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Herbert von Karajan: DVD Box sets for his 100th birthday

img  Tobias

The fact that his art is quickly gaining foot on the DVD market only goes to strengthen his image as a man who felt at home in every aspect of his trade. In fact, the DVD may well be the only true medium in which to understand how deep his understanding of the score really was. Herbert von Karajan was known to be a control freak and a man who left nothing to chance – meddling with the recording of his albums as well as with the visual presentation. It is most likely that he would have supported the idea of reworking his old recordings to present them in the best possible way in the year 2007. All DVDs of the box sets with the Beethoven and Tchaikovsky symphonies (the first encompassing three, the latter two discs) were basically enriched with a new room signal, lending more depth and natural ambiance to the original. As the recording team put it: “The combination of the newly captured room responses and the centre signal added an impressive spatial homogeneity and a pleasant frequency extension towards the low end.”

It is an encouraging sign that the emphasis for the DVD sets was the audio part. Next to that, however, the picture has also been restored to offer a fresh and unblemished sensation. Beethoven’s nine symphonies and Strauss’ Tone Poems have both been recorded with the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Tchaikovsky is a collaboration with the Wiener Philharmoniker – orchestras second to none worldwide. All in all, these three DVD sets are highly noteworthy additions to the already impressive back catalogue of Herbert von Karajan.

Homepage: Sony BMG Masterworks 

Picture by Siegfried Lauterwasser 

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