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Karajan: Eine Alpensinfonie Takes To Dvd

Reviewing: Music Dvd Karajan: All Soul's Day Concert 1983  |  Rating:
Luther Warren By Luther Warren on
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Karajan and Strauss always seem to complement each other quite nicely. Karajan's heavy, Germanic conducting style suits Strauss' equally heavy and Germanic music. In this case, the two meet in the form a DVD, which is always a special occasion. Unfortunately, this time, Karajan is not up to his usual standards.

The recording was filmed in 1983, which would have made Karajan about 75. His age definitely shows in his conducting. The recording is not nearly as invigorating or intense as it would otherwise be, and Karajan himself looks like he is rather bored. The whole recording just lacks that spark that gives music meaning.

Technically, the recording also suffers. The fast section in the Erscheinung with the brass is not alligned properly, and similar problems appear throughout the entire recording. Also, the mastering on the DVD is not the best. It fails to capture any of the clarity and depth of the orchestra, making many things muddy sounding. I will excuse the poor imagery due to the time when it was filmed.

Overall, I cannot in good faith recommend this DVD. Although it is nice to see Karajan on DVD, he is so decrepid that it is hardly like watching Karajan, as we know him. If you are craving Alpensinfonie, I would recommend this recording.