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Tag: Herbert von Karajan

Karajan conducts Wagner, Album 2 – Ouvertures & Preludes (1975/2010) PS3 ISO

Karajan conducts Wagner, Album 2 – Ouvertures & Preludes (1975/2010)
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 01:17:21 minutes | 3,10 GB
Genre: Classical | Scans included | Label: EMI / Warner

Renowned conductor Herbert von Karajan leads the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra through treasured pieces by Wagner. This essential release includes “Tannhauser: Overture,” “Tannhauser: Venusberg Music,” “Lohengrin: Prelude (Act I)” and “Tristan und Isolde: Prelude and Liebstod.”

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Karajan conducts Verdi’s “Otello” 1970 720p WEB-DL AAC2.0 H.264-CHDWEB

Herbert von Karajan’s Salzburg Festival production of Verdi’s Otello played for 14 performances in the years 1970-72. In Robert Dornhelm’s film Karajan or Beauty as I see it conductor Mariss Jansons recalls: “It was unbelievable. I couldn’t sleep. I spent the whole night walking round Salzburg. It was as if I had been hypnotised.” This historically important 1973 film of the production, co-directed by actor and television director Roger Benamou, preserves for us one of the greatest of all twentieth-century Otello casts and productions.

For Karajan there was no greater interpreter of the role of Otello than the Canadian-born tenor Jon Vickers whose psychotically disturbed study of the Moor married modern psychological insights with the trumpet-like tones of legendary Otellos from an earlier age. The intensity of his playing of the scenes with Desdemona – lyric soprano Mirella Freni, another singer much revered by Karajan – in the opera’s final two acts borders at times on the unbearable.

The English baritone Peter Glossop, a true Verdi baritone in a period which was rich in such singers, first worked with Karajan in Milan in 1968 playing Tonio to Vickers’s Canio in Karajan’s viscerally exciting film of Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci. Karajan is said to have been fascinated by Glossop’s piercing eyes and keen dramatic intelligence. An Iago schooled in the English tradition, Glossop is less the suave Italian Machiavel, more the blunt embittered soldier of Shakespeare’s original tragedy.

Set and costume designs were by the long-serving Karajan team of Günther Schneider-Siemssen and Georges Wakhevitch. The sound recording was made in the Berlin Philharmonie in April 1973 with the Berliner Philharmoniker, an orchestra which had become well-versed in the Italian style during the Karajan years. The original cinema release was beset by technical problems with sound and vision, problems which digital remastering has happily overcome.

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Karajan conducts the New Year’s Eve Concert 1978 1978 720p WEB-DL AAC2.0 H.264-CHDWEB

In an earlier age, when popular light music was part of the classical mainstream, great conductors were as willing to lavish their art on the lighter end of the repertory as they were on loftier masterpieces. Not that the music was easy. “I conduct a lot of light music,” Herbert von Karajan remarked, “and it can be very difficult for an orchestra to realise it properly.”

The Berliner Philharmoniker were used to the intensity which Karajan brought to the great works of the repertory but even they could be surprised by the care he lavished on performances of popular overtures, operatic intermezzi and other musical delicacies – musical “lollipops” as Sir Thomas Beecham used to call them. After making a record of operatic intermezzi with Karajan, a player reported: “If a bomb had gone off beside him, I doubt whether he would have noticed, so absorbed was he in the music.”

In the case of the intermezzo from Mascagni’s L’amico Fritz, which is included in the present concert, Karajan was present in Milan in 1943 when the composer attended rehearsals for a revival of the opera. Though ill and lame, Mascagni had hobbled to the rostrum to conduct the intermezzo. Karajan recalled: “He lifted his baton and there was an explosion of sound no one could possibly have anticipated. I shall never forget it. It was incredible.”

Karajan himself had been ill in the winter of 1975-76 with a spinal condition which nearly cost him his life. The condition left him with restricted movement and periods of intense pain but, as is evident in this 1978 New Year’s Eve concert, he never spared himself when in the presence of music he loved.

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Karajan – Beauty as I see it 720p WEB-DL AAC2.0 H.264-CHDWEB

Herbert von Karajan was a remarkable musician who lived through remarkable times. Born in Salzburg in 1908, he was six years old when during a holiday on the Adriatic he witnessed the naval convoy which was carrying the bodies of the assassinated archduke and his wife to Trieste from Sarajevo in July 1914. He lived through two world wars, the Cold War, West Germany’s post-war “economic miracle” and died only weeks before the fall of the Berlin Wall. Gaining perspectives on such a life takes time. A vast amount was written about Karajan during his life, yet the public image was often misleading. Few people, beyond the privileged circle of musicians who worked with him and a close group of friends and family, knew much about the man behind the image.

