Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Herbert Von Karajan - His Legacy for Home Video Richard Strauss - Eine Alpensinfonie|
Actor: Herbert von Karajan
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
Daniel L. Ayala | Columbia, SC United States | 04/30/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD recording of the Alpine Symphony by Strauss is amazing. Having had his release on the Karajan Gold edition for a while, I thought it would be good to pick up yet another Karajan interpretation. The Berlin Philharmonic play beautifully especially at the section following the storm. Karajan appears to be completely overcome by the passionate BPO strings. I would dare say Karajan gave this music his all to prove how valuable this piece is in the repetoir. The storm sequence is wonderfully played. I wish the cameraman could have captured a shot of the wind machine...as i have never seen one before. Other than that though there are some fabulous shots of Karajan's conducting, strings, brass, woodwinds, ect. The only neglected section is the percussion section. The picture appears clear, and the sonics are great in my opinion. The music itself really packs a wollop and deserves to be played on a quality surround sound system. This is my introduction to the Karajan Legacy Series and i am very impressed with this recording of the Alpine Symphony."
A DVD of Strauss' work worth grabbing.
ken yong | Kuala Lumpur | 06/07/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is my first Karajan DVD experience. The first shock I got watching this DVD is the hue/saturation of the picture. I never thought the floors of Philharmonie looked like Mahogany of some sort. The whole picture has a darker hue compared to previous videos of Philharmonie where it has light and bright hue.On the other hand, the sharpness of the picture pleasently surprises me and the sound is top-notch, especially with Dolby Digital 5.1 feature. I own Karl Bohm's Eine Alpensinfonie and no doubt I look forward to Karajan's interpretation.Throughout the whole film, thankfully the strings did not dominate the orchestra as usual, although the winds are still a bit weak and rarely distinctive. I still relish Bohm's version where the winds are prominent and characterful and his "impressionistic" treatment of each movement. In this film, I don't hear the clarinets imitating the Scottish bagpipes in "The Ascent" and the horn fanfare are too loud in the same movement whereas in Bohm's version, there's an offstage effect. To sum it up, whereas in Bohm's version, he scales the Alpine heights with his listeners, Karajan merely observes and imagine how he did it from afar.However, Karajan makes it up with weight, drama and extra "oomph" that Bohm's version lack. I would advice you to own this DVD just for the ferocious Thunderstorm scene. There's also the usual richness of the Berliner's strings to look forward to."
What !? No heckelphone ?!
Scott Houston | Morristown, NJ United States | 04/19/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"One of the reasons I bought this DVD of Strauss` Alpine Symphony was because I actually wanted to see someone playing the heckelphone. This is a very rare baritone woodwind which Richard Wagner suggested, but which did not materialize until 1904, some 20 years after his death(courtesy of Germany`s Heckel firm, a bassoon manufacturer). Wagner disciple Richard Strauss wrote for it soon after in his operas Salome and Elektra, as well as Eine Alpensinfonie.
But alas, despite this being a German orchestra playing in Berlin, there is no heckelphone player present. Why ?
Just about everything else the score calls for is onstage, including two harps, a celesta (a small keyboard instrument made famous by Tchaikovsky`s "Nutcracker"), and the organ. The wind machine (or aeolophone) which a previous reviewer mentioned is, along with the thunder machine, not present because these sound effects have been electronically replaced in the modern era with tape recordings of actual wind and thunder. The french horns can be seen switching over to tenor Wagner tubas as called for, but why does Karajan employ five trumpets when the score only calls for four ? Also, the score requests two regular bass tubas, but I could only spot one. Finally, the twelve horns, two trumpets and two trombones which are supposed to be played offstage are apparently ignored altogether.
Perhaps these are inconsequential matters to most, but I am something of a musical instrument fanatic, and could not help but notice such details. I can`t believe the famous and august Berlin Philharmonic was having budget problems.
This is of course not really a symphony, but more of a tone poem, and a good imagination helps to understand just what Strauss was trying to do. That and a familiarity with the titles of each of this work`s different segments can provide for a much more rewarding listening experience."