Matthias Röder, the new Managing Director of the Eliette and Herbert von Karajan Institute has suggested to Deutsche Grammophon that I be added to their press list for all Karajan publications and activities.
To begin, here is the link to the promotional video for the recently released Karajan boxed set "Karajan 1960s"
Herbert von Karajan recalling the night before his first jump on a horse as a child:
" 'How can I lift this enormous thing up into the air and over the fence?' I thought to myself. Then I realised no one lifts the horse. You set it in the right position and it lifts itself. The orchestra will do the same thing."
(New York's Juilliard School master class for aspiring conductors in 1976)
I purchased the 1960s set and have pre-ordered the 1970s set. They exclude opera recordings, however. A question that is nagging at me: Karajan did not become exclusive to DG until the late 1970s until his death. He stopped recording for EMI around the beginning of the 1980s. Other than the 'Ring' and the La Scala operas, am I correct that Karajan's opera recordings through the 1970s were exclusively with EMI? Can one of the members list the opera recordings Karajan made with DG? Much obliged.
Karajan's audio opera recordings for what is now Universal music were as follows:
1965 Leoncavallo I Pagliacci 1965 Mascagni Cavalleria Rusticana 1966 Wagner Die Walkure 1967 Wagner Das Rheingold 1968 Wagner Siegfried 1969 Wagner Gotterdammerung 1979 Puccini Tosca 1979/80 Wagner Parsifal 1980 Mozart Die Zauberflote 1981 Puccini Turandot 1982 Bizet Carmen 1982 R. Strauss Der Rosenkavalier 1985 Mozart Don Giovanni 1989 Verdi Un Ballo In Maschera
DGG have also released some live Karajan CDs. The following were never recorded by him in the studio:
1960 Pizzetti Assassino Nelle Cattedrale 1963 Wagner Tannhauser 1963 Monteverdi L'Incoronazione Di Poppea 1964 R. Strauss Die Frau ohne Schatten
1980 Verdi Falstaff
Falstaff was released on the Philips label because DGG had just released the Giulini recording. The Karajan recording was probably recorded by his usual DGG team, although there is nothing in the LP documentation to confirm this.
1959 Verdi Aida 1961 Verdi Otello 1963 Bizet Carmen 1962 Puccini Tosca 1970 Mussorgsky Boris Godunov 1972/73 Puccini La Boheme 1974 Puccini Madama Butterfly 1978 Mozart Le Nozze Di Figaro
Karajan's Decca recordings were all recorded before Decca was absorbed by Polygram.
Karajan's last opera recording for EMI was in 1983, when he completed Der Fliegende Hollander. He started Der Fliegende Hollander in 1981 when he also completed Lohengrin for EMI, which was started in 1975.
His last orchestral recording for EMI was Vivaldi's Four Seasons in January 1984.
Firstly, it may not have been his choice. Decca had already recorded many of the Wagner and Verdi operas with Solti and they may not have had the budget to record them with another conductor. Also, Solti had been loyal to Decca, so they may have felt loyal to him.
It was reported at the time it was released that Karajan's Salome was recorded by a Decca recording team and I don't know why it was released by EMI. Perhaps Solti or Decca did not want competition on their label with Solti's 60's recording.
Secondly, Karajan liked working with Michel Glotz, his EMI producer. He insisted that Glotz worked with him at DGG as well.
Thirdly, EMI may have given him more choice about the singers. Decca had some wonderful singers exclusively signed to them but perhaps Karajan preferred Helga Dernesh for Isolde or Jose Carreras for Radames.
Fourthly, maybe EMI were paying him more!
Does anyone else have any ideas, or actually know why Karajan made so many of his 70's opera recordings for EMI?