Herbert von Karajan / Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

Karajan Conducts Vivaldi & Bach

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AllMusic Review by

Some might question the wisdom of re-releasing these recordings by Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic of works by Vivaldi and Bach from the '60s and '70s. The days when modern conductors and orchestras were allowed free range over Baroque music are long gone and Karajan and the Berlin's performances now seem stylistically wholly inappropriate. The opulence of the Berlin's tone, the luxuriousness of its textures, and the sumptuousness of its ensemble now seem hopelessly antiquated in Baroque repertoire. Plus, while Karajan's sculpted interpretations were wonderfully successful in Wagner and Strauss, they are woefully unsuccessful in Vivaldi and Bach. The weight, density, and thickness of these performances are all completely wrong for music that prized lightness, clarity, and brilliance. With all of the superbly played period instrument performances of these works available, it is impossible to approve of Karajan and the Berlin's performances.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
The Four Seasons (Il quattro stagione), concertos (4) for violin, strings & continuo ("Il cimento" Nos. 1-4) , Op. 8/1 - 4
1 03:26
2 03:20
3 04:34
4 05:47
5 02:16
6 02:53
7 05:26
8 02:34
9 03:40
10 03:29
11 02:14
12 03:23
Concerto for 4 violins, strings & continuo in D major ("L'estro armonico" No. 1), Op. 3/1, RV 549
13 03:20
14 03:42
15 02:56
Concerto for 4 violins, strings & continuo in E minor ("L'estro armonico" No. 4), Op. 3/4, RV 550
16 02:58
17 02:30
18 00:54
19 02:05
Concerto for 4 violins, cello, strings & continuo in F major ("L'estro armonico" No. 7) Op. 3/7, RV 567
20 03:46
21 01:46
22 02:55
23 03:03

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Concerto for 4 violins, cello, strings & continuo in B minor ("L'estro armonico" No. 10) Op. 3/10, RV 580
1 04:11
2 01:31
3 05:41
Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G major, BWV 1048
4 06:31
5 00:14
6 05:16
Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D major, BWV 1050
7 10:53
8 06:13
9 06:00
Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068
10 09:18
11 06:34
12 03:46
13 01:18
14 03:04
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