Furtwänglerites never stop collecting, do they?

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Furtwänglerites never stop collecting, do they?

Post by Lance » Sat Jan 20, 2018 2:58 pm

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I jumped on the Furtwängler bandwagon in my early LP collecting days, encouraged by other fans of his who proved to me, by listening, that Furtwängler had something extra special to say. The same was said to me of Toscanini and Monteux among a legion of others. But, Furtwängler did stand out and I've had the bug ever since. His recordings have been issued, reissued, reissued again, and again, and more companies keep finding things, or trying to improve on the sound quality. Among the companies that have generally provided the best sound using master tapes wherever possible is ORFEO of Munich, Germany. You know the boxes, a luscious red with gold imprints (often) and good photographs, but especially good technical reprocessing of those masters. Generally all of the Orfeo recordings were made in Vienna with the Vienna Philharmonic or sometimes the Vienna Symphony.

I, for a long time, enjoyed the 8-CD boxed set on Orfeo [409.048] and held off on the 18-CD boxed edition [Orfeo 834.118] until very recently. If you can read the program back above, you will see the first release of the complete 1954 concert of Bach's St. Matthew Passion. There are three versions of Beetoven's Ninth [1951,1952,1953), two versions of Beethoven's Eroica (1944/1952), a Brahms Requiem with the Vienna Symphony, and the best reissue possible (I believe) of Mozart's Piano Concerto in E-flat, K.365 with Badura-Skoda and Dagmar Bella, (Badura-Skoda aged 21), followed by Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 22 in E-flat, K 482 with Badura-Skoda, recorded in 1952. Sound is just okay in these recordings of which, apparently, master tapes were lost and only wax copies were available. Still, great to have these collaborations.

Most of us equate Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau's recording of Mahler's Songs of a Wayfarer with Furtwängler in their commercial EMI recording, but included here is a superb 1952 recording of the work with baritone Alfred Poell.

Furtwängler, happyily, still sells for good reasons. This is a wonderful collection to have with full information provided on collaborative artists and recording dates. Other collaborative artists include Boskovsky, Brabec, Grummer, Guden, Hoffgen, Rossel-Majdan, Seefried, Braun, Dermota, Edelmann, Patzak, and Schoffler.

As always with Orfeo, first-class presentation.
Lance G. Hill

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]


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Re: Furtwänglerites never stop collecting, do they?

Post by Modernistfan » Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:22 pm

Not for me, thanks. I have no desire to listen to Beethoven, Brahms, or Bruckner in cruddy mono sound (no matter how much improved) played by orchestras, mostly the Berlin Philharmonic or the Vienna Philharmonic, decimated by war and also by the pre-war expulsion of their Jewish players (mostly, but not exclusively, strings). Those players who did not wind up in the gas chambers or who had not been shot on sight by the SA or Gestapo were by then safely ensconced in orchestral positions in London, New York, Cleveland, Boston, Chicago, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, or Los Angeles and had absolutely no desire to return to Berlin or Vienna after the war was over. I never understood the Furtw​​ängler cult. Although I do respect those who feel differently, there is a feeling, at least in my mind, that much of the ​Furtw​​ängler cult stems from a feeling that Austro-German music is somehow directly connected to the "blood and soil" of those countries and only one who has a direct connection to the culture, as opposed to the civilization, can somehow conduct it (and that leaves out conductors of "non-German" ethnicity such as Bruno Walter or Otto Klemperer, not to mention Sir Georg Solti or Daniel Barenboim).
Sorry if this raises hackles.

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