July 17, 2014

Gramophone's free Karajan issue marks 25 years since the maestro's death

Fifty of Karajan's finest recordings reviewed in a special digital edition dedicated to the trailblazing conductor.

Gramophone magazine in London has produced a special edition commemorating the 25th anniversary of Herbert von Karajan's death, available free to read online.

The legendary maestro was one of the most prolific recording artists the world has ever known, so it is fitting that the magazine reviews 50 of his finest discs.

First up in this comprehensive reviews section is Karajan's first Beethoven cycle (1951-55), made with The Philharmonia Orchestra and remastered from the original tapes as part of Warner Classics' 100-CD series of boxed sets gathering together the complete orchestral and choral works for EMI: the Karajan Official Remastered Edition.

Gramophone declares the cycle 'magnificent – brimming with youthful vitality but full, too, of those characteristic shafts of light turned on to Beethoven’s scoring, as for example in the joyful account of the Pastoral symphony in which the finale…achieves an extraordinary spirituality.'

His early foray into Beethoven with the Philharmonia is 'a reminder of the standard to which Karajan had so quickly raised the new orchestra.'

'As for the recording quality,' the critic continues, 'it is quite remarkable, with a range and balance that are enhanced by CD.'

Discover Karajan's Beethoven Symphonies boxed set, and many other Warner Classics recordings, listed in Gramophone's special edition.