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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 3. 14th March 1973

Rossini : Overtures — Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Herbert Von Karajan No.2530144

Rossini : Overtures — Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Herbert Von Karajan No.2530144

These overtures will be familiar to most people from the ingenious uses Stanley Kubrick made of them in "A Clockwork Orange". But in this disc it's a delight to hear such comparatively lighter music being performed by artists of the status of Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic.

The orchestra, is obviously enjoying itself yet its characteristic precision and beauty is always evident. Similarly while Karajan's control of the overall structure extends right down to the finest nuance of string texture, he never imposes, never introduces rigidity into the magical relationship he enjoys with this orchestra.

Some individual passages stand out; listen to the principal oboist in "The Silken Ladder", to the way he creates a carefree atmosphere for the rest of the orchestra throughout the overture. Or, take another example, the magnificent horns after the opening bars of "Semiramis".

The Lone Ranger and Tonto still dominate the final section of "William Tell", a crime for which the dunderheads responsible for the TV programme should be throttled. The version here is treated with great bravura and excitement, and the less well known but exquisite cello solo in the opening section is played with admirable evenness of tone.

The only complaint I have is that for some reason the tympani sound curiously thin, although the bass drum is recorded well enough. The recording otherwise is good, withstereo separation quite distinct, but here and there you may need to give a slight bass boost. Overall, this is a magnificent tribute to Rossini; (here are no pretensions to profundity in this music — just an invitation to enjoy yourself.