New Te Deum!
My copy of the obscure and fantastic Von Karajan recording of Bruckner's Te Deum came this week. It was recorded at the 1960 Salzburger Festspiele, and has the best cast of any Te Deum out there: Leontyne Price, Hildegard Rössl-Majdan, Fritz Wunderlich, and Walter Berry. I bought it for two reasons (three if you count my Bruckner addiction): Wunderlich[!] and it is Von Karajan when he was still good.
I list three major periods in Von Karajan's career: Nazi-approved Furtwängler replacement (1933-1945), brilliant conductor with a good sense of style (1946-1975), and shine-obsessed technician (1975-1989). His early recordings (I am thinking of Die Zauberflöte and his other EMI Mozart sets) are really quite fantastic. Throughout his career, he had some first-rate discs. However, his insistence on a shimmering, "perfect" sound damaged some discs. His orchestral obsession ruined his DG Der Ring des Nibelungen.
However, this Te Deum is nearly perfect. Jochum and Barenboim, the only major competition, are very good. Just not as good.