Karajan 1960s box and remastered editions

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Karajan 1960s box and remastered editions

I have just acquired the big DG Karajan box and it highlights a dilemma I find increasingly in the era of multiple reissues. How do you know which remastered version of the recording you are getting?

For example, a while back I saw the Galleria issue of HvK's Beethoven overtures cheap on a resale website and succumbed as I particularly wanted his Consecration of the House. Later I also saw a bargain offer for the HvK Beethoven box and fancied giving the digital symphonies a try. (I had expected marmoreal downgrades compared to the 70's, 60's and 50's sets but was astonished at how good the middle symphonies are.)

Anyway I now have three pressings of all the DG Karajan Beethoven Overtures and they each sound slightly different. I find it difficult to decide which I prefer and would like to know if they are different remasterings or perhaps it's merely a variation in sound volume.

Lavish presentation in the big box and comprehensive details on recording dates and venues, but nothing on the ADD remastering dates/techniques!

I have other duplications - DG Kubelik Ma Vlast is one, where there is a huge difference in sound between the Galleria and the 2CD releases - so this is quite a common event.

Thing is: I tend to rip all my CDs and then listen wirelessly, so I just want to store one copy of each HvK Beethoven Overture. Trouble is - which one, when the brain tells you the other one lying in the box might actually be better? 

Anybody know where remastering details (for any and all CDs) might be accessed?

Macsporran
RE: Karajan 1960s box and remastered editions

Remastering Karajan presents extra problems. How to get all that varnish, sugar and syrup off the original.

RE: Karajan 1960s box and remastered editions

Ha ha! Varnish - yes, but I don't think we'd find any sugar or syrup there. Probably a large dollop of brilliantine though!

Macsporran
RE: Karajan 1960s box and remastered editions

I believe that there are some Karajan websites (I just took a quick look at some of DG's and they weren't very helpful!) that were created by some of his fans...that might be one way to go. Or perhaps someone might have listed some of this information in a review (maybe one of the Amazon sites or something like "Classics Today", etc.? Or maybe in the Gramophone Archive? Perhaps one of the reviewers there might be able to help you if you sent them an email too?). Good luck!

Best wishes,

Petra

RE: Karajan 1960s box and remastered editions

Hello Macsporran!

Thanks for your excellent comment. You are absolutely right that there should be a database of the different masterings of Herbert von Karajan recordings. The Karajan Institute is well aware of the problem and we are currently brainstorming about ways to build such a data repository.

In the meantime you might want to bring your question to the Herbert von Karajan Forum, where some record enthusiasts might be able to provide you with the information you are seeking.

The URL is http://hvk1955.proboards.com

With kind regards,

Eliette and Herbert von Karajan Institute

 

-----

Eliette und Herbert von Karajan Institut

Imbergstraße 6

A-5020 Salzburg, Austria

T +43 (0) 662-84 11 11 – 11

M +43 (0) 676 46 77 111

info@karajan.org

 

 

 

RE: Karajan 1960s box and remastered editions

I laughed as hard at that previous post NOT being from Uber Alice/Hugh etc. as if it had been. Had to read it four times and click on the link to satisfy my doubt and even now ..............................

RE: Karajan 1960s box and remastered editions

In my experience Macsporran, unlike for some other record companies, there isn't much (if any) difference in general between different DG CD remasterings of their analogue originals. (There may be some exceptions of course.) I have in front of me the Jochum late 60s Carmina Burana on both Galleria and DG Originals and they sound pretty similar to me. This is despite the fact that the Penguin CD Guide tells me that the recording has "never sounded better" than in the DG Originals version.

Looking on Amazon, the Kubelik recording you mention appears to have been re-coupled with some extra items. If there is really a difference, it could be because they have adjusted the volume levels to match the new coupling, which is what you're perceiving as a difference in sound quality.

There may be some differences in the digital re-releases in the Karajan Gold series. But with the possible exception of the Alpine Symphony (which I think I read was completely re-mixed), those I've compared sound pretty similar and at most have had a bit of tinkering with the equalisation.

So in general I wouldn't worry too much about these recordings, although I agree its a bit irritating that they can't state whether they used the Karajan Gold remasterings etc. Maybe their employees are too young to remember............ 

Ted 

RE: Karajan 1960s box and remastered editions

Don't they give the date the remastering was done? EMI does.

Ignore this question - I see it was answered in the first posting. I can't delete this.

Bliss
RE: Karajan 1960s box and remastered editions

A slightly different slant on this. What is the biggest box set in recording history?  Answer - a 240 CD set of all yes ALL Karajan's recordings for Deutsche Grammophon.  Problem -it was only issued in Japan and costs about two thousand pounds.  It consisted of 10 24CD boxes.  Why could Universal not have issued these ten boxes separately worldwide instead of this 1960's box which does not contain the operas, unlike the Japanese monster.  If the Japanese set consisted of Japanese remasterings, and I think it did, then it would be absolute and utter gold, because  Japanese-produced CD sound is superior to all other.

Stephen, Christchurch, NewZealand

RE: Karajan 1960s box and remastered editions

One has to see what happens in the Universal And Emi SACDs in Japan to see of what kind of independent and individual market we're talking about and how a country in deep economic and financial crisis can still have such a substantive market on Classical Music.

I agree, to a great extent, with Ted. I don't find the Japanese products much better than the European or American, except for the cases the same products have been reissued in SACD. Besides, some labels like Exton, Triton, Crystal etc. are truly great audiophile products.

Parla

RE: Karajan 1960s box and remastered editions

This is a bit like "Can you tell margarine from butter?" or wine-buffs discussing the difference between a 74 and a 77.  I have a DG Galleria double CD of Karajan's Sibelius 4 5 6 7. Sometime after buying it I came across a second-hand Japanese-produced CD of 4 and 5. As it cost the princely sum of $NZ 1 I bought it,mainly out of curiosity. Yes, even on my non-high-end equipment and to my non-expert ears it did sound quite considerably better than the Galleria version.

Stephen, Christchurch, NewZealand

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