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Thread: Karl Bohm

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    Senior Member linz's Avatar
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    Question Karl Bohm

    Bohm was strictly devout to conducting Austro-Germanic composers, especially Wagner and R. Strauss, but he also conducted Brahms complete symphonies and Haydn variations with the Vienna Philharmonic in the mid-late 1970's which are sold in a box set by Duetsche Grammaphone at very good price. The sound quality (preticularly in the finale of the 2nd) and naturally rich drama with which he handles the material is five star. I highly recommend these recordings even though they are underated. Does any one have any recommendations from Bohm's library?

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    Senior Member Edward Elgar's Avatar
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    Bohm is most famous for being the first conducter to record all 41 of Mozarts symphonies. I would rate him as one of the greatest Mozart interpreters ever. Top man! Also Mozarts wind concertos on Duetsche Grammaphone are worth a butchers!
    When all the paint has been dried, when all the stone has been carved, music shall remain, and we shall work with what remains.

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    Karl Bohm was one of the most outstanding conductors.

    There is a brilliant CD - a real must - on the DG label: Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony and Schubert's Symphony No 5.

    I reckon this version of Beethoven's 6th is the best. And of course it's the Vienna Phil Orch. Every part of the 6th is perfection. Can anyone find any fault with it?

    What better combination of composer/conductor/orchestra/record label can there be?



    Topaz

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    Senior Member linz's Avatar
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    This is a tremendous cycle comparable to Klemperer's or Sanderling's. I don't know why people seem to ignore it. The sound is amazing.

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    Senior Member Kurkikohtaus's Avatar
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    Recordings, recordings, recordings.

    I guess it serves the artists right for making so many of them that that's what they are eventually remembered for.

    That said, Bohm was above all else a stellar opera conductor. In conducting circles, THAT is his legacy.
    Last edited by Kurkikohtaus; Dec-09-2006 at 06:16.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurkikohtaus View Post
    Recordings, recordings, recordings.

    I guess it serves the artists right for making so many of them that that's what they are eventually remembered for.

    That said, Bohm was above all else a stellar opera conductor. In conducting cirlcels, THAT is his legacy.

    Plus his wonderful recordings of Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms symphonies, as was noted earlier and with which I fully agree.



    Topaz
    Last edited by Topaz; Dec-08-2006 at 23:53.

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    Senior Member Kurkikohtaus's Avatar
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    I'm not saying that those recordings are not good, but when conductors talk amongst themselves about Bohm, his recordings do not ususally come up as a point of discussion. Conductors see Bohm as THE definitive conductor of Mozart operas and as the consumate professional of a sustained career in the opera house.

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    Newbies vonK's Avatar
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    Thumbs up The Magic Flute

    Böhm's conducting technic wasn't good , but he was even then a great conductor. Especially his Mozart and opera interpretations are great. His recording of Mozart's Magic Flute is outstanding:

    with the Berlin Philharmonic, Wunderlich as Tamino and Fischer-Dieskau as Papageno.

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    Senior Member Saturnus's Avatar
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    I have two recordings of 'Also Sprach Zarathustra' by R. Strauss.
    One with Böhm and one with Karajan. They were recorded the same year, both with the Berlin Philharmonic and with Michel Schwalbé as the solo violin. The one with Karajan is way better than the one with Böhm. Karajan gives the tone-poem a necessary flow and respiration, in his hands it pulsates with emotion. Böhm recording is elephantine and almost dead, compared to the one with Karajan.
    This is why I have always awoided recordings with Böhm, but now I read your discussion and see that conductiong colossal late-romantic works is the exact opposite of what he is known for. :-/
    I can only hope his recording of Also Sprach Zarathustra is not widespread.

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    Senior Member linz's Avatar
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    Karajan had a way with Strauss's 'Symphonic Poems', though Bohm's versions of the 'Symphonic Poems' are still classic recordings none-the-less. I have to disagree with a comment made earlier about Bohm's technique, it must have been fabulous or he wouldn't have had the reputation he enjoyed; Pure logic surely!

    P. S. People still argue over Knappertsbusch, but he still coducted 'THE' greatest Parsifal!

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    Newbies vonK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by linz View Post
    I have to disagree with a comment made earlier about Bohm's technique, it must have been fabulous or he wouldn't have had the reputation he enjoyed; Pure logic surely!
    Have you seen Böhm conducting? I don't think it's just about the technic that makes a good conductor. It is also about the rehersal and interpretation. And at that point Böhm was great.
    When I first saw Böhm conduct (on tv) I was very surprised because it was really not precise in any way and I've later read that Christa Ludwig - when Böhm conducted, had to count herself if she was to get her entries right.
    Für mich fängt das Paradies an wenn ich in den Saal komme... - H. von Karajan

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    Senior Member linz's Avatar
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    If I'm not mistaken, Christa Ludwig sung "Queen of the Night" for the staple recording on EMI with Klemperer and the Philharmonia Orchestra. Prehaps it was in Bohm's interest to not have her direction dictated. I would need to do research to find out whether is technique was in need. But something tells me it followed the general guidelines of the Austro-German tradition of clarity and consistency. Weingartner, Furtwangler, Kempe, E. Kleiber, Knappertsbusch, Klemperer, Bohm, Jochum, Karajan, C. Klieber, Wand. The interesting thing is their obssesion with Austro-Germanic music and their fine contribution to its legacy.

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    Junior Member Brahmsipoo's Avatar
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    His Beethoven pastoral is simply the best. Also, he's very good on Fidelio and he has a wonderful (and rather slow) 1978 recording of Beethoven's 9th with the VPO, Jessye Norman, and Plácido Domingo that's worth taking a look at.

    I've heard that he conducted Berg's Wozzeck. I have no idea if this is true, but it might be worth looking into.

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    I find his Pastoral just too relaxed.

    I first heard Mozart symphonies under his baton (with some cassette recordings). Good memories of interpretations of symphonies such as 34 and 26.

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    I reserve him for Mozart. Figaro's (DG) my preference.

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