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Herbert von Karajan - Adagio

15 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 16, 1995
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Editorial Reviews

Herbert von Karajan - Adagio by Berliner Philharmoniker [Orchestra]

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1. 4. Adagietto (Sehr langsam)
2. 1. Canon
3. Meditation
4. 2. Andante
5. 1. Adagio molto
6. 2. The Death of Aase
7. 4. Adagio
8. Adagio for Strings and Organ in G minor
9. 2. Allegretto
10. 2. Air

Product Details

  • Performer: David Bell
  • Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Herbert von Karajan
  • Composer: Mahler, Gustav [Composer], Brahms, Johannes [Composer], Albinoni, et al.
  • Audio CD (May 16, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammaphon
  • Run Time: 78 minutes
  • ASIN: B000001GMK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,141 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Alex Diaz-Granados on September 4, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Karajian's Adagio is, as the title of this 1994 album culled from previous recordings of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, a CD devoted to the "adagio," a slow, gentle tempo that first became widely used in the Baroque period of music. An adagio can be either part of a greater whole (the Allegretto or 2nd Movement from Beethoven's Seventh Symphony in A major) or a complete self-contained composition (the "Valse Triste/Sad Waltz by Sibelius).
The best known pieces in this collection from Deustsche Gramophon are perhaps Pachelbel's Canon in D, which features a gentle melody that is played first by one section of the orchestra, then repeated and taken up by other sections, becoming more intricate as the piece ascends to a shimmering conclusion. The other widely known composition, Tomaso Albinoni's Adagio in G minor, sounds as if it was a Baroque piece from the late 17th Century, but it was neither composed by Albinoni nor is it a Baroque-period work. It's actually a 20th Century forgery executed by Albinoni's biographer Remo Giazotto. Nevertheless, it's a powerful and deeply moving piece, marked by the somber interplay of organ and strings. (This piece was used, with great effect, in the latter section of Australian director Peter Weir's 1980 film Gallipoli.)
Karajan's Adagio spans several centuries and musical eras, from the aforementioned Baroque to the post-Romantic 20th Century. In addition to Albinoni/Giazotto, Pachelbel, Sibelius, and Beethoven, listeners will find compositions by Mozart, Massenet, Vivaldi. Brahms, Grieg, Mahler, and J.S. Bach. With such a diverse group of composers, even though the pieces are leisurely and gentle, they also express a wide range of musical moods, ranging from the pathos of Grieg's Anse's Death to the pastoral tranquility of Mozart's 4th Movement from his Divertimento in B-flat major.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By littlenomad on January 8, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I can't believe no one has reviewed this yet! This CD is especially ideal for (but not limited to): relaxing, falling to sleep, romantic evenings, baby/child naptime. Albioni's Adagio (not to be confused with the title of the CD)is a tad long, but has spectacular moments. The Adagio from Mahler's 5th is heartbreakingly beautiful, as is the Meditation from Thais. Rarely has such exquisiteness been packed into a single CD. Don't think, just buy.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Adrian on April 30, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Karajan was an amazing conductor. Precise, demanding, exacting, but also emotional and deeply sensible to nuances and subtleties of the various works and comosers he conducted. He's amazing with Beethoven and Wagner, for instance.

With Pachelbel, however, something didn't click. I have at least three Karajan recordings of the Canon in D -as well as over 50 other versions- and none are as brief, "martial", cut-and-dry, hurry-up-and-leave like Karajan's. Don't ask me why, but it would seem that conducting Pachelbel was something he didn't enjoy.

The rest of the album, however, is very enjoyable, smooth, melodious, and thoroughly enjoyable and commendable.

So, in a nutshell: if you've had it with Pachelbel's Canon in D, this is a great recording for you. If, on the other hand, you really love the Canon, skip it while playing this album or, for that matter, any of Karajan's recordings of it, where you'll also find this report, as I have collected them all: my acoustical masochism knows no boundaries.

I hope this helps you in your selection. Enjoy!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Masahiko OKAZAKI on July 23, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Disappointed is the Canon of Pachelbel. The score is partly omitted and the temp is too rhythmical like a march. On the other hand the Adagio of Albinoni is orchestrated beautifully except the pipe organ which sounds after-recording. The Air is normal.
If you wish the baroque music above, compare others.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael P. McParland on January 26, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a masterfully beautiful collection. Slow and reflective it's the perfect album to put on when you need or just want something calm and quiet. You can listen to this on any occasion to set a soothing mood. Reading, resting, relaxing, whatever you could want. Beautiful selections of music and great performances. There's not one weak track. 5 stars from end to end. This is a great collection for true lovers of great music.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Larry Scantlebury on September 5, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Unlike some recordings of works that demand your attention, as one reviewer pointed out this can be the backdrop for romance, (dare I say) easy listening, or playing with the kids or grandkids. It is a wonderful canvas upon which to paint your day.

von Karajan and the Berliner Philharminiker are probably the only remnants of a time that shook the world, both before, during and after. They and their progeny stayed the course. The DG recording is wonderful, kind of a collection of other tracks on other recordings.

von Karajan has always worked towards the prize of achieving the most perfect musical sound. He does not fall short here. 5 Stars. Wonderful music. Larry Scantlebury
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Thomas W. Mullen on October 21, 2007
Format: Audio CD
The CD was and continues to be a great favorite of mine. All the administrative work by Amazon was flawless.
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By Barthbill on March 18, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Much of this is really great. A few are flawed, but still OK.

The Pachelbel Canon is a rather trivial, repetitive work that has had its shallow depths plumbed better than von K does it here.

The allegretto from Beethoven's Seventh is played a little too fast for my liking. He seems more interested in the destination than the journey. There is no doubt that von K knows where he is going, and how it all relates and progresses, but some of the intrinsic beauty of the process seems given short shrift. Rather like a hiker looking farther ahead instead of looking around as he moves forward, missing the little niceties at close range. A little slower tempo or more variation of same has helped other composers do this more to my liking.
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