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Karajan: Albinoni – Adagio, Pachelbel – Canon (APE)

Karajan: Albinoni - Adagio, Pachelbel - Canon (APE)
Karajan: Albinoni - Adagio, Pachelbel - Canon (APE)

Composer: Tomaso Albinoni, Antonio Vivaldi, Johann Sebastian Bach, Johann Pachelbel, Christoph Willibald Gluck, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer: Frank Maus, David Bell, Andreas Blau, Karlheinz Zoeller, Emil Maas, Thomas Brandis, Neithard Resa, Rainer Zepperitz
Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra / Berliner Philharmoniker
Conductor: Herbert von Karajan
Audio CD
Number of Discs: 1
Format: APE (image+cue)
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
Size: 225 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

# Adagio, for violin, strings & organ in G minor, T. Mi 26 (composed by Remo Giazotto; not by Albinoni)
Composed by Tomaso Albinoni
with Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Leon Spierer, David Bell
Conducted by Herbert von Karajan

# Flute Concerto, for flute, strings & continuo in G minor (“La Notte”), Op. 10/2, RV 439
Composed by Antonio Vivaldi
with Frank Maus, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Andreas Blau
Conducted by Herbert von Karajan

# Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068 Air
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach
with Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, David Bell
Conducted by Herbert von Karajan

# Canon in D major, arranged for keyboard
Composed by Johann Pachelbel
with Frank Maus, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Conducted by Herbert von Karajan

# Dance of the Blessed Spirits (Melody), various arrangements (from “Orfeo ed Euridice”)
Composed by Christoph Willibald Gluck
with Karlheinz Zoeller, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Conducted by Herbert von Karajan

# Serenade No. 6 for orchestra in D major (“Serenata Notturna”), K. 239
Composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
with Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Emil Maas, Thomas Brandis, Neithard Resa, Rainer Zepperitz
Conducted by Herbert von Karajan

Some of Karajan’s Best Renditions of Baroque Works

It is interesting to see the disparity of opinions on Karajan under reviews for this performance as they do reflect many of the prevailing views of audiences as to this style of symphonic interpretation for Baroque chamber works and Karajan in general. I tend to agree and disagree with both which is the reason why I like these particular performances and find them a treat.

I don’t find this ‘frost-biting’ phenomenon to be unique to Karajan as one reviewer makes it seem as this effect is more a product of romanticizing and symphonizing a chamber piece for more instruments that are almost all entirely modern. It is therefore a phenomenon to all symphonic traditions and particularly those of Mahler and Wagner which means almost every conventional symphony. Talk about frosty, try listening to Baroque with Solti after a short time: fossilizing! It’s hard to say which is the best piece here but among the Baroque it is certainly one of the most divine of Bach’s ‘Air’ I have ever heard performed in either symphonic adaptation or traditional chamber performance. The pace is neither hurried or extended and the strings glide majestically. His interpretation of Vivaldi’s ‘La Notte’ is also one of the best renditions I have heard even compared to those by traditional groups in terms of the pacing and performance for the flute. The strings do appear somewhat hurried in parts however but the flute was still divine. Albinoni and Pachelbel, as with Bach, are simply exemplary in tempo and consistency with the strings. Gluck’s piece is delicate and spiritual while Mozart’s ‘Serenata Notturna’ has a lot of resonance and clarity than most other performances which makes it less mundane than it usually is.

All of the pieces in my opinion are really well done for the most part and exemplary of Karajan and the old school. The recording quality is relatively good. Again, these are symphonic adaptations and so this is probably not what you want if you’re looking for chamber and traditional performances. There are various groups out there that play more within the traditional parameters for these pieces. I Musici, The Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trevor Pinnock, Raymond Leppard, and, The English Chamber Orchestra are usually some of the better choices in that area.

8 thoughts on “Karajan: Albinoni – Adagio, Pachelbel – Canon (APE)”

  1. thank you a lot for this wonderfull site!
    BTW This version of the adagio is however very dangerous for your loudspeakers…..;-0 The low organ can destroy a bassspeaker (been there)

    All the best

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