Orchestral excerpts from Die Meistersinger, Tannhäuser, Lohengrin,
Flying Dutchman and Tristan and Isolde.
Berlin Philharmonic Orch/Herbert von Karajan, cond.
EMI CLASSICS DVDA 723979 TT: 77:48
These 1974 recordings were highly touted when originally released but they have not aged well. The Berlin orchestra plays superbly under Karajan, but from a sonic standpoint this is not impressive: bass is muddy, the sound overly resonant. The multi-channel sound has been artificially produced - and it really doesn't do justice to the sound of this magnificent orchestra.
and Chloé. Boléro. La Valse.
Orchestra of Paris/Jean Martinon, cond.
EMI CLASSICS DVDA 923959 TT: 83:46
These recordings were made in 1974, the same year as Karajan's Wagner, but here the engineering is far more successful. The French orchestra is presented in a highly resonant ambience, yet there is sufficient clarity to reveal Ravel's remarkable orchestration. What is lacking is significant impactful low bass; still these are fine performances by a conductor and orchestra appropriate for the repertory, and the sound is very pleasing.