Released in 2008 to mark the centenary of Karajan’s birth, Robert Dornhelm’s documentary was the first to offer to a wider international public a convincingly rounded view of the phenomenon that was “Karajan”. Interest in Karajan and sales of his recordings had not greatly declined in the years following his death in 1989. At the same time, a rich store of archive material had appeared, including significant amounts of unseen footage from stage, studio and concert hall rehearsals. New research had also been undertaken. In 1993 Austrian Television broadcast an important three-part documentary series by and with Marcel Prawy which included the memories of musicians who had known Karajan in his early years and who by the end of the century would be dead.

Dispensing with a narrator, Dornhelm’s film weaves these archive treasures into a self-propelling narrative that also includes the testimony of a select group of surviving singers, conductors, orchestral players and family members who knew at first hand Karajan’s work and personality.

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Impressions of Herbert von Karajan 720p WEB-DL AAC2.0 H.264-CHDWEB

Impressions of Herbert von Karajan was the first substantial film biography to be made of Karajan during his lifetime. Commissioned by Unitel in part to give further exposure to a number of the operatic and orchestral films which the company had made with him, the film was written and directed by Vojtěch Jasný. Born in Czechoslovakia in 1925, Jasný is perhaps best known for his comic fantasy Až přijde kocour (The Cassandra Cat) about a village whose innermost secrets are revealed after the arrival of a travelling circus accompanied by a mysterious cat.

Jasný’s film, with its Hitchcock-like opening of screaming gulls over the River Salzach in a grey winter landscape, does not set out to over-glamorise Karajan. Nor does its narrative follow any particular theme or chronology. It does, however, provide a succinct overview of Karajan’s many activities and interests, whilst at the same time introducing us to the conductor’s family and to a number of his long-standing professional associates. Among these are stage designers Günther Schneider-Siemssen (b. 1926) and Georges Wakhevitch (1907–1984), his urbane manager and former assistant at the Vienna State Opera, ex-movie actor André von Mattoni (1900–1985) and Wolfgang Stresemann (1904–1998), who was Intendant of the Berliner Philharmoniker during the years 1959–78 and again in 1984–85.

Karajan was a born educator. That is touched on in Impressions, as is his lifelong addiction to high-speed locomotion, including the jet aircraft which he flew as much for the mental skills and disciplines they instilled as for their glamour and convenience. Jasný also includes surprise footage of Karajan – a man who rarely looked back – visiting the house outside Aachen where he lived with his first wife, operetta singer Elmy Holgerloef, in happy rural seclusion in the late 1930s.

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Herbert von Karajan conducts Wagner’s “Das Rheingold” 720p WEB-DL AAC2.0 H.264-CHDWEB

Herbert von Karajan was one of the most highly regarded Wagner conductors of his age, celebrated for a lyrical, fiery and contrapuntally clear approach to the music which owed more to the example of conductors such as Toscanini and Clemens Krauss than it did to the old “German” school of Wagner conducting. Karajan once remarked: “When we did the Ring people said it was ‘chamber music’, but I would deny that. It was the full Wagner orchestra, with full sonority but played with real subtlety and the full range of dynamics.”

Karajan conducted four complete Ring cycles during his career: in Aachen in 1937, at the 1951 Bayreuth Festival, in Vienna in 1959, and at his own newly founded Salzburg Easter Festival between 1967 and 1970. In 1963 stage designer Günther Schneider-Siemssen had told him: “Salzburg has a great Wagner theatre the Grosses Festspielhaus. It is too big for Mozart but for Wagner it would be wonderful.” The orchestra engaged by Karajan was the Berliner Philharmoniker, the ensemble he considered best suited to the realisation of his musical vision.

In 1973 he revived Das Rheingold with a view to filming the complete Salzburg Ring. The American lyric baritone Thomas Stewart sang Wotan, Brigitte Fassbaender joined the cast as Fricka, and Gerhard Stolze, Loge in the original 1968 production, reverted to Mime. The new Loge was Peter Schreier, a singer rarely heard in Wagner. The Hungarian baritone Zoltán Kelemen continued as Alberich.

Though the sound-track was laid down in 1973, filming was not completed until 1978 by which time it was clear that a complete cinema version of the Salzburg Ring was unaffordable. Many Karajan Wagner productions exist on record, and in lavishly illustrated volumes of stage designs, but this Salzburg Das Rheingold is all that remains on film.

