C0063. THE VIENNA PHILHARMONIC, w. Mitropoulos (Symphony #9 - Mahler), Bohm (Tod und Verklärung; Ein Heldenleben - both Strauss), Karajan (Symphony #8 -Bruckner). (E.U.) 4-Andante 4996, recorded on a Selenophone, a device that used the photoelectric properties of selenium to etch a soundtrack on 8mm film. Lavish Edition features elaborate sturdy hardcover deluxe 179pp book. Very long out-of-print, final ever-so-slightly used copy! - 0-9712764-5-5
"This set is typical of Andante's perfectionist approach to every aspect of their product: superb A&R, notes, packaging, and sound restoration. [In Bruckner's Eighth] Karajan weaves his most hypnotic spell. His control of phrase and line is breathtaking....being in the audience via Andante's CDs for this live performance in 1957 carries a special sort of magic."
"Rich in historical and musical significance, the performances in this collection feature the Vienna Philharmonic at its finest. Here you'll find Herbert von Karajan conducting Bruckner's Eighth Symphony, a work which has enjoyed a close association with the orchestra since its 1908 Vienna premiere. Dmitri Mitropoulos leads Mahler's Ninth Symphony - eerily, just one month before the conductor would suffer a fatal heart attack while conducting the same composer's Third Symphony. And Karl Böhm brings a personal touch to two tone poems by his close friend Richard Strauss. All of these performances are set against the lively backdrop of late 1950s and early 60s Vienna, a time of hope and newfound optimism following the war and occupation.
This is another interesting and important set from Andante. It showcases the Vienna Philharmonic in live performances led by three conductors who had significant relationships with the orchestra in the post-war era. Moreover, each conductor is featured conducting major works by composers with whose music they were closely identified.
This, then, is a most important set and one which connoisseurs of conducting will certainly wish to hear. The Karajan performance is interesting to hear....The Böhm performances are extremely distinguished and add to that conductor’s currently available discography. The Mitropoulos is simply unique.
The set comes with the usual lavish, illustrated documentation in English, French and German. It’s not a cheap set and one wonders if by editing out most of the applause for the Karajan performance it could have been accommodated on three CDs. However, if one views it as an investment it’s pretty gilt-edged."
- John Quinn, MusicWeb International
"[Böhm had a] natural, essential music-making….the magical ease and naturalness of transition from one tempo to another, the human warmth, the humor, restrained pathos, the aristocratic and refined taste in final ritardandos and the incredible energy of the man."
- Walter Legge, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 5 Feb., 1995