Saturday, September 4, 2010

9/4 Karajan - Beauty as I see it

"Karajan - Beauty as I see it (Die Schönheit wie ich sie sehe)"
A film by Robert Dornhelm

Fascinating interview-based documentary about Herbert von Karajan, the most recorded conductor of the 20th century.  This shows him as a real jet-setting star conductor (he actually has a jet).
Rumor has it that the compact disc was designed to be 80 minutes long because Karajan insisted that Beethoven's 9th should be able to fit on one disc.  His recordings are generally very good, some superb.  He really goes for that homogenous, silky sound, but without too much heaviness.  However his membership in the Nazi party before the 2nd World War is certainly questionable (tho he later was exonerated somewhat).  Either way, he was a major force in the making and marketing of classical music in the 2nd half of the last century.


OK I just re-watched this after a very long time and I have to add that this is one of the most pretentious and self-aggrandizing things I've ever seen.  I'm surprised Karajan doesn't speak in the third-person.  Nonetheless it's a very interesting portrait a unique musician. Maybe a good drinking game could be devised from this. 
Karajan would like your attention.
Karajan is pleased.

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