Karajan - Totensonntags-Concerts 1983/84/85
In the 1980s, The «Totensonntags-Konzerte» (All Souls' Day Concerts) of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra marked the undisputed highlights of Berlin's concert life. Three times these magical moments of classical music were captured on video. In these three concerts, Karajan conducted works of two composers he had cherished for all his life: Richard Strauss and Anton Bruckner. All three of them - inspiring performances, brilliantly arranged and conducted as they are - have set a benchmark for all following generations of bandmasters.
1983: Richard Strauss "Alpensinfonie" ("An Alpine Symphony"), Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra; 55 min.
1984: Richard Strauss "Tod und Verklärung" ("Death and Transfiguration"), op.24 and "Metamorphosen", Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra; 58 min.
1985: Anton Bruckner Symphony No.9, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra; 62 min.
Karajan - The Knight of the Rose
A recording from the Salzburg Festival, Salzburg 1984.
Opera by Richard Strauss
Libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal
Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Conducted and directed by Herbert von Karajan
Cast: Anna Tomowa-Sintow, Kurt Moll, Agnes Baltsa, Gottfried Hornik, Janet Perry, Wilma Lipp, Heinz Zednik, Helga Müller-Molinari
Karajan - Tchaikovsky: Symphonies No. 4/5/6
Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovksy - similar to Mozart or Beethoven - was almost always working along the fine line between what is now called classical music and light music. His compositions are even known to people who have never set foot in a concert hall or never went to see a ballet performance, because his catchy tunes are widely used in the world of advertising. Just think of «The Nutcracker» or «Swan Lake». His three most popular symphonies are numbered 4, 5 and 6 in his work-catalogue. Whenever Karajan interpreted them, the audience responded with outright rage. Among all the thrilling and exciting performances the Maestro has left behind, the three Tchaikovsky symphonies Karajan recorded with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra at the Musikverein in 1984 absolutely stand out.
Durations: 44 / 51 / 49 min.
Karajan - Richard Strauss: A Hero's Life / Don Quixote
During 1985 and 1986, two Richard Strauss concerts with Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra were taped: «Don Quixote» and «A Hero's Life». The subjects couldn't stand in a harsher contrast within each other: The endearing hero who fights windmills on one hand, the bombastic protagonist, who shows any kind of soft manners only in side-matters, on the other. Hardly have Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra produced two other works with such a differentiated, opulent and beautiful sound.
Durations: 49 / 46 min.
Karajan - Requiems by Verdi, Brahms & Mozart
Herbert von Karajan also often confronted himself with spiritual music. Especially the Mozart, Verdi and Brahms Requiem were always performed in the utmost quality, whereas before all else Verdi's Messa di Requiem demands excellent opera voices.
In the Musikvereinssaal in Vienna in 1984 with the Vienna Philharmonics, the soloist quartet Anna Tomowa-Sintow, José Carreras, José van Dam and Kurt Moll was available. The Mozart Requiem in 1986, again in the Vienna Musikvereinssaal with the Vienna Philharmonics, Anna Tomowa-Sintow could be heard again as the soprano, Vinson Cole as tenor, Paata Burchuladze as bass and Helga Müller Molinari as alto. Whereas the Brahms German Requiem, again in the Vienna Musikvereinssaal in 1985 with the Vienna Philharmonics, Kathleen Battle, soprano, Jose van Dam, baritone, along with the Vienna Singverein guaranteed an unforgettable event.
Durations: 91 / 81 / 56 min.
Karajan - Phenomenon Karajan
In this portrait Uli Märkle, the Telemondial manager and long time Karajan companion, illustrates the cooperation with the Maestro, whose total dedication to music became next to proverbial. Uli Märkle also describes a humorous and in many questions interested contemporary with a liking for westerns and «Bratwürstel». The new found film cuts show Karajan with Nicolai Ghiaurov as Don Giovanni in Salzburg, Jess Thomas as Siegfried and Grace Bumbry as Carmen. But also rehearsals out of Telemondial concert productions, that were first presented at the inauguration of the Karajan Centrum, are integrated in this ORF production.
This Karajan portrait also includes interview clips that Heinz Fischer Karwin recorded with the famous conductor.
Karajan - Opening Concert Chamber Music Hall Berlin 1987
The Opening of the Berlin Chamber Music Hall in October 1987 would remain one of the last appearances of Karajan in Berlin. On this occasion, Karajan conducted Vivaldi's «Four Seasons». The part of the solo violin was played by one of the best violinists in the world, who also was the favourite musical partner of Karajan at the time: Anne-Sophie Mutter. A passionate young musician, she became - next to Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra - the third star of the evening. Karajan directed the concert while playing the cembalo himself.
