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Wilhelm Furtwangler - The Great EMI Recordings


Release Date: 05/17/2011 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 07878   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ludwig van BeethovenBéla BartókFelix MendelssohnJohannes Brahms,   ... 
Performer:  Elisabeth SchwarzkopfElisabeth HöngenHans HopfOtto Edelmann,   ... 
Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic OrchestraStockholm Philharmonic OrchestraBavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,   ... 
Number of Discs: 21 
Recorded in: Mono 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Wilhelm Gustav Heinrich Ernst Martin Furtwängler, to give him his full name, was born in Berlin on 25 January 1886. His father was an archaeologist and his mother a painter. Both were cultured and enlightened people who brought up their eldest son in the beliefs of German humanism. When the young Wilhelm showed early signs of exceptional talent they decided to provide him with a private education based around the Arts. Although his artistic interests were wide it was music that eventually became his overriding passion and he started learning the piano at an early age, composing his first music at the age of seven. The idea of becoming a composer was his prime ambition, despite the failure of his early attempts at composition.
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Several factors led to Furtwängler taking up the baton: the wish to conduct his own works; his increasing interest in the art of interpretation and the need to make a living, following the death of his father in 1907. His first concert as conductor was in Munich in 1906 with a programme of works by Bruckner and Beethoven as well as one of his own pieces. His rise to fame as a conductor was quite rapid and, after working in Breslau, Zurich and at the court opera in Munich, he gained his first big appointments at the Lübeck Opera (1911-1915) and in Mannheim (1915-1920). In 1920 he succeeded Richard Strauss as conductor of the Berlin Staatsoper concerts and in 1922, after the death of Nikisch, he took over the conductorship of the Leipzig Gewandhaus and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras. It was at this time that he also began a long and successful relationship with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. But it was with the Berlin Philharmonic that Furtwängler was to remain for the rest of his career.

Throughout the 1920s and '30s Furtwängler and the Berlin Philharmonic went on a series of European tours to Scandinavia, Switzerland, Italy, Hungary and England. In 1937 Furtwängler conducted at Covent Garden as part of the Coronation celebrations and, in 1938, he was back again to conduct two cycles of the Ring. At this time, too, Furtwängler found himself inextricably involved in the politics of Germany. His liberal outlook meant that it was difficult for him to see Nazism as a serious threat to his country and he dissociated himself from it and opposed it whenever he could. He refused to give the Nazi salute, even in the presence of Adolf Hitler, and used his influence to save the lives of as many Jewish musicians as he could. In spite of this and because of his rather naive political outlook many outside Germany saw his continued residence and musical activity as a kind of collaboration. The final ten years of Furtwängler's life were dogged by controversy, not helped by the American Military Government in post-war Germany delaying his denazification process until 1947, when he was once again allowed to take up conducting.

Success in Europe quickly followed and he appeared with the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestras as well as local orchestras in London, Stockholm, Edinburgh, Lucerne, Milan, Salzburg and Paris. It is from this time that the superb recordings in this 21-CD set were made. Here is a special selection of some of EMI's celebrated Furtwängler recordings, some recorded live at concerts and some made in the studios. The combination of Furtwängler and EMI brought about one of the greatest collaborations in recording history and the Company is proud to be able to contribute this set to the 125th birthday celebrations of a great conductor.

The last CD in this this set is titled:
REMEMBERING FURTWANGLER

Musicians who performed with Wilhelm Furtwangler and others who saw him recall how and why he exerted a magnetic and hypnotic effect on them and his audiences, illustrated by EMI Classics recordings of Furtwangler in rehearsal and performance

Soloists:
Pianist Aldo Ciccolini, Baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Violinist Yehudi Menuhin

Conductors:
Peter Gellhorn, Berthold Goldschmidt

Players who performed with Furtwangler in the Philharmonia Orchestra:
Hugh Bean, John Meek, Hugh Maguire, Harold Nash, Gervase de Peyer

