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Beethoven: Egmont - Karajan

Beethoven: Egmont - Karajan

Universal (Japan)  UCGG-9175

Stereo Single Layer

Classical - Orchestral


Beethoven: Music to Egmont, Wellington's Victory, Grosse Fuge

Gundula Janowitz (soprano)
Berliner Philharmoniker
Herbert von Karajan (conductor)

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Comment by Dissonance - May 16, 2020 (1 of 3)

The recordings here dates back to 1969 when the quadrophonic technology was introduced and perhaps this Beethoven project was one of the earliest productions with the technology. The recording sessions took place in the Church of Jesus Christ, Berlin, which reverb posed an ideal airy glow to the sound. The young soprano Gundula Janowitz was at the peak of her powers, interpreting beautifully her brief songs ’Die Trommel geruhret’ (The Drum Resounds) and ’Freudvoll und Leidvoll’ (Blissful and Tearful).

The CD release contained a significant amount of disturbing noise of tape hiss, especially when listening to it with a high volume setting. The DSD layer on the present SHM-SACD reissue, however, features newly produced DSD master by Emil Berliner Studios, based on the original analogue master tapes, and it’s hoped the unpleasant disturbance mentioned above has been eliminated. Has anyone listened to this? Is there any improvement?

Comment by Contrapunctus - May 18, 2020 (2 of 3)

Dissonance, I hesitate a bit to answer, because I only have this SHM-SACD and no other regular CD to compare with.

But I can compare this to other SHM-SACDs with Karajan DG recordings - there's no 'bad surprise' here. Regarding the Egmont recording, I would say that there is a bit of tape hiss in the background, but not more than in other albums of this series. That is not a problem for me. The level of noise/tape hiss is indeed very low and - in my opinion - neglectable. On the other hand you'll be rewarded with a clear and full-bodied sound!

In other words: this SACD is most likely the best-sounding version of this Egmont recording.

Comment by Dissonance - May 18, 2020 (3 of 3)

Thanks a lot for the info, Contrapunctus!