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Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2008

Herbert von Karajan: A Life in Pictures

Book Review

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Herbert von Karajan was one of classical music’s towering figures in the 20th century. The Austrian conductor’s career began under the Nazis (even though Hitler considered him “un- German”) and continued after World War II, when he rapidly attained star status. The text to A Life in Pictures summarizes his life and career, but, as the title suggests, the photographs are the focus of this coffee-table book. The best are black-and-white, artful compositions in light and shadow. Their subjects cover Karajan at work and play—he loved zooming around in sports cars and speedboats when he wasn’t conducting meticulous and powerful interpretations of great symphonies.