The latest Karajan Community Letter focuses on Karajan conducting Franz Lehár’s The Merry Widow. He conducted it only once in his career for a recording. No live performances at all. Having already recorded the Fledermaus twice, Karajan assembled Elizabeth Harwood, René Kollo, Teresa Stratas and Werner Hollweg and recorded The Merry Widow in November 1972. René Kollo says: “Anyone hearing how operetta sounded with Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic will revise his verdict about operetta being second-rate. Played like this, operetta is infinite magic.”

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