This recording of Karajan is really amazing. Recorded in 1970 with Berliner Philharmoniker and played gourgeous. They are sensitive in lyric, romantic moments and ecstatic, full of energy, powerful at the fortissimo, majestic moments.
This symphony is may be the most famous work of Bruckner. It was revised about 6 times! As you know, Bruckner was always revised his symphonies a lot of time, because he was in doubt, inquiet always. This recording is the version V, edited by Robert Haas, an it is really good and marvellously orchestrated. The first movement opens with a noble horn theme, which accompaniyng by tremolos of strings. This is a sunrise scene in a typical Middle Age and there is a gourgeous castle and forest landscapes. It is a typical German-Romanticism. The second movement is contrasted to the first movement's sunny mood, it is a elegy in C minor. The third movement is may be the most fantastic. There is a hunt scene. The Hunt-Horns announce that, in distance. The finale has the most enigmatic moments. Opens mysteriously and then climbs up immediatly to a three-note climax, which the main theme of the movement. And then, a lyric new theme played by strings. There are too majestic passages for brass, which sounds like soundtrack! (Even so, in the duration 13:00 ca., I found it very similar to the soundtrack of "The Lord of the Rings" composed by Howard Shore!) The symphony ends in major tone, but in a tragic, not too sunny mood.
This is really a must have for any Brucknerians or music admirers. And a last thing: play the 3rd and 4th movements loudly!