Happy Birthday Herbert von Karajan

The first Classical LP I ever owned was Karajan conducting the Berlin Philharmonic.
Deutsche Grammophon's 1960's recording of Beethoven's 9th Symphony with Gundula Janowitz, Hilde Rossel-Madchen, Waldemar Kmentt, and Walter Berry as soloists.

After hearing goodness knows how many versions over the years I always come back to this one.  We are fortunate enough in that it was filmed as part of the complete cycle

His operatic recordings are also for me a constant source of admiration, and the diversity of his repertoire inspiring, a somewhat controversial and colourful Titan of his musical age and for those to come.

Here is a clip of part of the final movement, fortunately with the same cast as above.  Janowitz is simply radiant, there is simply no other.  A finer cast of soloists you won't find and in my mind preferable to his later Beethoven Symphony cycles.

Happy birthday Maestro Karajan, my lifelong appreciation of music would not be the same without you.