July 16 marks 25 years since the death of the Austrian conductor Herbert von Karajan, the first artist to enter Gramophone‘s Hall of Fame as the result of a public vote. To mark this anniversary, the Berliner Philharmoniker’s Digital Concert Hall is expanding its digital archive to contain a comprehensive video catalogue of the conductor’s work with the orchestra. The DCH will gradually add filmed concerts and documentaries to its archive allowing subscribers to watch nearly 50 years of performances featuring the great German orchestra. (Many of these productions will be appearing in HD quality on the Internet for the first time.)
Already available to view in the DCH is a 1966 film of Antonín Dvořak’s New World Symphony directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot (with whom Karajan collaborated on six films, including a celebratedVerdi Requiem made at La Scala, Milan and now available on DVD from DG). A 1973 Brahms symphony cycle and the 1978 New Year’s Day concert are also available now.
This week (posted on July 11) will be Eric Schulz’s documentaryKarajan – The Second Life and Beethoven’s Symphonies Nos 3 and 7 (filmed in 1973 by Hugo Niebeling).
On the actual anniversary of Karajan’s death, films of Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony (directed in 1967 by Niebeling) and the Choral Symphony (filmed in 1968 by François Reichenbach) will become available for viewing. Future plans include a documentary featuring players from the Berliner Philharmoniker, as well as the orchestra’s Chief Conductor Sir Simon Rattle, with their memories of Karajan. Films of Wagner’s Das Rheingold (1978) and Verdi’s Otello (1973) will also join the archive of the DCH.
Full information, including subscription details, at the Digital Concert Hall site.