Herbert von Karajan conducts an all-French concert program of Debussy and Ravel

Berliner Philharmoniker

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Program notes

Celebrated for his intimate knowledge of the symphonic contributions of German Romanticism's great masters, Herbert von Karajan also explored the masterpieces of French composers with the Berliner Philharmoniker in great detail. His almost-obsessive quest for sonic perfection was particularly intriguing when applied to French Impressionism, like the classic works featured here. Debussy’s La Mer depicts the magnificent land- and seascapes associated with the ocean and draws inspiration from the visual artwork of Turner and Monet, and the Suite No.2 from Ravel’s ballet Daphnis et Chloé paints its subjects so clearly that the listener can almost see them. It was the composer himself who spoke of a “choreographic symphony” bringing the love story of the shepherd and his lover to life.

A closer look: composers and works

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