Furtwängler Conducts Beethoven

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The visionary power, dramatic potency, and titanic flow of Furtwängler's wartime Beethoven symphony performances add up to listening experiences demanding as much as they reward. This is especially true in the 1944 Vienna "Eroica", the 1943 Berlin Fourth and Fifths, and a 1942 Berlin Ninth that pushes Beethoven's radical contours to their expressive limits. By contrast, this 1944 "Pastorale" paints a more foreboding, lugubrious outdoor landscape than the conductor's equally heavy-gaited, but more flowing post-war Vienna commercial recording. Maggi Payne's technical reconstructions appear to draw upon the same superior sources tapped for previous releases on Tahra and Deutsche Grammophon. The Ninth, though, resembles an earlier single-disc Music & Arts release in less impactive sound than Tahra's transfer. The booklet notes derive from John Ardoin's detailed and frank commentaries in his critical discography devoted to the conductor. Sonic reservations aside, these performances matter.

-- Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: MA CD-4049

  • UPC: 017685404924

  • Label: Music & Arts Program

  • Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven

  • Conductor: Wilhelm Furtwängler

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Bruno Kittel Choir, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

  • Performer: Elisabeth Höngen, Peter Anders, Rudolf Watzke, Tilla Briem