Karajan in stereo: the Ninth Symphony | Recordmaniacs

Recordmaniacs: a new format dedicated to the audio lovers (and not only). News, events, curiosity from the amazing world of the recordings (CDs, video, vinyl and historical). Conducted by Giampaolo Zeccara, one of the best italian collector and expert in discography: we filmed him at his studio near his big collection, during his work (and with his crazy sweaters…).

The Nine Symphonies by Ludwig van Beethoven conducted by Herbert von Karajan. It’s the first edition of the Beethoven cycle on vinyl, between 1951 and 1955.

The first choice was surely Wilhelm Furtwängler, conductor at Berliner Philarmoniker, but at the end the first complete recording of the Nine Symphonies on vinyl has not been committed to him. This is probably due to his aversion to the 2nd Symphony.

In 1947 the Philharmonia Orchestra was born in London. “His Mastervoice” wanted this orchestra, thanks to the producer Walter Legge. He realized the musical prominence of Herbert von Karajan, a 43 years old man, one the youngest conductors of his generation, that worked systematically on Beethoven’s Nine Symphonies. Karajan didn’t start his recording from the most famous symphonies: the 5th, the “Eroica”, but he began from the 7th Symphony. He recorded it in studio seven times! Philharmonia played the Symphonies in a tour, and then Walter Legge thought to use the beautiful hall of Musikverein in Vienna – the well known New Year’s Concerts hall – to record the Ninth Symphony.

What’s new in this box? This is the first time we can listen the Ninth Symphony in the STEREO version, rediscovered in the archives of “His Mastervoice” in London, only in 2013. They realized at the time both mono and stereo version. But the stereo version was put aside because Walter Legge didn’t like stereophony. It’s incredible that the greatest EMI producer had doubts about the potentiality of stereophony on a recording. Luckily the material rediscovered is absolutely amazing! All the production papers of this Symphony were preserved: from the orchestra positioning to the final editing notes. This is the Ninth Symphony by Beethoven in stereo that completed the Beethoven cycle conducted by Karajan.

Alessandro Marangoni – art director
Stefano Sgarella – director
Simonetta Bruzzone – subtitles

Veronica Gariboldi

Category: Recordmaniacs

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