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New Year's Concert 1978 [Live] von Herbert…
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New Year's Concert 1978 [Live] (2008. Auflage)

von Herbert von Karajan (conductor), Berliner Philharmoniker (orchestra), Georges Bizet (composer), Franz Liszt (composer), Hector Berlioz (composer)3 mehr, Pietro Mascagni (composer), Giuseppe Verdi (composer), Franz von Suppé (composer)

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Mitglied:Waldstein
Titel:New Year's Concert 1978 [Live]
Autoren:Herbert von Karajan (conductor)
Weitere Autoren:Berliner Philharmoniker (orchestra), Georges Bizet (composer), Franz Liszt (composer), Hector Berlioz (composer), Pietro Mascagni (composer)2 mehr, Giuseppe Verdi (composer), Franz von Suppé (composer)
Info:Unitel/DG, 2008. 113 min. Colour. NTSC 4:3. PCM Stereo / DTS 5.1. Liner notes by Richard Osborne. Bonus documentary: Karajan – Impressions by Vojtěch Jasný.
Sammlungen:Music
Bewertung:*****
Tags:Karajan_DVD

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Berliner Philharmoniker: Silvesterkonzert 1978 von Herbert von Karajan

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New Year’s Concert 1978

Berliner Philharmoniker
Herbert von Karajan


[1] Opening credits [0’47]

[2] Verdi: La forza del destino, Overture [8’20]

Bizet: L’Arlésienne Suite No. 2 (excerpts)
[3] 1. Pastorale [5’30]
[4] 2. Intermezzo [4’53]
[5] 4. Farandole [4’05]

[6] Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 [12’15]
[7] Berlioz: La Damnation de Faust, Marche hongroise [3’43]
[8] Mascagni: L’amico Fritz, Intermezzo [5’33]
[9] Suppé: Leichte Kavallerie, Overture [7’39]

Recorded: 31 December 1978, Philharmonie, Berlin (Live).

Director and Artistic Supervision: Herbert von Karajan.

Bonus: Karajan – Impressions by Vojtěch Jasný [59’39]

Unitel/DG, 2008. 113 min. Colour. NTSC 4:3. PCM Stereo / DTS 5.1. Liner notes by Richard Osborne.

====================================

Karajan “rarely let his hair down in public, but after this astonishing New Year’s Eve account of that very same Mascagni intermezzo [which Karajan had heard conducted by the composer in Milan in 1943], the trademark coiffure is definitely in disarray.” So writes Richard Osborne with a fine example of dry wit in his excellent-as-always liner notes. All six of these orchestral lollipops (in the immortal phrase of Thomas Beecham) were recorded mu ltiple times by Karajan, but never live and never on video. Indeed, most of them (Liszt, Verdi, Suppé, Berlioz) he conducted for the last time on this very concert, or at most on the recording sessions for Karajan à Paris around the same time; Mascagni and Bizet enjoyed later recordings, in 1981 for EMI and in 1984 for DG respectively, but never another performance live in the concert hall.

So, this New Year’s Concert is a special occasion from a historical point of view as well. The finale of Berlioz is the only slight disappointment, either because the Berlin brass went out of breath or, more likely, because some flaw in the recording process squashed the dynamic range. The other five works are every bit as exciting as their studio versions, if not indeed more so, and Karajan’s intense visual presence enhances the experience. He does let his hair down, but this is not to say he doesn’t take this relatively light music very seriously; as in the case of Invitation to the Dance and quite a few other such albums (including the above-mentioned tribute to Paris and the Promenade Concert with Philharmonia), Karajan proves conclusively that light music can be great music too. The omission of the minuet from the L’Arlésienne Suite is regrettable, but at least we are not deprived of one of those ravishing sax solos (one is in the Intermezzo here, the other is in the Prelude of the First Suite).

The bonus documentary is the same as the one included on the double DVD Karajan in Concert and quite aptly named. It is just that, impressions of Karajan, especially Karajan at work in Salzburg of the late 1970s. We see the Maestro discussing the sets for the movie version of Das Rheingold with Georges Wakhiewitsch, rehearsing Mahler’s Fifth and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphonies with the Berlin Philharmonic (and the Deutsche Oper chorus for the 1977 New Year’s Concert) or Fidelio with singers on the stage, reflecting on his father in the car, spending some time with his wife and daughters in their villa at St Moritz, listening to playback with his producer Michel Glotz and laughing his head off, and so on. We even hear some memories from the mouths of childhood friends. One of them asserts with authority that Karajan was very fond of tennis as a child. That must have been some adolescent crush. Later in life, Karajan was passionate about many things besides music, conducting and recording, anything from skiing and swimming to sailing yachts and flying planes, but never, to the best of my knowledge, about tennis. Perhaps that was one passion he simply didn’t have time for.

The late Vojtěch Jasný (1925–2019), an obscure Czech director, evidently had access to what very few outsiders ever saw. Luckily for posterity, he took notice with his camera. Casual Karajan listeners may well find his “impressions” too disjointed and intrinsically uninteresting, but Karajan buffs would enjoy glimpses into Karajan’s life and work not easy to obtain otherwise. The movie is a perfect companion to Roger Vaughan’s Herbert von Karajan: A Biographical Portrait (1986) which does the same thing for the early 1980s on paper. Only here, for instance, you can see and hear, if only for a few seconds, the legendary Karajan secretary Lore Salzburger described by Mr Vaughan as “efficient, perceptive, capable, devoted, authoritative, charming, and at the same time, tough and outspoken. [...] How she keeps the appointments straight, the plane in the air, the boat in the water, her hair in place, and her office immaculate – all at the same time and in four languages – is beyond comprehension.” ( )
  Waldstein | Aug 6, 2022 |
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AutorennameRolleArt des AutorsWerk?Status
Herbert von KarajanHauptautoralle Ausgabenberechnet
Berliner PhilharmonikerorchestraHauptautoralle Ausgabenbestätigt
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