FURTWÄNGLER conducts Brahms

We turn to Furtwängler's Brahms this week, beginning with a broadcast Haydn Variations with the Berlin Philharmonic from 1950, well captured by RIAS Berlin, and thus capable of yielding excellent results with an XR makeover.

The centrepiece here is the LPO's 1948 Second Symphony. According to Decca legend John Culshaw, Furtwängler insisted there were too many microphones and they were in the wrong place and began interfering, ultimately causing what Decca felt was a pretty unsatisfactory sonic result which did little justice to what had been an excellent performance. Enter Pristine's XR remastering system, just 72 years later, the ideal fix for problems that have remain unresolved since the original sessions. It's now a recording you'll definitely want to re-evaluate and enjoy afresh. Brahms doesn't get much better than this!

We wind the clock further back for a pair of short Brahms encores. Furtwängler recorded the 1st and 10th Hungarian Dances for a 10-inch 78rpm disc release in 1930. The two are a revelation in their XR-remastered sound quality, the 1st in particular beginning in quite astonishing sound quality that belies its 90-year-old status