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  • Herbert Von Karajan: Tchaikovsky - Symphonies Nos. 4 & 5
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Herbert Von Karajan: Tchaikovsky - Symphonies Nos. 4 & 5

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Product Details

  • Actors: Herbert von Karajan
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Import, NTSC
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: German, French, English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Sony/Bmg Int'l
  • DVD Release Date: June 24, 2008
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B000XTLUZM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #363,634 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alexander Arsov on January 20, 2015
First of all, it must be said that the performances on these DVDs, considered purely as artistic testimony, are worthy neither of Karajan nor of the Vienna Philharmonic. Stodgy, slack and tepid, they fall far below what you have every right to expect. Karajan had previously recorded this mighty triptych at least three times more with the Berlin Philharmonic: 1964-66 (DG), 1971 (EMI), 1975-76 (DG). Any of these sets, whatever its shortcomings, is embarrassingly superior to the routine drudgery with the VPO from 1984 which you can witness on these videos. Only in the Fourth Symphony, Karajan's forte that always brought out the best in him, are there a few brief glimpses that remind one of Karajan in his prime. Alas, not enough to justify the purchase of this set even at budget price.

To add insult to injury, the sound is dreadful. Heavy compression and woeful balance make it almost unlistenable. The clarity is admirable, but there is very, very little difference between solo woodwinds and full orchestra. The trumpets are way too prominent, the horns and trombones are quite the opposite. The strings are so thin and weak, that they are almost non-existent. Surely the string section of the VPO can do better than that! Judging by the Fourth Symphony alone, most of these problems were already inherent in the early SONY DVDs from the 1990s. This new edition, "re-recorded at the original venues" (what for?!), has only made the sound worse - if that's possible.

In short, save your money. Karajan's Tchaikovsky is far better represented on other recordings. The aforementioned CD sets are all available in fine remastered editions. The sound quality between the 1960s and the 1970s, not to mention between EMI and DG, varies greatly.
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Herbert Von Karajan: Tchaikovsky - Symphonies Nos. 4 & 5
This item: Herbert Von Karajan: Tchaikovsky - Symphonies Nos. 4 & 5
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