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Sheherazade/1812 Ovt

H-Berlin Phil Karajan Audio CD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 14.25 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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1. Symphonic Suite: Scheherazade, Op. 35: 1. Largo e maestoso - Lento - Allegro non troppo - Tranquillo
2. Symphonic Suite: Scheherazade, Op. 35: 2. Lento - Andantino - Allegro molto - Vivace scherzando - Moderato assai - Allegro molto ed animato
3. Symphonic Suite: Scheherazade, Op. 35: 3. Andantino quasi allegretto
4. Symphonic Suite: Scheherazade, Op. 35: 4. Allegro molto - Lento - Vivo - Allegro non troppo e maestoso - Lento - Tempo come I
5. Capriccio Italien, Op. 45: Andante un poco rubato - Allegro moderato - Andante - Allegro moderato - Presto - Piu presto - Prestissimo
6. Ouverture solennelle '1812', Op. 49: Largo - Andante - Allegro giusto - Largo - Allegro vivace

Product Description

Amazon.ca

Whenever Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra came to London in the 1950s and 1960s, the queue for tickets on the first day of booking would coil round the Royal Festival Hall not once but twice. Listening to this CD version of a famous 1967 Polydor recording of the great man at work, one can understand the attraction. The disc includes three Russian works; Rimsky-Korsakov's Sheherazade with Michel Schwalbe's solo violin playing like a hypnotist's fob-watch; Tchaikovsky's Capriccio Italien with stunning brasses; and the 1812 Overture where even the terrifying cannons sound musical. The very disc itself seems to have a sense of occasion. Karajan makes what is very much a performance recorded rather than a recording performed. It is as if Sheherzade herself were wielding the baton and spellbinding the Sultan night after night. No orchestra and conductor weave this sort of magic today. Only the hasty marketing lets the side down as it cannot even be bothered to unify the spelling on the sleeve. Which is it to be, DG? Sche or She? --Rick Jones

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars WELL-BALANCED RECORDING Jan. 16 2001
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
The distinction this recording of Sheherzade is its sonic balance between soft and loud passages. This is especially evident in the third section. Other recordings tend to soften the volume here, with the result of making the movement practically inaudible at lower volume settings; this recording's third movement has no such defect. The DG engineers were not "afraid to turn up the volume." The strings are glowing and the double basses truly resonante in the third movement. The recording, strangely, does have thinner low-end resonance in the other three movements. Nevertheless, this is more than compensated by the even-handed treatment the DG engineers gave the overall recording. The orchestra's playing is the typically excellent quality one would expect from the Berlin PO and Herbert von Karjan.
The Capriccio Italiane is among the most enjoyable and powerful interpretations I have heard. The playing is energetic and the sound is full-blooded, though slightly thin on the low-end. Karajan's account of the 1812 Overture is an added bonus to the disc, bringing the total time to nearly 80 minutes.
I would recommend this historic 1967 recording as an addition to one's collection of Sheherazade recordings. It is a reference to an earlier age, in which more primitive sound quality simply gives way to the musical gifts of one of the world's great orchestra-conductor pairings.
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3.0 out of 5 stars If all you own is a phonograph... Jan. 10 2001
Format:Audio CD
...then this is the recording for you. Unfortunately, those of us who own modern digital systems might find this a disappointing buy. The Scherezade is gorgeous and passionate and the 1812 is firey, but the 1969 recording lacks the pure highs and the resonant lows that one would expect. Furthermore, the choir on the 1812 is weak, unbalanced, and stages an ear-tweaking vocal free-for-all. I would heartily recommend this album to anyone who is looking for a profound Scheherezade, and whose sound system is older than I am. -Michael Richardson, 21
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Sheherezade, Terrible 1812 Sept. 25 2000
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
The Sheherezade is awesome...and as the Penguin guide and the first reviewer point out, the violin solos are gorgeous. Karajan conducts with passion and the orchestral color is brilliant. The 1812 Overture though sounds rushed and overpolished. I enjoyed hearing the choral introduction used in this 1812, but it just lacks spirit. The cannon sounds don't quite sound like cannons either. I'm not sure what he used. Buy this CD for the Sheherezade...
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