajan as fully worthy and given performances of consummate beauty. Sheer delight!
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