Wilhelm Furtwangler: Rare Wartime Concert Recordings
LABELS: Music & Arts
WORKS: Symphony No. 6 (last three movements); Symphony No. 1 (fourth movement); ‘Haydn’ Variations
PERFORMER: Berlin PO
CATALOGUE NO: CD-805 AAD mono
Max Fiedler was 85 years old when he conducted his friend Brahms’s Second Piano Concerto for Elly Ney, ‘the Führer’s pianist’. Even today, that 1939 recording with the Berlin Philharmonic under Fiedler has much to tell us, through the insightful phrasing and subtle interplay of instrumentalists.
Here are the Second and Fourth symphonies, the latter with its rhetorically broadened first movement coda, a mighty gesture and much the sort of thing Furtwängler used to do, especially in Bruckner. Although the first movement of Bruckner’s Sixth Symphony was apparently never recorded, we at least get a unique opportunity to sample Furtwängler’s visionary interpretation, with its mystically suspended Adagio and wildly raging finale.