KARAJAN Complete Recordings 4798160

Karajan's genius was to complement the dark power of his orchestra with an ultra-refinement that some saw as perfection . . . His final cycle of Beethoven symphonies may never be surpassed, and his finest opera recordings -- "Salome", "Tosca", "Falstaff" and "Der Rosenkavalier " among them -- assemble peerless mid-20th century casts . . . 4.000 tracks of Austro-German music-making at its most precisely engineered.

. . . the collection amply documents Karajan's artistic evolution and his frequently changing style . . . Karajan enthusiasts and scholars alike will welcome the opportunity to compare multiple recorded versions of certain works . . . the 1970s Berlioz "Symphony fantastique" remake brilliantly synthesizes wildness and beauty . . . while his only recordings of the Prokofiev First and Fifth symphonies stand as references . . . You won't find a more dazzling and opulent Rimsky-Korsakov version of Mussorgsky's "Boris Godunov" (with Nicolai Ghiaurov's stunning portrayal of the title role), or a more vivid "La Boheme" . . . Karajan's "Parsifal" achieves a chamber-like synchronicity of word painting, painstaking orchestral detail, and dramatic pacing yet to be equaled in recordings of this opera . . . [the DG/Unitel filmed performances] reveal Karajan's unflinching concentration, economy of means, and how strongly he communicates to his musicians . . . a monument to one of the 20th century's most remarkable and controversial conductors . . . [this collection] belongs in every major music and conservatory library.

C'est un objet d'art monstre . . . Cinquante ans d'une carričre superlative au sein de la Deutsche Grammophon, qui passera ŕ la postérité comme "le prestigieux label de Karajan".

. . . un coffret monument . . . Les dilettantes piocheront ŕ loisir dans ce riche panorama . . . [Karajan, aussi charismatique que despotique, guidé par l'amour du beau son,] avait une grande qualité: il ne cessait de remettre le métier sur l'ouvrage.