Herbert von Karajan, Philharmonia Orchestra - Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9 & Overtures (1951-1955/2014) [24-bit/96 kHz]

Posted By: HDV
Herbert von Karajan, Philharmonia Orchestra - Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9 & Overtures (1951-1955/2014) [24-bit/96 kHz]

Herbert von Karajan, Philharmonia Orchestra - Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9 & Overtures (1951-1955/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time - 365:49 minutes | 5,02 GB
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Digital booklet

This recording presents Karajan's first (and probably most thrilling) recording of the complete Beethoven Symphonies, made in the early 1950s with London's recently-founded Philharmonia Orchestra. The recording of the 9th Symphony is available here in stereo for the very first time, taken from original unreleased tapes.

This is one heck of a fine Beethoven cycle. That said, David Patmore assures us in his booklet notes that of the four complete cycles Karajan left us, this one “is generally considered to be the best.” By whom, I wonder? That honor belongs to the 1963 release with the Berlin Philharmonic on DG, and there’s no question about it. However, Karajan’s Beethoven remained amazingly consistent throughout his career, the interpretive differences between performances often quite miniscule. What this performance has, and it’s no small point, is the Philharmonia Orchestra rather than the Berlin Philharmonic, and the English orchestra’s less blended sonority (including those vinegary oboes) will appeal to listeners who find Karajan’s Berlin sound too smooth and too string-heavy.

While this may not be Karajan’s “best” Beethoven, whatever that means, I would argue that it is his most consistent. His later cycles were marred by his evident dislike of the “Pastoral” Symphony, and controversy over his increasingly slick handling of the “Eroica.” Here the performances seem all of a piece, especially in the Sixth, where Karajan does not sound as though he wants to get it over with as quickly as possible (sound clips, for comparison). Although he still only goes once round the scherzo, he lets the music breathe. The Seventh, too, features those joyful horns in the outer movements poking through the texture more prominently than they did later in Berlin.

In the Ninth we are treated to the first ever release of the performance in stereo (alongside the mono version), although the sonic differences really are pretty minimal–a bit less boomy in the bass, perhaps, and better balanced. The most important difference with this latest remastering is that the scherzo now starts on track two, as opposed to the end of track one as in the previous 88-disc big Karajan box. It’s good to see this error corrected. In general, the sonics have come up very well and seem to have a bit more warmth and naturalness as compared to earlier issues. It is easy to understand how this cycle was regarded as a major achievement in its day. It still is.

Tracklist:

01 - Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 21: I. Adagio molto - Allegro con brio
02 - Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 21: II. Andante cantabile con moto
03 - Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 21: III. Menuetto & Trio - Allegro molto e vivace
04 - Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 21: IV. Adagio - Allegro molto e vivace
05 - Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 36: I. Adagio molto - Allegro con brio
06 - Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 36: II. Larghetto
07 - Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 36: III. Scherzo & Trio - Allegro
08 - Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 36: IV. Allegro molto
09 - Leonore: Overture No. 3 in C Major, Op. 72b
10 - Symphony No.3 in E-Flat Major, Op. 55 'Eroica': I Allegro con brio
11 - Symphony No.3 in E-Flat Major, Op. 55 'Eroica': II. Marcia funebre - Adagio assai
12 - Symphony No.3 in E-Flat Major, Op. 55 'Eroica': III. Scherzo & Trio - Allegro vivace
13 - Symphony No.3 in E-Flat Major, Op. 55 'Eroica': IV Allegro molto - Poco andante - Presto
14 - Symphony No. 8 in F Major, Op. 93: I. Allegro vivace e con brio
15 - Symphony No. 8 in F Major, Op. 93: II. Allegretto scherzando
16 - Symphony No. 8 in F Major, Op. 93: III. Tempo di menuetto
17 - Symphony No. 8 in F Major, Op. 93: IV. Allegro vivace
18 - Symphony No. 4 in B-Flat Major, Op. 60: I. Adagio - Allegro vivace
19 - Symphony No. 4 in B-Flat Major, Op. 60: II. Adagio
20 - Symphony No. 4 in B-Flat Major, Op. 60: III. Menuetto - Allegro vivace - Trio - Un poco meno allegro
21 - Symphony No. 4 in B-Flat Major, Op. 60: IV. Allegro ma non troppo
22 - Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67: I. Allegro con brio
23 - Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67: II. Andante con moto
24 - Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67: III. Allegro
25 - Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67: IV. Allegro - Presto
26 - Coriolan, Op. 62: Overture in E Minor
27 - Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68 'Pastoral': I. Allegro ma non troppo
28 - Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68 'Pastoral': II. Andante molto mosso
30 - Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68 'Pastoral': IV. Allegro
31 - Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68 'Pastoral': V. Allegretto
32 - Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92: I. Poco sostenuto - Vivace
33 - Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92: II. Allegretto
34 - Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92: III. Presto - Assai meno presto
35 - Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92: IV. Allegro con brio
36 - Egmont: Overture in F Minor, Op. 84
37 - Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op.125 'Choral': I. Allegro ma non troppo, un poco maestoso
38 - Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op.125 'Choral': II. Molto vivace - Presto - Molto vivace - Presto
39 - Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op.125 'Choral': III. Adagio molto e cantabile - Andante moderato
40 - Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op.125, 'Choral': IV. Presto - Allegro assai - Prestissimo, (Ode to Joy)

Musicians:
The Philharmonia Orchestra, Conducted by Herbert von Karajan
with:
Otto Edelmann (Bass, Symphony No. 9)
Ernst Haefliger (Tenor, Symphony No. 9)
Marga Höffgen (Alto, Symphony No. 9)
Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (Soprano, Symphony No. 9)
Vienna Friends of Music Society Chorus (Symphony No. 9)

