The Karajan Official Remastered Edition comprises 13 box sets containing official remasterings of the finest recordings the Austrian conductor made for EMI between 1946 and 1984, which are now a jewel of the Warner Classics catalog. Karajan's extraordinary capacity for elevating his soloists on a 'magic carpet' of orchestral sound is demonstrated in this 10 CD collection of concertos; among the instrumentalists are such figures as Sviatoslav Richter, David Oistrakh, Mstislav Rostropovich, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Alexis Weissenberg, Maurice André and James Galway.
No-one has done more for the cello than Mstislav Rostropovich, or Slava as he was widely known. As well as being arguably the greatest cellist of the twentieth century, he expanded and enriched the cello repertoire by the sheer force of his artistry and his personality and composers lined up to write works for him.
Mstislav Rostropovich did more for the advancement of the cello than probably any other artist since Pablo Casals. Even after his sad passing in 2007 at the age of 80, is musical influence is felt not only in the cello community, but among orchestral musicians as well. This Deutsche Grammophon DVD is among the many tributes to Rostropovich that have surfaced over the short time since his passing. It features the Schumann Concerto and Bloch's Schelomo with Leonard Bernstein and the Orchestre National de France and Strauss' Don Quixote with Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic. All of these performances are given their first DVD release here. Schumann and Bloch are given intense, riveting performances by Rostropovich and orchestra alike. Any other cellist who played with as much force and aggression would be accused of overplaying, but with Rostropovich the intensity and conviction of his playing are what make the entire performance.
A definitive documentary about legendary conductor Herbert Von Karajan to mark 100 years since his birth. First release in any format! Not just a biographical film, Karajan uncovers the true, personal essence of the unique artist behind the public figure, a portrait of a man who was full of contradictions and remained a mystery until his death.
The air on Mt. Olympus must have been something like that in Berlin’s Jesus-Christus-Kirche when, in September 1969, the threesome of Richter, Oistrakh and Rostropovich joined Herbert von Karajan for this majestic recording of Beethoven’s underrated Triple Concerto. That there could have been such a meeting of the minds in this gathering of greats is difficult to believe, until one remembers that the three soloists were frequent collaborators who all spoke the same musical language, and after years in the trenches knew each other and their conductor very well. As one would expect, the solo work of the three Russians is brilliant and deeply musical. But just as delightful is the way they adjust from solo to ensemble roles and play together, with perfect unanimity, in the duet and trio passages. Karajan and the Berliners provide a monumental accompaniment, weighty, powerful, and rich in tone. The recording, one of the best from EMI in this venue, has been remastered in exemplary fashion and is impressively detailed and vivid.
* Performer: Mstislav Rostropovich
* Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
* Conductor: Herbert von Karajan
* Composer: Antonin Dvorak, Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky
Mstislav Rostropovich is the world's greatest cellist, and he has actually made at least five recordings of this greatest of all cello concertos. I have a certain preference for his later version, with Seiji Ozawa and the Boston Symphony Orchestra on Erato. This version has long been a prime recommendation, and in this new remastering at mid-price, it's an even better deal now. Herbert von Karajan accompanies with his usual expertise, and the Tchaikovsky performance is quite simply the finest around. This concerto is one of those pieces of which you'll want to have five or six copies. Just make sure this is one of them. –David Hurwitz