Herbert von Karajan was a moral and creative nullity. His myth does not survive the test of time.
Now, we admit that the Herbie cult gives us the willies, and his actions during the war are inexcusable, but OC serenely concedes that HVK's Salome is the best she has ever listened to -- his Strauss is generally stellar, and his Trovatore, of all things, gives off a dark, shiny, malevolent beauty that always fascinates OC. His Sibelius is not half bad either, even if not as great as Barbirolli's. And young Karajan's Beethoven symphonies cycle has indeed a majestic beauty (the later sets are just embarrassingly pompous). We also dig a Haffner that HVK conducted in his youth.
But, moral issues aside (again, as a huge Oswald Kabasta fan OC has learned how to separate musical talent from moral flaws) the not so short list of conductors who really run circles around cranky Herbie, with all due respect, makes OC wonder what all the fuss about Karajan's anniversary really is. (Besides, as Uncle Normy points out, that Deutsche Grammophon is trying to make a lazy buck out of it).