Analyzed: Philharmonia Orchestra, Herbert von Karajan / Beethoven: Symphonies Nos 1-9 & Overtures (1951-1955)
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DR Peak RMS Duration Track
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DR14 -0.30 dB -18.69 dB 7:32 01-Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 21: I. Adagio molto - Allegro con brio
DR14 -5.98 dB -25.61 dB 6:16 02-Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 21: II. Andante cantabile con moto
DR13 -4.86 dB -23.47 dB 3:45 03-Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 21: III. Menuetto & Trio - Allegro molto e vivace
DR13 -2.05 dB -21.35 dB 5:46 04-Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 21: IV. Adagio - Allegro molto e vivace
DR13 -1.26 dB -17.68 dB 10:44 05-Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 36: I. Adagio molto - Allegro con brio
DR12 -1.41 dB -19.22 dB 10:38 06-Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 36: II. Larghetto
DR15 -1.48 dB -20.77 dB 3:43 07-Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 36: III. Scherzo & Trio - Allegro
DR13 -1.66 dB -19.26 dB 6:38 08-Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 36: IV. Allegro molto
DR12 -1.38 dB -20.25 dB 14:57 09-Leonore: Overture No. 3 in C Major, Op. 72b
DR12 -1.27 dB -18.53 dB 14:37 10-Symphony No.3 in E-Flat Major, Op. 55 'Eroica': I Allegro con brio
DR12 -1.08 dB -19.27 dB 16:28 11-Symphony No.3 in E-Flat Major, Op. 55 'Eroica': II. Marcia funebre - Adagio assai
DR11 -0.32 dB -19.16 dB 5:45 12-Symphony No.3 in E-Flat Major, Op. 55 'Eroica': III. Scherzo & Trio - Allegro vivace
DR11 -0.22 dB -16.30 dB 11:59 13-Symphony No.3 in E-Flat Major, Op. 55 'Eroica': IV Allegro molto - Poco andante - Presto
DR11 -0.56 dB -16.51 dB 9:02 14-Symphony No. 8 in F Major, Op. 93: I. Allegro vivace e con brio
DR13 -4.91 dB -24.33 dB 3:55 15-Symphony No. 8 in F Major, Op. 93: II. Allegretto scherzando
DR11 -2.61 dB -18.37 dB 5:50 16-Symphony No. 8 in F Major, Op. 93: III. Tempo di menuetto
DR11 -0.68 dB -16.37 dB 7:35 17-Symphony No. 8 in F Major, Op. 93: IV. Allegro vivace
DR13 -0.82 dB -19.29 dB 10:56 18-Symphony No. 4 in B-Flat Major, Op. 60: I. Adagio - Allegro vivace
DR14 -0.48 dB -20.48 dB 11:14 19-Symphony No. 4 in B-Flat Major, Op. 60: II. Adagio
DR13 -1.02 dB -19.98 dB 6:00 20-Symphony No. 4 in B-Flat Major, Op. 60: III. Menuetto - Allegro vivace - Trio - Un poco meno allegro
DR13 -0.95 dB -18.51 dB 5:58 21-Symphony No. 4 in B-Flat Major, Op. 60: IV. Allegro ma non troppo
DR11 -0.58 dB -15.90 dB 7:19 22-Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67: I. Allegro con brio
DR12 -2.30 dB -19.90 dB 9:43 23-Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67: II. Andante con moto
DR12 -1.88 dB -20.33 dB 4:58 24-Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67: III. Allegro
DR11 -0.32 dB -14.29 dB 8:58 25-Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67: IV. Allegro - Presto
DR12 -0.50 dB -17.42 dB 9:07 26-Coriolan, Op. 62: Overture in E Minor
DR11 -3.31 dB -20.38 dB 9:20 27-Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68 'Pastoral': I. Allegro ma non troppo
DR13 -11.13 dB -29.63 dB 12:10 28-Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68 'Pastoral': II. Andante molto mosso
DR10 -0.22 dB -15.10 dB 3:33 30-Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68 'Pastoral': IV. Allegro
DR11 -2.08 dB -18.19 dB 9:30 31-Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68 'Pastoral': V. Allegretto
DR11 -1.00 dB -16.66 dB 12:45 32-Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92: I. Poco sostenuto - Vivace
DR14 -4.48 dB -24.65 dB 9:08 33-Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92: II. Allegretto
DR11 -1.24 dB -18.23 dB 8:41 34-Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92: III. Presto - Assai meno presto
DR11 -2.45 dB -16.11 dB 7:03 35-Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92: IV. Allegro con brio
DR13 -2.41 dB -19.76 dB 8:38 36-Egmont: Overture in F Minor, Op. 84
DR13 -0.47 dB -19.22 dB 15:08 37-Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op.125 'Choral': I. Allegro ma non troppo, un poco maestoso
DR13 -0.66 dB -19.55 dB 10:10 38-Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op.125 'Choral': II. Molto vivace - Presto - Molto vivace - Presto
DR19 -2.17 dB -26.11 dB 16:04 39-Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op.125 'Choral': III. Adagio molto e cantabile - Andante moderato
DR13 -0.30 dB -18.05 dB 24:13 40-Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op.125, 'Choral': IV. Presto - Allegro assai - Prestissimo, (Ode to Joy)
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Number of tracks: 39
Official DR value: DR12

Samplerate: 96000 Hz
Channels: 2
Bits per sample: 24
Bitrate: 1381 kbps
Codec: FLAC
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