FURTWÄNGLER: Wartime Beethoven Recordings

"These recordings are precious documents, from which there is much to be learned. In an age of note-perfect digital renditions, what’s most striking is Furtwängler’s willingness—and his musicians’ willingness—to sacrifice precision for the sake of passion ... The recordings bear witness to a pivotal moment: they capture an older musical tradition operating at maximum force, before it became fully conscious of its own sound."
- Alex Ross - The New Yorker, 2019

Furtwängler's wartime radio broadcasts have become well known many decades after their original transmissions, not least thanks to the preservation of a series of tapes, removed from Germany at the end of the Second World War and "preserved" by the Soviet authorities for years, until they eventually found their way back into the public domain.

We complete our Pristine issues of the Furtwängler Berlin Philharmonic wartime Beethoven broadcasts this week with two of these recordings. From 1943 comes the Piano Concerto No. 4 with Conrad Hansen, and from 1944 the 'Pastoral' Symphony No. 6. Essential recordings, revitalised.