Eine Alpensinfonie - Karajan "Gold"

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joggerjayne | 10:33 Thu 14th Oct 2010 | Music
17 Answers
Eventually, someone will come along who knows the Alpensinfonie.

A few thoughts.

I bought the Karajan/Berlin Philharmonic version this week? I only bought it because, as we do, I'm replacing my vinyl recordings with CDs, and that's the version I had on vinyl.

But does Karajan go overboard with the orchestral tutti portraying "sunrise"? Or is that level of crescendo needed to show the full majesty of The Alps?

Is Karajan's whole performance too regimented? Does he sacrifice melody in the pursuit of perfection?

Should I buy another recording and, if so ... which one?

Is it heresy to criticise the Maestro?

Is there any level on which Richard Strauss did not pinch the introduction to Eine Alpensinfonie from the opening of Wagner's Das Rheingold? The deep, resonating, opening chords, with the spiralling brass and strings, building dramatically - you know the bit I mean?

Why is this CD part of the "Karajan Gold" collection? Are some of his recordings a bit second rate?

Should I have posted this later on this evening?

Should I just go for another coffee?

Should I not listen to Eine Alpensinfonie in my car, where the engine noise drowns out the quiet sections? ... maybe turning it up to hear the quiet sections over-emphasises the loud parts.

Yes, coffee ... I need more coffee.


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What is it, Vibe ?

A contemporary interpretation of those works ?

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I've heard OF him, but not really listened to his stuff.
Have to admit that I just love Eine Alpensinfonie in just about any version JJ, though I wouldn't back my CD by Gothenberg S.O. under Haider against Karajan.

I agree with the Rheingold similarity but as the Symphony moves to its climax Strauss certainly asserts his individuality. Having been an Alpinist I would go with K all the way. It is customary, as you probably know, to start well before sunup and when the sunrise hits one from across the peaks and glaciers, it is a thrill. In spite of the subject I have come to think of the work as a journey through life, as was so much of Strauss.
Don Quixoteand Ein Heldenleben are two others.

Wagner is magnificent, I have the Solti Ring, but for me Richard Strauss captures the human condition.

Bless you JJ. There is life out there!
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Aaah, Seadogg ... E simpatico !!

I love the Alps, I love the Alpensinfonie ... and I am a Ring fanatic (so to speak!).

But ... my experience of the Alps doesn't involve anything "before dawn". I'm usually sleeping off too many Gluweins, or Vino Caldos.

I've tried several Rings (again ... so to speak).

My first Ring was also the Solti (Decca, yes?). Then I got the Karajan (a mistake, in retrospect).

Last year, I was excited to hear that a remastering of the Furtwangler version was being released. This is not the Furtwangler Rome recording. This was the Scala recording. The reason I was so excited is that the Furtwangler Scala recording is the only complete recording with Kirsten Flagstad singing Brunhilde.

And, OMG Seadogg ... it blew me away. I can't even start to describe how good it is. With almost all works (like the Alpensinfonie) you can see merits in various different recordings, but ... I can nail my colours to the mast with the Ring, and say that the Furtwangler, Scala, 1950, recording just blows all the others away.

Furtwangler has the most wonderful feel for Wagner, but the icing on the cake, quite simply, is Kirsten. You must buy it, Seadogg. It's impossible to describe how good it is.
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Thanks, society.

I hadn't heard that version before.

I've just listened to that section, and the same section from my CD (I had to fetch it from the car ... puff, puff).

It seems a little more "melodic" than the Karajan. Maybe K is a bit more tromboney in the "Zarathustra" type of section (30-60 secs).

Do you have a complete Waltman recording?
You could listen to some here -
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Oh, society ... I almost bought THAT one !!

(the Haitink)

After starting with a handful of discs, I put them all back (in the right place, I hope ... sorry if I mixed them up), and was left with the Haitink and the Karajan.

The Haitink was apparently recorded live at the Barbican, and I was torn by that. I've been to the Barbican so many times, I thought that listening to the CD, I would be mentally picturing the Barbican ... instead of picturing The Alps.

So ... I took the Karajan.

Then, all the way home, I wondered if I should have really bought "yet another" Karajan CD. Was I trying to play too safe, and ending up being unimaginative ??
Here's a secret of mine - click on the 'related post' on the right and each bullet-post opens a different list of classical music. I randomly pick and search them out on youtube or elsewhere and listen to them. -
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Oh ... jolly !

Thanks, society.

JJ, you are one of my favourite people one AB. You've intelligence, wit, class and style, and never unkind or nasty to anyone.
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Society, what a nice thing to say.

Thank you.


You are lovely too.
Pipped at the post. I found my Haitink on cassette (still keep loads)! I had forgotten it as the ultimate AS. Meanwhile, back to the cave till the horn sounds again.
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Cripes, Seadogg ... you still have cassettes ??

Do you have a machine on which to play them ... except in the car ????

Haven't they all stretched a bit by now? Does your Minute Waltz last a quarter of an hour? LOL
Ah! I am a radio amateur and we have ways of keeping old kit up to the job!

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