Herbert von Karajan

Schoenberg: Verklärte Nacht; Variations for Orchestra; Berg: Drei Orchesterstücke Op. 6; Webern: Fünf Sätze Op. 5; Sechs Stücke für Orchester Op. 6

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Herbert von Karajan was world-renowned for his recordings of the standard orchestral repertoire, but occasionally he surprised listeners with performances of 20th century music, of which he left few recordings. His best-known offerings of music from the Second Viennese School were captured on three albums he made with the Berlin Philharmonic, which were first released between 1973 and 1974 on Deutsche Grammophon, then reissued in a box set in 1975. Apart from Pierre Boulez, Antal Doráti, and Robert Craft, few major conductors were promoting the atonal and twelve-tone music of Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg, and Anton Webern at the time, so Karajan's support was important in introducing their music to a new audience, albeit in rather lush interpretations. This limited-edition, three-CD package presents the three albums with their original cover art, and they are once again available for study and evaluation. In the ensuing decades, there have been many fine recordings of these works, markedly better in execution, expression, and sound, but Karajan's are still remembered by many fans, not necessarily for their qualities or insights, but simply because they were made by this conductor.

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