For four decades, from 1948 to 1988, Herbert von Karajan was one of Lucerne Festival’s defining artists. Now available for the first time are his early Lucerne live recordings from the 1950s, when Karajan was rebuilding his career: works from Bach to Honegger in thrilling, rhythmically tight interpretations, conscious of form. He is joined by famous soloists such as Clara Haskil and Géza Anda, Robert Casadesus and Nathan Milstein.more
"Immediacy, energy and passion [...] For those wanting to delve more deeply into the maestro’s postwar rise to the top, this is essential listening." (Europadisc)
Herbert von Karajan - The Early Lucerne Years
Lucerne Festival "Historic Performances", Vol. XIX
|release date:||8. September 2023|
|total time:||351 min.|
For the first time, this edition makes available Herbert von Karajan's previously unreleased early live recordings from the Lucerne Festival, made in a decade during which Karajan was rebuilding his career. Included are legendary soloists such as Clara Haskil and Géza Anda, Robert Casadesus and Nathan Milstein.
The Internationale Musikfestwochen Luzern (today's Lucerne Festival) was the first promoter outside Austria to engage Herbert von Karajan after his performance ban and denazification proceedings, thus enabling him to return to international podiums. "I will always be indebted", Karajan later confessed. For almost four decades, from 1948 to 1988, he was to make his mark on Lucerne Festival. His annual appearances with the Berlin Philharmonic (from 1958) enjoyed cult status. But already in the decade before, as documented by this edition, Karajan enthused audiences and critics alike in Lucerne and quickly rose to become the defining artistic personality alongside Wilhelm Furtwängler: he conducted the Philharmonia Orchestra and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, but above all the Swiss Festival Orchestra, whom he held in high esteem and with whom he performed a total of nine concerts.
The surviving Lucerne live recordings range from Bach's C major Concerto for two Keyboards, BWV1061 (with Clara Haskil and Géza Anda), to Arthur Honegger's Symphonie liturgique. The exciting, rhythmically tight interpretations show Karajan to be an extremely form-conscious, textually faithful conductor of great expressive power. He inspires his orchestras to deliver top performances, whilst also acting as a sensitive yet extremely present accompanist, as for instance in Brahms' Violin Concerto with Nathan Milstein, or in Mozart's dramatic C minor Concerto, K. 491, with Robert Casadesus.
As a digital bonus, the edition also includes Bach's Mass in B minor, which Karajan celebrated at the end of the 1951 festival with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the Vienna Singverein and a top-class quartet of soloists (Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Elsa Cavelti, Ernst Haefliger and Hans Braun): a fascinating sonic document thanks to Karajan's very personal approach, even if stylistically it feels far removed.
The sound of the live recordings on the 3-CD box set has been carefully restored. The 62-page booklet in three languages contains essays by Wolfgang Rathert and Erich Singer on Karajan's career re-launch during the post-war years and on his special relationship with Lucerne Festival. It also contains numerous previously unpublished photos.
Die Achte Symphonie von Ludwig van Beethoven eröffnet die erste CD dieser Kollektion von Livemitschnitten aus Luzern. Aufgenommen wurde sie 1952 mitMehr lesen
Immediacy, energy and passion combine in equal measure to make this one of the highlights of the box. [...] For those wanting to delve more deeply into the maestro’s postwar rise to the top, this is essential listening.Mehr lesen
Frühe Live-Aufnahmen mit Herbert von Karajan aus den Jahren 1952-57 hat das Lucerne Festival veröffentlicht. Das Besondere: Karajan steht hier nichtMehr lesen
Ahora, el sello Audite pone por primera vez a disposición del público unas grabaciones inéditas del director austriaco durante sus tempranas actuaciones en el Festival de Lucerna entre los años 1952 y 1957. Los registros, restaurados con la excelencia y el mimo propios del sello alemán, se reúnen en una caja de 3 CD [...]Mehr lesen
Künstlerisch sensationelle, gleichsam unter Starkstrom stehende, energetisch vibrierende Aufnahmen, die bisher im Archiv von Swiss Radio und Television SRF schlummerten und uns zeigen, was einst den Dirigenten Karajan und sein nachschöpferisches Gespür ausmachten. [...] Klarheit im Aufbau und eine in unerhörte Extreme getriebene Ausdrucksintensität sorgen für einzigartige Musikerlebnisse.Mehr lesen