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Herbert von Karajan


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Austria (1908 – 1989)

Herbert von Karajan (April 5, 1908 – July 16, 1989) was a Greek-Austrian conductor. He was one of the most prominent conductors of the postwar period and is widely regarded as the world’s most recorded conductor. Karajan conducted the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra for thirty-five years.

Karajan played an important role in the development of the original compact disc digital audio format. He championed this new consumer playback technology, lent his prestige to it, and appeared at the first press conference announcing the format. Early CD prototypes had a play time limited to sixty minutes. It is often asserted that the decision to extend the maximum playing time of the compact disc to its standard of seventy-four minutes was achieved in order to adequately accommodate Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. This, however, is denied by Kees Immink, who co-invented the CD.

As was the case with soprano Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Karajan’s membership in the Nazi Party and prominent cultural association with Nazism from 1933 to 1945 cast him in an uncomplimentary light after the war. While Karajan’s defenders have argued that he joined the Nazis only to advance his own career, his critics have pointed out that other great conductors such as Bruno Walter, Erich Kleiber and Arturo Toscanini fled from fascist Europe at the time. It should be noted, however, that many famous conductors worked in Germany throughout the war years, including Furtwängler, Ansermet, Schuricht, Böhm, Knappertsbusch, Clemens Krauss, Rother and Elmendorff.


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  • CosmicPi

    Excellent Bruckner cycle. So much power.

    17 Nov 2013 Reply
  • A13k5G

    Maestro. [2]

    12 Aug 2013 Reply
  • Lainemaa

    pls come to brazil

    24 May 2013 Reply
  • deugd


    9 Apr 2013 Reply
  • KeIemvor

    sterile, go with fricsay or furtwangler [2] Soulless.

    17 Sep 2012 Reply
  • barrospablito


    30 Aug 2012 Reply
  • Jagga_Nova


    27 Jan 2012 Reply
  • Seavas

    Listening to the sound of the Berlin Philharmonic during the 40s and 50s under the batons of Fricsay, Lehmann or Markevitch is an impressive testament to Furtwängler's skill as an educator of orchestras: They sound completely different than they do under his baton, Markevitch's Mozart recordings in particular are among the most dramatic, precise and lithe ever (a must-hear for all those who thought the Berlin Philharmonic had no Mozart tradition, just because Furtwängler, Böhm and Karajan were lousy Mozart conductors does not mean the musicians couldn't play it). Compare the sound of the Berlin Philharmonic under the batons of Maazel, Tennstedt and Levine (conductors with vastly different interpretative and sound ideals) during the early 80s: A ruin of an orchestra, incapable of producing anything but Karajan's chubby trademark sound. Abbado gets a lot of shit for diversifying and democratizing their sound once more, I for one think he saved them from eventual obscurity.

    7 Feb 2011 Reply
  • Tonacatecuhtli

    Listen to Furtwängler, and your opinion will change.

    7 Jan 2011 Reply
  • jets1968

    With Toscanini is my favourite conductor.THE GREATEST!!!!!

    1 Jan 2011 Reply
  • Tonacatecuhtli

    sterile [2]

    24 Oct 2010 Reply
  • simosauros

    einer der grössten Dirigenten der Neuzeit.. grandios.. [2]

    13 Oct 2010 Reply
  • ulyssestone

    Complete Karajan Gold in one Spotify playlist:

    1 Sep 2010 Reply
  • JayChous


    21 Aug 2010 Reply
  • Gringo2102

    einer der grössten Dirigenten der Neuzeit.. grandios..

    16 Aug 2010 Reply
  • Charleyred

    Coherence comes back : )

    20 Jul 2010 Reply
  • Skiye


    2 Jul 2010 Reply
  • Charleyred


    18 Jun 2010 Reply
  • rosmaritbrum

    The best composer..........

    29 May 2010 Reply
  • Ladis1ao

    High-level "master"

    9 May 2010 Reply
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