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V1 1942-1944 Recordings [Box set]

W-Berlin Phil Orch Furtwangler Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 22.43
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Product Details


Disc: 1
1. Symphony no. 39 in E flat major - Mozart
2. Overture "Coriolan", op. 62 - Beethoven
3. Symphony no. 4 in B flat major, op. 60 - Beethoven
Disc: 2
1. Symphony no. 5 in C minor, op. 67 - Beethoven
2. Symphony no. 7 in A major, op. 60 - Beethoven
Disc: 3
1. Violin concerto in D major, op. 61 - Beethoven
2. Concerto grosso in D minor, op. 6 no. 10 - Handel
Disc: 4
1. Symphony no. 9 in C major, D.944 "The Great" - Schubert
2. Overture "Der Freischutz" - Weber

Product Description


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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars colossal performances June 29 2004
Format:Audio CD
the performances in this box present music making in the highest and most sublime sense. This is music making for all seasons and for all music lovers. These performances, alongside those in another DG Furtwangler box-set of the war period, are among the most heartfelt interpretations of great masters I have ever listened to. These are not exercises in mere aesthetics or searches for a beautiful sound for its own sake.In these recordings music is presented naked, as the deepest expression of the human mind and human feelings. A must not only for Furtwangler collectors, but for all music lovers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Just buy it! June 16 2004
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I don't have the words to describe the beauty and lyricism of these recordings. Just buy it.
There were four great conductors in the 20th century: Bernstein, Karajan, Toscanini, and well, hands down, our tragic friend Wilhelm was the greatest of them all! He let the music speak, live and breathe like no one else before or since.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
60 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Information for Furtwangler collectors May 29 2005
By Wayfarer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
If you are looking at this item, you probably do not need to be convinced of the musical worth of these performances. So I'll refrain from commenting on the quality of the recordings here, and instead try to list details about them which might help you check for overlaps with other CDs.

Please note that the Coriolan and the Beethoven Symphonies here are the same performances present on the Music and Arts 4CD set [ASIN: B00001W09Z]. I'm not sure how the quality of this remastering compares with that one.

1. Symphony no 39 in E flat major, K 543

27m : 54s Staatsoper, Berlin 2/8/1944

2. Coriolan Overture in C minor, Op. 62

8m : 57s Alte Philharmonie, Berlin 6/30/1943

3. Symphony no 4 in B flat major, Op. 60

35m : 29s Alte Philharmonie, Berlin 6/30/1943

4. Symphony no 5 in C minor, Op. 67

33m : 8s Alte Philharmonie, Berlin 6/30/1943

5. Symphony no 7 in A major, Op. 92

37m : 34s Alte Philharmonie, Berlin 11/3/1943

6. Concerto for Violin in D major, Op. 61

43m : 26s Alte Philharmonie, Berlin 1/12/1944

7. Concerto grosso (12), Op. 6: no 10 in D minor, HWV 328

17m : 29s Staatsoper, Berlin 2/8/1944

8. Symphony no 9 in C major, D 944 "Great"

50m : 16s Alte Philharmonie, Berlin 12/8/1942

9. Der Freischutz, J 277: Overture

10m : 51s Staatsoper, Berlin 3/21/1944
37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best quality May 19 2009
By Mr. Fredric J. Einstein - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
DG used Russian 15 IPS dubs of the original Magnetophone recordings to master this series (as they did for their 33 CD collection which was released in Japan during the early 1990's. Thus, the fidelity of the DG series is compromised.

In contrast, a French label Tahra used the original MASTER Magnetophone tapes to make their set of these recordings. Thus, the Tahra set is of MUCH MUCH higher fidelity than these. In fact, the Tahra series sounds as though it was recorded in the 50's or 60's in terms of fidelity.
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling musical document Oct. 26 2007
By Andrew R. Weiss - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
These live performances were recorded for broadcast during WWII in Germany, and while the sound is not up to modern standards it is surprisingly good for its time. The microphones in the concert hall were wired to a small, windowless control room, where they were primatively "mixed" and the signal sent via telegraph wire to the radio transmitter studio, where it was recorded on early Magnetophone tape recorders. The tapes were captured by the Soviets after the liberation of Berlin and transported to Moscow, where they languished for many years. Some performances were released by the Soviets, but the tapes were eventually returned to Germany and reprocessed in the 1980's.

