Herbert von Karajan
Specialist in the austro-Germanic repertory and mitteleuropéen in Bach to Bartok as well as Italian opera, it left nearly a thousand of recordings at Deutsche Grammophon, EMI and Decca, which does one of the most recorded chiefs of them 20th century.
Karajan explored a very vast repertory going until the atonal music of the 20th century. He declared at the time of the publication of his recording of the opera Pelléas and Mélisande of Claude Debussy, which he recorded only once after it to have directed several times to the scene, which it was about his preferred work. He entrusted at the time of an interview to the radio France-Music which he was in osmosis with this work as if he had written it, and that before recording it for EMI, he had said to the musicians of the orchestra (Philarmonique of Berlin) that all that they had made with him until there was only one preparation with the recording of Pelléas .
However, its name remains especially attached to the “pillars” of the Germanic repertory. Its repertory is in fact that of the other chiefs of its generation, even rather of the former generation. Indeed, if it shows in Mozart, especially in the years 1950, a rather new naturalness, neither Schubert nor Schumann form really part of its universe. Its interpretations of Haydn, and more still of Bach, are one completed time. Works of the twentieth century that it directed were carefully selected and do not constitute of anything an outline representative of their time: the Concerto for orchestra Bartok, the Rite of Spring , the 10° symphony of Chostakovitch and some others (Honegger, Nielsen). In the years 1970, he adds to his repertory some works of “the School of Vienna” and Gustav Mahler (symphonies n° 4,5,6,9 and Song of the ground). With Bruckner also, it maintains the same relation as the chiefs born fifteen years before him: if its 4°, 5°, 7°, 8° and 9° symphonies belong to the heart of its repertory, he ventures only seldom in the others, which less better seem to be appropriate to him. Ultimately the type-setters whom it practiced, most exhaustively and in which it is recognized the most are Beethoven, Brahms, Wagner and perhaps Richard Strauss. For all the other type-setters, it can join together one or two of these criteria but not the three.
If Karajan is thus rather a man of the past, of his characteristic passed, for works which he plays, the things are less simple concerning its style of direction. It belongs to a generation of chiefs Germanic of culture and school but influenced by some Latin, Italian chiefs especially: particularly Toscanini and De Sabata. Compared to chiefs of a former generation, that results in more stable tempi and a greater transparency, while preserving an orchestral sound of Germanic, broad and powerful culture. Even if the style of Karajan obviously evolved/moved during its career, one can say that these characteristics were maintained, with however an increasing predilection for the legato and the sound.
The legacy discographic of Karajan is considerable. Karajan recorded up to four or five times certain works (the gun of Pachelbel, of the symphonies of Beethoven, Missa Solemnis de Beethoven, a German Requiem of Brahms).
In the alphabetical order (exhaustive list/in fat its type-setters of predilection):
Albinoni, Bach, Balakirev, Bartok, Beethoven , Berg, Berlioz, Bizet, Boccherini, Borodine, Brahms , Britten, Bruckner , Chopin, Chostakovitch, Corelli, Debussy , Délibes, Dvorak, Grieg, Haydn, Hindemith, Honegger, Humperdinck, Lehar, Leoncavallo, Liszt, Locatelli, Mahler, Manfredini, Mascagni, Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Moussorgski, Mozart , Nielsen, Offenbach, Orff, Pachelbel, Pizzetti, Ponchielli, Prokofiev, Puccini , Rachmaninov , Ravel, Respighi, Reznicek, Rimski-Korsakov, Rossini, Roussel, Saint-Saëns, Franz Schmidt, Schönberg, Schubert, Schumann, Sibelius , Smetana, Johann Strauss father, Johann Strauss wire, Joseph Strauss, Richard Strauss , Stravinsky, Tchaïkovski , Torelli, Vaughan Williams, Made green , von Suppé, Wagner , Weber and Webern.
- Mars 1935: adhere to the Nazi party. It will leave it in 1945.
- 1938: devoted by the press of the Third Reich. Article: das Wunder Karajan (the Karajan miracle). Becomes a pawn used against Wilhelm Furtwängler in the cultural war interns which opposes Joseph Goebbels to Goering for the control of the German musical world; Goebbels supporting the philharmonic orchestra and Goering the national opera ( Staatsoper ).
- 1939 : is prohibited by Hitler to lead to Bayreuth after it lost the wire of the Masters Singers whom it led without booklet at the time of a representation for the Yugoslav monarchs. It continues as Master of Staatskapelle of the Opera with Berlin. It becomes protected from Hermann Göring. He will be elected by Hitler to celebrate the Fall of Paris by a representation of " Tristan und Isolde" (with Germaine Lubin) in the presence of the notable Nazis and of Winifred Wagner.
- 1947 : is " dénazifié " by the Allies and taken under contract by Walter Legge
- 1948: Becomes permanent leader of the Philharmonia Orchestra (London)
- 1955 - 1989: elected official chief with life of the Philharmonic orchestra of Berlin
- 1956 - 1964: artistic director of the Opera of State of Vienna succeeding Karl Böhm
- 1967: Takes the direction of the Festival of Salzburg. Recording (until 1971) of a Boxing ring which makes date by its bias of sound transparency and orchestral lightness.
- 1969 - 1971: Artistic director of the Orchestra of Paris
- 1973: Create the Festival of Easter of Salzburg
- 1977 - 1989: Return to Vienna after the estrangement of May 1964. It was there never again director, but chief invited
- starting from 1982: reports/ratios increasingly tended with “its” musicians of Berlin. Karajan more and more often will direct to Vienna.
- 1987 : Neujahrskonzert (Concert of the New year) in Musikvereinssaal of Vienna with Kathleen Battle (Soprano)
- 1988: Last Parisian concert with the Theater of the Fields-Elysées (Paris). Program Schönberg and Brahms.
- 1989 : Resign of the Philharmonic orchestra of Berlin. Last recording: Symphony n° 7 of Bruckner, with the Philharmonic orchestra of Vienna (DG).
Adaptation of the European anthem
The instrumental introduction of the Ode to the joy was adopted in 1972 by the Council of Europe like anthem of the European Union, then in 1985 like official anthem by the heads of state and government of the Union. Official interpretation was entrusted to Herbert von Karajan who carried out three arrangements of them: for piano, another for wind instruments and a third for symphony orchestra.
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