These recordings of two Beethoven symphonies date from a period of change in the history of the Berlin Philharmonic. Ever since his first encounter with the Berlin Philharmonic, Herbert von Karajan wanted nothing more than to be its principal conductor.
These recordings shed light on his early work with the orchestra as a visiting conductor and as the successor to Wilhelm Furtwängler. Beethoven’s Ninth, with a sterling quartet of vocal soloists, has a large-scale command of form and a dense, coherent sound that reveal Karajan well on his way to the first complete recording of the symphonies.
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