STRAUSS Tone Poems – Karajan
The playing of the Berlin Philharmonic on both the 1973 and 1983 sets is as glorious as ever; its virtuosity can be taken for granted along with its sumptuous tonal refinement, and in Strauss Karajan has no peer. As a recording the 1983 disc is very good indeed. The famous opening has greater intensity in the 1973 version, and you may prefer its marginally greater warmth and glow of the strings. The DG engineers adopt a slightly closer balance on the later recording, which has greater range and impressive detail, particularly in the bass. Both Don Juans are fine performances, too. To sum up, Karajan’s classic 1973 account holds sway.