Others:
Furtwangler's widow, Elisabeth Connoiseur concert-goer Bernard Dennis Browne.
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Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 1 in C major, Op. 21 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1800; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 11/1952 
Venue:  Musikvereinssaal, Vienna, Austria 
Length: 25 Minutes 32 Secs. 
2.
Symphony no 2 in D major, Op. 36 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1801-1802; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 10/03/1948 
Venue:  Live  Royal Albert Hall, London, England 
Length: 31 Minutes 58 Secs. 
3.
Symphony no 3 in E flat major, Op. 55 "Eroica" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1803; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 11/1952 
Venue:  Musikvereinssaal, Vienna, Austria 
Length: 52 Minutes 26 Secs. 
4.
Symphony no 4 in B flat major, Op. 60 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1806; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 12/1952 
Venue:  Musikvereinssaal, Vienna, Austria 
Length: 36 Minutes 2 Secs. 
5.
Symphony no 5 in C minor, Op. 67 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1807-1808; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1954 
Venue:  Musikvereinssaal, Vienna, Austria 
Length: 35 Minutes 32 Secs. 
6.
Symphony no 6 in F major, Op. 68 "Pastoral" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1808; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1952 
Venue:  Musikvereinssaal, Vienna, Austria 
Length: 35 Minutes 31 Secs. 
7.
Symphony no 7 in A major, Op. 92 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1811-1812; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 01/1950 
Venue:  Musikvereinssaal, Vienna, Austria 
Length: 90 Minutes 10 Secs. 
8.
Symphony no 8 in F major, Op. 93 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1812; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 11/13/1948 
Venue:  Live  Konserthus, Stockholm, Sweden 
Length: 25 Minutes 59 Secs. 
9.
Symphony no 9 in D minor, Op. 125 "Choral" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (Soprano), Elisabeth Höngen (Alto), Hans Hopf (Tenor),
Otto Edelmann (Bass)
Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus
Period: Classical 
Written: 1822-1824; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 07/29/1951 
Venue:  Live  Festival House, Bavaria, Germany 
Length: 74 Minutes 23 Secs. 
Language: German 
10.
Concerto for Piano no 5 in E flat major, Op. 73 "Emperor" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Edwin Fischer (Piano)
Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1809; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 02/1951 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studios, London 
Length: 38 Minutes 45 Secs. 
11.
Concerto for Violin no 2, Sz 112 by Béla Bartók
Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin (Violin)
Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1937-1938; Budapest, Hungary 
Date of Recording: 09/1953 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 37 Minutes 48 Secs. 
12.
Concerto for Violin in E minor, Op. 64 by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin (Violin)
Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1844; Germany 
13.
Concerto for Violin in D major, Op. 61 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin (Violin)
Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Lucerne Festival Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1806; Vienna, Austria 
14.
Fidelio, Op. 72 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Sena Jurinac (Soprano), Alfred Poell (Baritone), Otto Edelmann (Bass),
Wolfgang Windgassen (Tenor), Martha Mödl (Soprano), Gottlob Frick (Bass),
Franz Bierbach (Bass), Alwin Hendricks (Tenor)
Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Opera Chorus
Period: Classical 
Written: 1804/1814; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 10/1953 
Venue:  Musikvereinssaal, Vienna 
Length: 133 Minutes 18 Secs. 
Language: German 
15.
Symphony no 1 in C minor, Op. 68 by Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1855-1876; Austria 
Date of Recording: 1949 
16.
Symphony no 2 in D major, Op. 73 by Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1877; Austria 
17.
Symphony no 3 in F major, Op. 90 by Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883; Austria 
18.
Symphony no 4 in E minor, Op. 98 by Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1884-1885; Austria 
19.
Hungarian Dances (21) for Orchestra, WoO 1: no 1 in G minor by Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1868; Austria 
20.
Hungarian Dances (21) for Orchestra, WoO 1: no 3 in F major by Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1868; Austria 
21.
Hungarian Dances (21) for Orchestra, WoO 1: no 10 in F major by Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1868; Austria 
22.
Variations in B flat major on a theme by Haydn, Op. 56a "St. Anthony" by Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1873; Austria 
23.
Coriolan Overture in C minor, Op. 62 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1807; Vienna, Austria 
24.
Leonore Overture no 2 in C major, Op. 72 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1805; Vienna, Austria 
25.
Concerto for Violin in D major, Op. 77 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin (Violin), Edgar Schann (Oboe)
Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lucerne Festival Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878; Austria 
Date of Recording: 09/1949 
Venue:  Lucern, Switzerland 
Length: 40 Minutes 7 Secs. 
26.
Concerto for Violin and Cello in A minor, Op. 102 "Double" by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Emanuel Brabec (Cello), Willi Boskovsky (Violin)
Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; Austria 
Date of Recording: 01/1952 
Venue:  Live  Vienna, Austria 
Length: 34 Minutes 48 Secs. 
27.
Symphony no 6 in B minor, Op. 74 "Pathétique" by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Russia 
28.
Symphony no 8 in B minor, D 759 "Unfinished" by Franz Schubert
Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1822; Vienna, Austria 
29.
Don Juan, Op. 20 by Richard Strauss
Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888-1889; Germany 
Date of Recording: 02/1942 
Length: 17 Minutes 23 Secs. 
30.
Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche, Op. 28 by Richard Strauss
Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894-1895; Germany 
Date of Recording: 11/1943 
Length: 15 Minutes 6 Secs. 
31.
Tod und Verklärung, Op. 24 by Richard Strauss
Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888-1889; Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/09/1947 
Venue:  Hamburg, Germany 
Length: 25 Minutes 5 Secs. 
32.
Symphony no 40 in G minor, K 550 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1788; Vienna, Austria 
33.
Symphonic Concerto for Piano in B minor by Wilhelm Furtwängler
Performer:  Edwin Fischer (Piano)
Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1924-1936; Germany 
Date of Recording: 01/19/1939 
34.
Tristan und Isolde by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Ludwig Suthaus (Tenor), Kirsten Flagstad (Soprano), Blanche Thebom (Mezzo Soprano),
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Baritone), Josef Greindl (Bass), Rudolf Schock (Tenor),
Edgar Evans (Tenor), Rhydderch Davies (Bass)
Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus,  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1857-1859; Germany 
Date of Recording: 1953 
Length: 255 Minutes 43 Secs. 
Language: German 
35.
Symphony no 94 in G major, H 1 no 94 "Surprise" by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1791; London, England 
36.
Anacréon: Overture by Luigi Cherubini
Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1803; France 
37.
Les préludes, S 97 by Franz Liszt
Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1848/1854; Weimar, Germany 

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