on July 28, 2001
These are tough, unsentimental readings of these symphonies. Unsentimental, yes...but not without feeling! Indeed, without the schmaltz, von Karajan brings out the sincere pathos of the music.
on June 28, 2000
I've known Schubert's "Unfinished" Symphony since I was a little kid, and it's always been one of my favorite classical works. But until I bought this disc, I never really *experienced* it.
Karajan's interpretation is very different from most of the others in that it's much, *much* slower. Maintaining the enormous energy level required for this symphony over a significantly *longer* period of time by playing it slowly - and startlingly evenly - is an amazing feat, and Karajan's ability to draw this performance out of these musicians demonstrates his genius.
Okay, Karajan was an anti-semite, and I don't relish giving money to his estate (or heirs, or whatever). But my experiences listening to this recording have been visceral, primal, and purely powerful. That's an awful lot to say for a piece of music.