Grieg: Peer Gynt suites, Adam: Giselle - Karajan

Grieg: Peer Gynt suites, Adam: Giselle - Karajan

Universal (Japan)  UCGD-9073

Stereo Single Layer

Classical - Orchestral

Grieg: Peer Gynt suites
Adam: Giselle

Wiener Philharmoniker
Herbert von Karajan (conductor)

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2 of 2 recommend this, would you recommend it?  yes | no

Analogue recording
Comments (10)

Comment by hiredfox - September 27, 2019 (1 of 10)

It would be stretching a point to suggest that I had been waiting 50 years for this recording but Herbert von Karajan's recording of this much loved classical ballet has always been one of my all-time favourite pieces and my vinyl LP recording is almost worn out through overuse.

At last it has been re-mastered in DSD by Classic Sound and boy what a revelation this new SA-CD is. There is so much detail here that your hair will stand on end such is the spatial precision and stability of individual musicians and sections. You can 'see' every last person of the orchestra seated in front of you and the experience is so intimate that one can sometimes feel slightly unnerved. The improvement over the original vinyl LP is so incredible that it is hard to get your head around the fact that they have both originated from the same master tapes. Simply astonishing and a clear set back for the "all things sound better on vinyl brigade"

The performance by the Vienna Philharmonic is memorable for its upbeat freshness and will surprise some who may regard the Maestro as having been a rather stiff and authoritarian figure. This was the 60's of course when the status quo was being challenged and kicked into touch everywhere. So we have a very relaxed von Karajan in tongue-in-cheek and somewhat cheeky mood exploiting his forces with nonchalance and gusto.

All in all a new recording not to be missed despite the complication of having to source it from Japan

Comment by Don_Angelo - October 26, 2019 (2 of 10)

Dear Hiredfox,

Thanks for your review of this release, these performances are amongst my very favorites and I was reluctant to buy that new mastering. I was indeed a bit disapointed by the Tchaikovsky's from this series (Tchaikovsky: 3 Ballet Suites - Karajan). Would you be able to say how this release compares to the Tchaikovsky's or the Brahms' (Brahms: Symphonies 1 & 3 - Karajan) of this series ?

Comment by hiredfox - October 29, 2019 (3 of 10)

Hi Don.

I have not heard either of the surveys that you mention but this disc sonically is very much state-of-the-art, re-mastered in DSD from the original tapes and far more revealing in detail and spatial accuracy than the original Vinyl LP. If you loved the original Vinyl LP then this disc will charm you with its orchestral pit realism. Expensive but worth every penny.


Comment by Don_Angelo - November 6, 2019 (4 of 10)

Hello, just received my copy.
I did not listened to it yet, however I notice something odd about the tracklisting in the 2nd Peer Gynt suite.
Scene 2 and 3 appear to be missing, do you remember this from the original LP or Redbooks ?

Comment by hiredfox - November 7, 2019 (5 of 10)

The original mono and stereo LP's were released in 1962 on Decca and both the stereo version SXL 6002 which I have and the mono were dedicated solely to Giselle; there were no fillers. The Inclusion of Peer Gynt suites on the Universal disc are fillers from another Decca release.

Comment by breydon_music - November 8, 2019 (6 of 10)

The Peer Gynt excerpts were first issued on SXL2308 together with the Nutcracker suite (from another of the recent batch of SHM-SACD's). It was carefully labelled by Decca as "music from Peer Gynt" (i.e. it was never claimed to be a suite as such). The 6 pieces on the SHM-SACD represent all of those which appeared on the original LP.

Comment by john hunter - November 10, 2019 (7 of 10)

I think it's time to treat myself to this for Christmas!
Had hoped to find one in Singapore on my way back from Europe but no such luck.
Have fond memories of the CD reissue.

Comment by hiredfox - November 11, 2019 (8 of 10)

Is there a bricks and mortar store in Singapore still? A rarity these days anywhere and especially one that knows what a SACD is.

Comment by john hunter - November 11, 2019 (9 of 10)

In the shopping Mall,whose name I forget,and which is full of hi-fi speciality shops,there is New Disc Village which is chock full of CDs,SACDs,and vinyl.
Was there about 2 years ago and picked up about a dozen SACDs-new releases and some old Telarcs.
However this year,not a good harvest.
Just "the wonderful sounds of female vocalists" and the Decca classic "Espana",both from Acoustic Sounds.
Not many new releases from Hong Kong or Japan.
And while talking about stores,Sydney's and probably Australia's only classical record store,Fish Records is closing its doors in December.

Comment by Don_Angelo - November 14, 2019 (10 of 10)

I listened to my copy extensively. Thanks for helping me deciding to give this series another chance, because this particular remastering is worth every penny.
On the low level I was mentionning in the Tchaikovsky's, and the artifacts, plus the lack of dynamic I can say this Peer Gynt / Giselle clearly does not suffer from any of it.

On the missings parts of Suite N°2, you are all very correct, I checked with the redbooks incarnations I still have and they were never there. I got confused becaude of the DG recordings Karjan conducted with the Berliners in the 70s which I owned as well. Mentionning this set reminds me I should give the recordings he conducted in the 80's another shot.