BEETHOVEN: The Nine Symphonies
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra / Herbert von Karajan, cond.
DGG 004400735557 (2 Blu Ray disks) TT: 167:21 / 163:45

RACHMANINOFF: Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18. Piano Concerto No. 4 in G minor, Op 40. BACH-RACHMANINOFF: Suite from Violin Prtita in E, BWV 1006.
Daniii Trifonov, Philadelphia Orchestra / Yannick Nézet-Séguin, cond.
DGG B0028799 TT: 70:10

MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K. 466. Piano Sonata No. 3 in B flat, K. 281. Piano Sonata No.12 in F, K. 332.
Seong-Sin Cho, piano. Chamber Orchestra of Europe / Yannick Nézet-Séguin cond.
DGG 002894735522 TT: 63:35

Karajan's 1975 - 1977 recordings of the Beethoven symphonies has long been admired, and has been issued many times. Here we have them on two Blu Ray disks, and the formats are regular stereo and 5.1 surround sound. Merits and importance of these recordings are established, one of the world's greatest conductors's statement on this major repertory music. On these we can hear them in excellent, well-balanced stereo, or in 5.1 surround. For the latter format, there is little directionality, but the orchestral sound is full, detailed and impressive. These historic recordings have been issued many times befor4e; this new release surely is the one to treasure.

Two brilliant young pianists, Russian Daniil Trifonov and the award-winning Korean Seong-Jin Cho, playing music of great importance to them. Cho played the Mozart Concerto No. 20 of which he gave a prize-winning performance at the 2011 Tchaikovsky competition. He plays is here into his recording made June 20. 2018 in Baden-Baden's Festspielhaus, with Neze-Segjuin and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. It could perhaps be called a definitive performance of this major work recorded with remarkable natural fidelity by the DGG engineers. In addition, we have three Mozart sonatas which also show the young pianist's virtuosity and musicianship. This is an outstganding issue in every way. Audio is outstanding, with natural balances. Reording engineer was Rainer Maitlard.

Daniil Trifonovi has long been associated with Rachmaninoff, and here we have the first release in a projected Rachmaninoff series with Nézet-Séguin and the Philadelphia Orchesra. The disk has the odd title "Destination Rahmaninoff...Departure." We can expect pianistic fireworks and indeed they are there And Nézet-Séguin is fully in touch with the Russian idiom. oncerto No. 4 is a live performance from October 2015; other works were recored April 2018.I found the audio somewhat disappointing. Recording in the Kimmel Center always has been a problem, and here we have a somedistant piano sound with a bass-heavy orchestra. the live performance of Concertio No. 4 (incuding applauyse) has the best sound. I hope the next release in this commendabe series will have better audio.

R.E.B. (January 7, 2019).