This recording, well made in 1966, was the only Shostakovich symphony recorded by Karajan. He later made a digital version initially released in 1982. Both of these discs have received much acclaim but the problem facing collectors is simply which version to choose?
I have owned the Karajan 'Gold' version of the later digital disc for many years and have been completely happy with it. That version is very well recorded, excellently played and has the usual Karajan virtues of tautness of vision and absolute certainty of direction. Why did I then purchase this earlier version? The answer is simply that, as a lifetime collector and being aware of its supporters, many of whom prefer it to the superb later version, I just had to hear and judge it for myself. I had been expecting to choose one to keep and one to delete from the collection but the reality is more complex as follows:
The two performances, as one might expect with Karajan, are very similar. By doing A/B comparisons for this review I am pretty sure that the earlier reading offers a slightly higher level of dramatic tension throughout. The recording quality is a touch warmer within a more believable ambiance. However the lower strings do not have the absolute clarity of the later digital recordings at times, especially at moments of full orchestral climax. As a result of all of this I have found it impossible to prefer one over the other.
Bearing the above in mind I would suggest that both recordings offer a first class product of almost equal merit but with subtle differences of dramatic bite plus recorded sound probably attributable to recording venue as much as to analogue versus digital technology. Future purchasers would probably be equally happy with either and dedicated collectors would probably want both therefore. Those same collectors would also want to collect alternative versions from other conductors too, but that is not the issue here.
Shostakovich: Symphony No.10
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Audio CD, Audiobook, CD, 1 May 1990
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- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- Product Dimensions : 12.4 x 14.2 x 1.5 cm; 102.06 Grams
- Manufacturer : DG IMPORT
- Manufacturer reference : 028942971622
- Original Release Date : 1990
- Label : DG IMPORT
- ASIN : B00000E4HH
- Number of discs : 1
- Customer Reviews:
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No Description Available.Genre: Classical MusicMedia Format: Compact DiskRating: Release Date: 2-MAY-1990
4.6 out of 5
24 global ratings
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A fine analogue recording from Karajan to compare with his equally fine digital recordingReviewed in the United Kingdom on 27 December 2013
12 people found this helpful
P. F. Tracgransglaws
Five StarsReviewed in the United Kingdom on 24 May 2016
Fabulous item as described. Prompt dispatch, safe and sound. Top marks.
Un chef d'oeuvre absolu de l'Histoire de la MusiqueReviewed in France on 10 July 2021
La dixième symphonie de Chostakovitch restera un monument de l'Histoire de la Musique . Composée peu de temps après la mort de Staline , elle dépeint l'état d'esprit du musicien soviétique à cette époque . Il s'agit d'une gigantesque réflexion sur les relations entre l'artiste et le pouvoir , mais également de l'Art face à la condition humaine . Le deuxième mouvement est censé représenter un portrait de Staline , donc brutal et sans concession . Les deux derniers mouvements laissent apparaître l'anagramme du compositeur tel qu'il est employé dans la terminologie musicale germanique . Concrètement , le motif ré -mi bémol-do-si est répété avec insistance (Ré=D en allemand (soit l'initiale du prénom de Chostakovitch) , mi bémol=S , do=C , H= si (début du nom du compositeur en langue germanique)) . Ce motif prend l'allure d'une sorte de victoire , d'affirmation personnelle (victoire provisoire , car Chostakovitch aura à faire avec les autorités soviétiques jusqu'à décès) . Le rôle du silence (notamment dans les deux derniers mouvements) est fondamental dans cette symphonie . L'interprétation ici est d'autant plus superlative qu'Herbert Von Karajan lui-même considérait cette oeuvre comme une des plus bouleversantes du 20ème siècle .
The sound on this CD was amazing as well as the recording meanwhile Karajan is the ...Reviewed in Canada on 12 January 2018
The sound on this CD was amazing as well as the recording meanwhile Karajan is the great in all times
The definitive Shostakovich 10Reviewed in Canada on 27 November 2016
The sound is on the overly bright side, but the performance is incomparable. Go for it if you like this symphony!