Karajan - New Year's Eve Concerts Berlin 1983/84/85/88
In 1983 the concert's repertoire covered Rossini's William Tell Overture, Smetana's Vltava from Má Vlast, Sibelius's Valse triste, Josef Strauss's Delirium Waltz as well as Johann Strauss II's Overture to The Gipsy Baron. A year later Karajan totally dedicated his New Years Eve Concert to the oeuvre of Johann Sebastian Bach. The Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in E major with Anne-Sophie Mutter as well as the Magnificat with such outstanding singers as Judith Blegen, Francisco Araiza and Robert Holl made this concert to a reflective event in memory of the perhaps greatest of all German composers. On Dec 31st 1985, Karajan once again conducted this concert, which was designed to exactly stroll along the border of serious music on one hand and more lightly flavored tunes on the other. After Weber's overture to «Freischütz», a series of popular and catchy tunes were presented. Leoncavallo's Intermezzo from «Pagliacci», Puccini's interlude from «Manon Lescaut» preceded Rhapsody Nr. 5 by Franz Liszt. Ravel's «Bolero» marked the absolute highlight of the concert. The Silvester Concert 1985/86 offered a perfect introduction for newcomers into classical music. Three years later it was again Karajan's baton guiding the Berlin Philharmonic. This time, the repertoire consisted of two highly complex piano concerts. Besides Sergej Prokoffief's Symphony No. 1, the arguably most popular piano concert of all was performed: Piotr Ilitsch Tchaikovsky's Concert No.1 in B-minor. Jewgenij Kissin, then considered a «Wunderkind», displayed an inspired performance on piano. The Berlin Philharmonic Silvester Concert 1988 offered a musical experience of the extraordinary.
Karajan - New Year's Day Concert 1987, Vienna
Herbert von Karajan conducted the world-famous New Year's Concert of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra only once in 1987. In doing this he ennobled an institution that until then had perpetually been in the hand of a single colleague. Clemens Krauss, Willi Boskovsky and Lorin Maazel had always been responsible for a complete series. Then Karajan came, conducted and succeeded! Since then the star conductors change annually - from Muti to Kleiber, from Mehta to Abbado. Today, one anxiously anticipates who will be the superstar of next year's New Year's Concert. The main opinion is that Karajan put the ideal balance of light-footed joy and musical brilliance in this Viennese Music. Contributions to this success were Kathleen Battle with the «Frühlingsstimmen Walzer», the State Opera Ballet and the famous white horses, the Lippizaner. The New Year's Concert 1987 - it is really a great moment of musical history!
Karajan - Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition
Mussorgsky's «Pictures at an Exhibition» in the orchestration of Ravel is one of the most popular works in concert literature. His interpretations of an exhibition that really existed in his days are so well put that you can literally see witch «Baba Yaga» or the «Biddies» hatch out of their eggs in front of your imaginary eyes. And if you feel that the walls of the Berlin Philharmonie are starting to sway because of the intensity of sound when standing in front of the Big Gate of Kiev - then you know, that this concert with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the highlights of Karajan's entire career. Even those, whose access is by video only, will testify to that phenomenon. If you want to know why Karajan is considered a «Magician of Sound»: Watch this! His sheer talent becomes the event here.
Karajan - Mass from St. Peter's Cathedral Vatican 1985
On June 29th 1985, an event of singular artistic importance took place. In the presence of Pope John Paul II, Karajan and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra performed Mozart's Coronation Mass in the Basilica of St. Peter's in Rome. With Kathleen Battle, Trudeliese Schmidt, Gösta Winbergh and Ferruccio Furlanetto, soloists of highest international reputation had been selected to participate. The choir of the Vienna Singverein completed the cast of great performers. Those who were there became witness to a meeting of a truly great Pope with one of the greatest conductors of all times, who - together with a world-class assembly of musicians - created an inspiring atmosphere on that memorable evening in Vatican City. An evening never to forget, even when only watching it on TV.
Karajan - Jubilee Concert - 100 Years Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra - a unique lifelong cooperation, slightly clouded only by minor disharmonies. Karajan was appointed head of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra at an early stage of his famed international career, when he succeded Wilhelm Furtwängler in 1954. The Vienna State Opera, the Salzburger Festspiele and the Vienna Philharmonic were later stops on his illustrious path through the world of music.
The long-term relationship between Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra still remains a one-of-a-kind phenomenon. Not surprisingly, Karajan chose Beethoven's «Eroica» to be performed at the anniversary concert «100 Years Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra». Without a doubt, Karajans «Eroica» marks a highlight in the history of classical concerts - and certainly one of Karajan's own career.
