[New releases]Herbert von Karajan.“100th Anniversary Edition”The Austrian composer Herbert von Karajan is currently getting the “anniversary” treatment. The music press and concert organizers are making the most of the centennial of his birth, which falls this year.
This double-CD contains notable recordings from the composer’s career. Disc 1 (Symphonic) trundles through a perky “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” courtesy of Mr. Mozart and a stirring rendering of Beethoven’s Leonore Ouvertüre III,twhich is said to be one of Karajan’s signature pieces. My favorite is Sibelius’ “Finlandia,” which makes you want to stride up a mountain wearing a jaunty pair of lederhosen — it’s that stirring.
Disc 2 (Opera) contains, as you might expect, excerpts from opera. The overture to Strauss’ “Die Fledermaus (The Bat),” kicks off proceedings followed by Bizet, Verdi, Puccini and Wagner.
The music is strong, broad and triumphant, and a thorough intro to von Karajan’s work.
By Michael Gibb