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Herbert von Karajan – The Second Life 1080p WEB-DL AAC2.0 H.264-CHDWEB

“What remains of Karajan?” asks award-winning documentary film-maker Eric Schulz. No classical musician made more recordings or sold more records but was that largely a marketing phenomenon? Schulz thinks not. Karajan had a huge repertory spanning several musical cultures and a variety of musical genres, yet whatever he did, he set new standards of performing excellence.

Drawing on an extensive body of previously unreleased film and archive material Karajan: The Second Life allows us to experience at first hand Karajan’s musical craft and the sound laboratories where that craft was developed and its results preserved for posterity. A conductor’s work tends to be ephemeral yet a quarter of a century after his death in 1989 Karajan’s recordings continue to sell in large numbers, whilst his work in rehearsal and performance remains a subject of serious study by teachers and fellow practitioners in the musical world and beyond.

Erich Schulz also had a second purpose in making the film: “We wanted to throw light on Karajan’s involvement in the post-production process in order to revive awareness of something that risks being lost from sight: music recording as an autonomous art.”

Karajan did not believe that recording was superior to live music-making. Indeed, in his later years, work done with the Berliner Philharmoniker in the recording studio was often used as a stepping-stone to the realisation of the ultimate “ideal” live performance by him and his players. He did believe, however, that recording alone can convey with absolute precision to the individual listener the detail of what has been achieved during the performance’s preparation. With Karajan the results were often extraordinary. As the Berliner Philharmoniker’s Klaus Stoll observes: “There is something wonderful about demanding the ultimate.”

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Herbert von Karajan – Maestro for the screen 720p WEB-DL AAC2.0 H.264-CHDWEB

Herbert von Karajan was not only a brilliant musician, but also a visionary in terms of his use of media to distribute his art. He was the first major conductor to recognise the enormous potential of television for classical music. This film by George Wübbolt traces how Karajan encountered audiovisual concert recording for the first time during a tour of Japan in 1957 and how, step by step, he made the medium his own. Karajan was a lifelong fan of technology and was also keen to learn about the latest developments in the field of television.

His goal was to give as many people as possible access to his concerts. However, even more than the technology involved, he was particularly interested in the visual aspect – thus entering uncharted aesthetic territory. Up to that point, hardly anyone had considered how a concert could best be captured for the screen. Karajan made endless experiments, such as his collaboration with the French film maker Henri-Georges Clouzot, and finally as his own cinematographer. The documentary traces the aesthetic ideals Karajan employed to visualise classical music and in particular his own function as conductor. To illustrate this, we see diverse images from many decades of his career, and we meet many colleagues, some appreciative, some critical, who nevertheless all remember with fascination their work together with Karajan.

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Herbert von Karajan, Wiener Philharmoniker – Richard Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier (1984) [Japan 2019] PS3 ISO + FLAC

Herbert von Karajan, Wiener Philharmoniker – Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier (1984) [3x SACD]
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 198:33 min | Scans incl. | 7,99 GB
or FLAC (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/96 kHz | Scans included | 3,94 GB
Japanese SACD Reissue 2019 | Decca / Esoteric Company, Japan # ESSG-90215~17

This three SACD set contains Richard Strauss’ opera “Der Rosenkavalier” performed by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Herbert von Karajan, and the Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor, led by Helmut Froschauer. Sung in German. This reissue series of classical music masterpieces by Esoteric has attracted a lot of attention, both for its uncompromising commitment to recreating the original master sound. This series marks the first hybrid SACD release of historical recording selections that have been mainstays of the catalog since their initial release.

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Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan – Tchaikovsky: 6 Symphonies (1979) [Japan 2017] PS3 ISO + FLAC

Herbert von Karajan, Berliner Philharmoniker – Tchaikovsky: 6 Symphonien (1979) [Japan 2017]
PS3 Rip | 3x SACD ISO | DSD64 Stereo > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 264:47 minutes | Scans included | 10,6 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/96 kHz | Scans included | 5,17 GB

Herbert von Karajan conducts this performance of Tchaikovsky’s Six Symphonies by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Although Karajan recorded the last three symphonies many times, he did not turn to the first three until the end of the 1970s. No doubt the reason these early symphonies sound so fresh is because the Berlin orchestra was not over-familiar with them – this belied by the sheer refinement of the orchestral playing. Recorded at the Philharmonie between October 1975 and February 1979, Karajan’s Berliner Philharmoniker cycle is presented on three SHM-SACD, mastered from the analogue recordings, transferred & edited in PCM, then converted to DSD.

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