Thursday, January 5, 2012

Two recordings

The CD arrived today - slightly delayed owing to the New Year holiday. Whilst waiting I listened to my Karajan recording with the Berlin Philharmonic (DG 415 066-2), including on the car CD player on a journey to Bristol and back. This didn't work. The dynamic range of the recording was far too much for the car system. If I could hear the quiet sections over the road noise, the loud sections were deafening and I was constantly adjusting the volume.

The contrast with the Kleiber recording is extraordinary. Just in terms of recording and reproduction quality the Kleiber recording is head and shoulders above the Karajan. The engineers and Tonmeister at Deutsche Grammaphon have really done an excellent job bringing the original 1974 recording to life - so much more detail and interest; making the Karajan recording seem flat and dull.

Kleiber adds a lot more character to the piece particularly in the second and third movements. Overall it feels more real - a bit more like the original performance in Vienna, but without the repeats! Karajan is a bit too polished for me.

Not my favourite piece of music in truth; but a must have and a glorious recording.

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