C1275. KARL BÖHM Cond. Berlin Phil.: Symphony #40 in g, K.550 (Mozart); Also sprach Zarathustra (Strauss); w. DIETRICH FISCHER-DIESKAU: Kindertotenlieder (Mahler). (England) 2-Testament SBT2 1489, Live Performance,1962, Salzburg Festival. Long out-of-print, Final Sealed Copy! - 749677148928
“Karl Böhm brought his repute in the Austro-German tradition to the Salzburg Festival for the concert of 19 August 1962. Böhm had been a protégé of Bruno Walter at the Munich Opera and a successor to Fritz Busch in Dresden. Always robust and forcefully accented, Böhm’s Mozart left a virile impression. The healthy, suave tone of the cellos in the Trio of the Menuetto and the ensuing, passing dissonances in the horns ring out with aggressive authority. While communicating a tragic affect, nothing effeminate or chaste emanates from the Berlin Philharmonic, and the Finale catapults forward and does not relinquish its inflamed throttle. Even so, the individual colors from oboe and flute imbue the muscularly wrought figures with shades of noble grace. Typically, warmth, vitality and poise provide the epithets for this assured reading, intimate and colossal, deep-felt and spirited, at once. The audience at Salzburg concurs.
In KINDERTOTENLIEDER Mahler calls for much smaller orchestra than he used in his symphonies, frequently evoking a chamber-music texture that goes beyond the level of intimacy suggested in the symphonies. There is no better example than the very opening of the first song, with its stark solo oboe and horn, followed by the bassoon and horn once the singer enters, with only the cellos, in a high register, filling in at first. The last two songs anticipate the monumental valediction of DAS LIED VON DER ERDE, colored by moments of tearful hope for an eventual reunion in a better place, ‘covered by God’s hand’.
Böhm always held a strong affinity for the music of Richard Strauss, having recorded the Nietzschean meditation ALSO SPRACH ZARATHUSTRA with the Berlin Philharmonic in 1958. With concertmaster Michel Schwalbe Böhm leads a rousing version of the nine-section vision. The exquisite string sound of the BPO achieves a glorious patina in the Of the Backworldsmen and reaches a convulsive joy in The Dance-Song, embellished by Schwalbe’s poignant potent violin. The orchestra enjoys a number of fertile climaxes, all of which illustrate the power and color of the BPO and deep string basses. A rendition of power and exuberant confidence, the Böhm experience certainly provides an exhilarating conclusion to an evening marked by Austrian and German musical genius.”
- Gary Lemco, AUDIOPHILE AUDITION, 2 Feb., 2014