Despite making his name as an interpreter of Wagner and Bruckner, Furtwängler's first and last love was Beethoven. Furtwängler came back to the symphonies again and again. Throughout his career they dominated his concert programmes, increasingly so in the final years.
Furtwängler was the culmination of the German tradition of conducting. In its view, the score told only part of the truth. To quote Neville Cardus, Furtwängler "did not regard the printed notes as a final statement but rather as so many symbols in an imaginative conception, ever changing and always to be felt and realized subjectively."
The first movement of the Eroica in the 1952 studio recording is a magnificent example of his flexible but organic handling of tempo. The speed varies in response to the constantly changing pulse of the musical drama, yet the whole thing is driven and permeated by a single underlying impulse. At the same time the conductor's concern for balance and clarity is such that the audience hears everything. Every singing line is glowingly audible, every incisive offbeat accent tells. Lyricism and heroic conflict are fused in a single act of exultant re-creation.
- 180g Vinyl
- Double LP
- Remastered in 24-Bit/192kHz from original tapes at Studio Art & Son, Annecy (2021)
- Made in Germany
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Symphony No. 1 in C major, Op.21
- I. Adagio molto - Allegro con brio
- II. Andante cantabile con moto
- III. Menuetto Allegro molto e vivace
- IV. Adagio - Allegro molto e vivace
Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major, Op.55 "Eroica"
- I. Allegro con brio
- II. Marcia funebre. Adagio assai
- III. Scherzo - Allegro vivace
- IV. Finale. Allegro molto - Poco Andante - Presto