Karajan - Herbert von Karajan Profile
In 1982 Karajan founded Telemondial, and with the best studio technicians he once again started to produce sound recordings. Next to important studio productions of popular concert repertoires Karajan decided to integrate some of his favourite operas like "Don Giovanni", "Don Carlos", "The Night of the Rose" or "Falstaff".
This film documentary by Gernot Friedl follows the life and work of the great conductor, revealing both his charisma - the Karajan phenomenon - and also the more controversial sides of his personality and musical approach. Extracts from opera and concert works by Beethoven, Mozart, Wagner, Bach, Puccini, Johann Strauss (the younger), Mahler, Verdi, Richard Strauss and Schonberg testify to the wide-ranging repertoire which Herbert von Karajan developed during his life as a conductor.
Available in 1x45 min / 1x61 min / 1x89 min.
Karajan - Gala Concert 750 Years Berlin 1987
On May 1st 1987, a memorable concert took place in Berlin. The official kick-off to the celebrations of Berlin's 750th anniversary was a concert performed by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Herbert von Karajan. The concert aired live on TV, with the Berlin Philharmonic performing «Also sprach Zarathustra» by Richard Strauss as a dramatic symphony with opulent sounds and lyrical intermezzos as well as «Divertimento No.17 in D- major», Köchel catalogue No. 334, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Karajan - French Program: Debussy & Ravel
Besides his passion for Beethoven, Brahms or Tchaikovsky, Karajan also harbored a special connection to French composers. Thanks to his French wife Eliette, his villa in southern France and last but not least his personal elegance, he developed an intensive relationship to impressionists Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel.
A concert taped at the Berlin Philharmonie from 1985 testifies to that affection through Debussy's compositions «La Mer» and «Prélude à l'aprèsmidi d'un faune» as well as Ravel's «Daphne and Chloe».
Durations: 17 / 25 / 110 min.
Karajan - Famous Overtures
The compositions of Ludwig von Beethoven as well as those of Richard Wagner or Richard Strauss stand in the center of Herbert von Karajan's oeuvre. He recorded the most popular Beethoven overtures in the season 1985/86 in the Berlin Philharmonie, i.e. Fidelio, Egmont and Leonore Nr. 3. This concert of superlatives is complemented by Brahms' Tragic Overtures. Karajan proves himself as a deserving successor of his great idol Wilhelm Furtwängler.
Karajan - Falstaff
Time and time again Karajan conducted Falstaff at the Scala, in Vienna or Salzburg. But the presumably longest performance came out in summer of 1982 in Salzburg. In the centre of the audience's enthusiasm was the sheer unbelievable Guiseppe Taddei, whose mischievousness in combination with vocal abundance was unique.
A recording from the Salzburg Festival, Salzburg 1982
Opera by Guiseppe Verdi
Libretto by Arrigo Boito
Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Conducted and directed by Herbert von Karajan
Cast: Giuseppe Taddei, Rolando Panerai, Raina Kabaiwanska, Janet Perry, Christa Ludwig, Trudeliese Schmidt, Francisco Araiza, Piero de Palma, Federico Davià, Heinz Zednik
Karajan - Dvorak: Symphonies No. 8/9
Herbert von Karajan's Dvorak-interpretations with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, most notably symphonies No. 8 and 9, are legendary. Symphony No. 9 «From the New World» stands very much in the tradition of Beethoven, but is completely riddled with a slavic tune and a melancholy way that Karajan and the Viennese implied so inimitably. Dvorak's 8th and 9th symphonies captured for eternity - recorded at the Musikverein.
Durations: 40 / 45 min.
Karajan - Don Giovanni
Don Giovanni is the most popular Mozart opera. But it is very difficult to find an ideal cast. In 1987 in Salzburg this was the case with Samuel Ramey in the title role and Ferruccio Furlanetto as Leporello. A few years later the Italian bass baritone Furlanetto followed in the title role. It is very important that Don Giovanni as well as his valet are high quality artists. The primadonna trio Anna Tomowa-Sintow as Donna Anna, Agnes Baltsa - who sang Elvira for Karajan only - and Kathleen Battle as Zerlina is unique. Here you can really study the wide spektrum of feminine nature. You cannot perform this piece better than with this trio! Gösta Winbergh, who at the same time began to sing Wagner, gave the ideal balance between lyric and dramatic art.
A recording from the Salzburg Festival, Salzburg 1987.
Opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte
Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Conducted by Herbert von Karajan
Cast: Anna Tomowa-Sintow, Kathleen Battle, Agnes Baltsa, Gösta WInbergh, Alexander Malta, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Paata Buchuladze
Directed by Werner Hampe
Karajan - Don Carlos
A recording from the Easter Festival, Salzburg 1986
What once was said of the Troubadour applies for Verdi`sDon Carlos: All you need is the four world best singers and then this opera is no problem: the wonderful Agnes Baltsa in the title role of Eboli and Karajan`s favorite tenor José Carreras; the singer of Elisabeta, Fiamma Izzo d`Amico, who impassioned with her voice in tender lyric - just like a young Freni - and represented the ideal contrast to the singer of KIng Philip. Furlanetto is today`s leading international bass-baritone and continues the tradition of Cesare Siepi and Nicolai Ghiaurov as his predecessors.
Opera by Giuseppe Verdi
Libretto by Josephe Méry and Camille du Locle based on the Play by Friedrich Schiller
Orchestra: Belrin Philharmonic Orchestra
Conducted and directed by Herbert von Karajan
Cast: José Carreras, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Fiamma Izzo D'Amico and Agnes Baltsa
Karajan - Bruckner: Symphony No. 8 in C minor
The second orchestra of importance in Karajan's life was the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. An artistic friendship spanning decades developed, driving the orchestra to great achievements while at the same time inspiring the sensitive conductor. This congeniality of souls can especially be heard in the works of Anton Bruckner, a composer from Upper Austria. His Symphony No. 8 in C-minor, recorded live at the Musikvereinssaal in Vienna, is a document of absolute superlative.
Karajan - Brahms: Symphonies No. 1/2
Johannes Brahms only composed four symphonies. During 1986/87, Karajan recorded both No.1 and No. 2 with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. As with works of Beethoven, Bruckner and Strauss, Karajan's interpretations of Brahms fall in the category of «eternal validity». Both concerts were obviously planned as part of a complete cycle of Brahm's works, only to be interrupted by Karajan's death, thus leaving it a torso. For Brahms-aficionados, the torso still poses a highlight of all times.
Durations: 48/44 min.
Karajan - Best of
There are very few vivid legends such as Herbert von Karajan! His name is a synonym for musicality, perfection and passion. Comparable perhaps only with Enrico Caruso or Maria Callas, but with the exception that the conductor (born on April 5th, 1908 in Salzburg and died on July 16th, 1989) could eternally preserve a great part of his oeuvre thanks to the television era.
His career is accompanied by very early recordings and even the very young Karajan is documented on film. His last life decade was dedicated to quality documentation on a very high level of his most important oeuvres for future generations. In 1982 he founded Telemondial, contracted the king of the record managers Uli Märkle of the Deutsche Grammophon and with the best studio technicians he once again started to produce sound recordings of the most important symphonies of Beethoven, Dvorak, Brahms, Tchaikovsky and Mozart. His orchestra were his two favorite ensembles: The Vienna and Berlin Philharmonics. Next to these studio productions of popular concert repertoires Karajan decided to integrate some of his favourite operas like "Don Giovanni", "Don Carlos", "Der Rosenkavalier" or "Falstaff". The most popular Karajan events such as the New Year's Eve Concerts in Berlin and the famous New Year's Concert with the Vienna Philharmonics of 1987 complete this "Karajan legacy".
Karajan - Beethoven: Missa Solemnis in D Major, op. 123
One year later, after the violin concerto, he recorded Beethoven's «Missa Solemnis», again with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. For this recording, he recruited an international cast of singers, of which José van Dam and Letta Cuberli stand out. Interestingly enough, he called on the choir of the Vienna Musikverein to perform with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.
Karajan - Beethoven: Violin Concerto in D Major, op. 61
From the 1984, 1985 and 1986 concert seasons, one Beethoven-performance by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under their longtime director Karajan stands out above all others. Beethoven's Concert for Violin in D-Major, performed by Anne- Sophie Mutter, turned out to be downright unsurpassable. A truly timeless masterpiece, that perfectly balances the simplicity of chamber music through the soloist's highest virtuosity with the overall tone of Beethoven's arguably most popular composition. Throughout his life, Karajan always maintained a sense for perfection and aesthetics. Together with «his» Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and the young Anne-Sophie Mutter, he left behind a recording that can only be called consummate and perfect.
Karajan - Beethoven - 9 Symphonies
Beethoven and Karajan - a lifelong love affair; decades of struggle. The result: new unexpected interpretations time and time again. The studio productions of Telemondial were recorded in the years 1982 - 1986 in the Berlin Philharmonie with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. They bring the possibly most popular symphonies into the concert halls of the world in perfect balance between obliging architecture and innovative magnitude that was such a great concern to the contemporary Beethoven. You can characterize these 9 Beethoven symphonies as the heart of Karajan's legacy.
Miscellaneous running times.