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‘Herbert Von Karajan – The Complete Decca Recordings’ Out Now

Herbert von Karajan’s complete recordings for Decca have been released for the first time in a limited edition 33 CD box set.

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Herbert von Karajan The Complete Decca Recordings packshot

Herbert Von Karajan – The Complete Decca Recordings, a limited edition 33 CD box set, features the legendary conductor’s complete recordings for the label for the first time in one concise edition. These recordings best convey the experience of Herbert von Karajan live in the opera house and in concert. Ten of the finest opera recordings of all time, including the Decca-RCA recordings of Tosca and Carmen, are featured. Landmark recordings of Richard Strauss’s Also Sprach Zarathustra, Holst’s The Planets, the Tchaikovsky ballet suites, plus a highlights disc of Adam’s Giselle are also included. Herbert Von Karajan – The Complete Decca Recordings presents these newly remastered recordings in their original sleeves and includes a new extensive essay by Karajan biographer Richard Osborne.

Herbert von Karajan (5 April 1908 – 16 July 1989) is one of the greatest conductors of all time. No conductor in the history of the gramophone has sold more records or covered, with distinction, a wider range of repertory than Karajan. He is the biggest selling classical artist in recorded music history and has sold over 200 million records. Karajan’s legendary discography contains some of the most valued interpretations of the repertoire available.

Features Karajan’s Vienna Opera recordings

Herbert Von Karajan – The Complete Decca Recordings feature both the recordings he made during his tenure as director of the Vienna Opera (1957 – 1964), which best convey the experience of him in the opera house, and in the coda which followed in the 1970s.

Before recording for the label Herbert von Karajan had long been an admirer of Decca’s engineering with the sonic advances they had made in stereo recording. Decca’s introduction of the long-playing record in 1950 had ushered in what Karajan himself called “the second, the great period of the gramophone”.

Includes ten of the finest opera recordings of all time

It would be an exaggeration to say that you needed to hear Karajan live in the opera house to fully understand his genius; yet it was in the theatre that he was most at home. Which is where the Decca legacy comes into its own. Herbert von Karajan made many great opera recordings, yet it was those he made in Vienna during his time as director of the State Opera – Aida (1959), Die Fledermaus (1960), Otello (1961), Tosca (1962), Carmen (1963) – which best convey the experience of him live in the opera house. Herbert Von Karajan – The Complete Decca Recordings includes ten of the finest opera recordings of all time featuring Leontyne Price, Luciano Pavarotti, Mario del Monaco, Renata Tebaldi, Giuseppe di Stefano, and Carlo Bergonzi.

Luciano Pavarotti was the inspiration for the recordings of Puccini’s La Bohème (1972) and Madama Butterfly (1974). The singer was as much revered by Karajan as Karajan revered him and noted, “Karajan was the most creative person, inventing the music at the moment, making the orchestra play very, very precisely but with soul.”

Herbert Von Karajan – The Complete Decca Recordings , a limited edition 33 CD box set featuring ten complete operas and landmark recordings, best conveys the experience of Karajan live in the opera house and in concert. “This is where the Decca legacy comes into its own … musically and in terms of sonic refinement and splendour,” notes Richard Osborne in his extensive liner notes.

Herbert Von Karajan – The Complete Decca Recordings – Repertoire

CD1. R. Strauss Also Sprach Zarathustra

CD2 R. Strauss Don Juan; Till Eulenspiegel; Tod Und Verklarung

CD3 Beethoven Symphony No. 7; Brahms Symphony No. 1

CD4 Mozart Symphony No. 40; Haydn Symphony No. 104 “London”

CD5 Mozart Symphony No. 41 “Jupiter”; Haydn Symphony No. 103 “Drum Roll”

CD6 Music by the Strauss family

CD7 Holst The Planets; Grieg Peer Gynt Suites

CD8 Tchaikovsky Romeo & Juliet; Nutcracker Suite

CD9 Tchaikovsky Swan Lake Suite; Sleeping Beauty Suite

CD10 Adam Giselle (Highlights)

CD11 Brahms Symphony No. 3; ‘Tragic Overture’; Dvorak Symphony No. 8

CD12 Christmas with Leontyne Price

CD13-14 Verdi Aida

CD15-16 J. Strauss II Die Fledermaus – Gala Performance

CD17-18 Verdi Otello

CD19-20 Puccini Tosca

CD21-23 Bizet Carmen (RCA)

CD24-26 Mussorgsky Boris Godunov

CD27-28 Puccini La Bohème

CD29-30 Puccini Madama Butterfly

CD31-33 Mozart Le Nozze Di Figaro

Herbert von Karajan and Wiener Philharmoniker – except La Bohème Berliner Philharmoniker

Herbert Von Karajan – The Complete Decca Recordings can be bought here.

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