The microphones used were omni-directional and surprisingly sensitive, and while there is some compression of dynamics, there is a surprisingly good sense of hall spaciousness and resonance for the mono source -- along with the inevitable coughs, rustles, etc. And the sound quality varies, depending on the quality of the tape (some were recorded over several times, and the tapes themselves may have suffered some damage during their years of storage) and the alacrity of the "engineers" in the windowless "control room" in the old Philharmonie, who had to adjust volume both to capture soft passages and avoid overload in the louder ones. As a general rule, the performances with soloists suffer the greatest from congestion and distortion in the climaxes. However, the sound of the Berlin Philharmonic during the war years comes through surprisingly well. DGG has favored clarity above all, and has not filtered out distortion in the string sound, etc. In general, the more "analytical" your sound system is, the worse these recordings will sound. Those who, like me, prefer a more analog-oriented sound will fare better.

The performances themselves are notable for their intensity of expression. Both conductor and orchestra seemed to be playing as though their lives depended on it (as indeed they did, considering how ofter the Nazis threatened to disband the Philharmonic because of Furtwangler's refusal to kowtow, and send all the musicians into the army). Furtwangler, living with the ambiguity of his decision to stay in Germany and minister to the spirit of the German people through music, and the inevitable compromises he made so he could continue his mission, conducted with a controlled fervor rarely matched.

In this volume, the highlights are the Beethoven pieces: a mystical Beethoven 4th, an heroic and fierce Beethoven 5th, an almost maniacal Beethoven 7th with an intensely dramatic second movement and a finale nearly spinning out of control, and a lovely violin concerto featuring the Philharmonic's concertmaster as soloist. There is also a magnificent and dramatic Schubert 9th. All of these should be required listening, even if you already own Furtwangler's post-war recordings, because of the difference in interpretation. Post-war Furtwangler is more spiritual and detached; mid-war Furtwangler is more emotional and in the thick of things. Each has its virtues, but don't assume you know everything about Furtwangler -- or about these pieces of music -- until you've heard both.

Highly recommended despite the variable and limited sound.
29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars colossal performances June 29 2004
By G Pelloni - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
the performances in this box present music making in the highest and most sublime sense. This is music making for all seasons and for all music lovers. These performances, alongside those in another DG Furtwangler box-set of the war period, are among the most heartfelt interpretations of great masters I have ever listened to. These are not exercises in mere aesthetics or searches for a beautiful sound for its own sake.In these recordings music is presented naked, as the deepest expression of the human mind and human feelings. A must not only for Furtwangler collectors, but for all music lovers.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest Schubert 9th May 20 2012
By Eddie the Eagle - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Several of the recordings in this collection can be found elsewhere, with possibly better remastering. For instance, better versions of the war-time Beethoven symphonies are probably offered by Music & Arts. There is, however, one recording in this set whose equal I have not been able to find anywhere else. I have heard a couple of other remasterings of Furtwangler's 1942 Schubert 9th, but none of them have pleased my ears at all.

Actually, I'm aware of two Schubert 9'ths conducted by Furtwangler. The latter one, from the early fifties, is (as one would expect) recorded in much better sound, and it is also a truly great recording. Nevertheless, it is the older Schubert 9'th I find myself returning to. The 1942 version is faster and more energetic, especially in the last moment.

For me, this recording is the most perfect drug that exists. It wakes me up when I'm tired, and calms me down when I'm stressed. Dozens of other Schubert 9ths have the calming effect, but only this particular recording (with this particular remastering) has this magical adrenergic effect.
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