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Herbert von Karajan

Monday, May 22, 2017


Norman Lebrecht - Slipped disc

April 28

A Berlin orchestra mourns its long-serving intendant

Norman Lebrecht - Slipped discLior Shambadal, chief conductor of the Berlin Symphoniker, has informed us of the death this week, from cancer, of the orchestra’s long-standing director, Jochen Thärichen. Thärichen, who was 73, was Berlin musical royalty. The son of Werner Thärichen, principal percussionist of the Berlin Philharmonic under Furtwängler and Karajan from 1948 to 1984, Jochen played trumpet for 20 years in the symphony orchestra until he took over as its director in 1989. After his official retirement in 2004, he continued running the orchestra without pay. He underwent surgery for cancer last October, but remained in charge until the day he died. Lior Shambadal will conduct a Berlin concert in Jochen’s memory on May 21.

My Classical Notes

May 6

May 27: Mutter Concert in Berlin

Date/ Time: May 27, 2017; 8:00 PM Venue: Berlin, Philharmonie Herbert-von-Karajan-Straße 1, 10785 Berlin, Germany Performing artists: Berliner Philharmoniker Conductor Riccardo Muti soloist: Anne-Sophie Mutter, violinist Program: Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D major op. 35 Symphonie Nr. 4 in F minor op. 36 Tickets Berliner Philharmoniker Herbert-von-Karajan-Str. 1 D-10785 Berlin Tickethotline: +49 – (0)30 254 88 999 – Fax: +49 – (0)30 254 88 323 e-mail: kartenbuero@berliner-philharmoniker.de




On An Overgrown Path

April 20

Sound is god - but only in the concert hall

Vedanta teaches that sound is god - Nāda Brahma - and in the past Western classical music has had a long and distinguished connection with the hi-fi industry. In the 1970s Herbert von Karajan and also Miles Davis promoted the Acoustic Research loudspeaker brand - see advertisement below - and the great EMI and HMV record labels had their roots in the Gramophone Company which manufactured both record players and records. The high-end audio industry continues today, championed by magazines such as Stereophile and The Absolute Sound. But there is now a massive disconnect between classical music and recorded sound quality. When did you last see an audio brand mentioned in a music blog post or tweet? Coming to that when did you last see recorded sound quality, as opposed to performance quality, mentioned in an album review? In the frantic search for that elusive mass market the classical music industry has actively encouraged recorded sound to be dumbed down to the lowest common denominator of easily streamed low-resolution file formats. In fact there is now an inverted snobbery about recorded sound quality; as an example any reference to the different and arguably superior sound quality of vinyl is glibly dismissed as bad science. Yet the same musicians and journalists who worship at the altar of low-resolution recorded sound advocate spending hundreds of millions of pounds on new concert halls which deliver - yes you guessed it - high-end sound. If you fed someone on a continuous diet of fast food, would you expect them to appreciate haute cuisine when you finally persuaded them to visit a Michelin-starred restaurant? It is not surprising that classical music is having problems attracting low-res conditioned new audiences to the latest sonically ravishing concert halls. No review samples used. But I do listen on Bowers & Wilkins Nautilus speakers and read Stereophile, and one of my early systems used Acoustic Research AR-7 speakers. Any copyrighted material is included as "fair use" for critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Also on Facebook and Twitter.



Herbert von Karajan
(1908 – 1989)

Herbert von Karajan (5 April 1908 - 16 July 1989) was an Austrian orchestra and opera conductor. To the wider world he was perhaps most famously associated with the Berlin Philharmonic of which he was principal conductor for 35 years. Although he was not without criticism, he is generally considered to have been one of the greatest conductors of all time, and he was a dominant figure in European classical music from the 1960s until his death. Part of the reason for this was the large number of recordings he made and their prominence during his lifetime. By one estimate he was the top-selling classical music recording artist of all time, having sold an estimated 200 million records.



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