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Wilhelm Furtwängler: The Radio Recordings 1939–1945 8 LP · 180g Vinyl · limited and numbered: 1886 copies worldwide

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They are among the most striking recordings of classical music ever made: the radio recordings with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Wilhelm Furtwängler, made between 1939 and 1945. Made at the height of the collaboration between orchestra and conductor, Furtwängler’s artistic personality is conveyed here as vividly as nowhere else. You can experience performances whose immediate expressive intensity arises from the moment of performance – and in which not least the existential experience of the Second World War reverberates. In a limited vinyl box with 8 LPs, Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings is now releasing a selection of all the surviving radio recordings that have already appeared on the CD/SACD Wilhelm Furtwängler: The Radio Recordings 1939-1945. With the enclosed code you can also download all the recordings of this edition in studio quality.

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When he was elected chief conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker (then still the Berliner Philharmonisches Orchester) in 1922, Wilhelm Furtwängler impressed the musicians with his unique charisma. It was based on an intriguing interpretative principle: his baton technique avoided very precise gestures and deliberately relied on the blurring of tonal contours. This required that the orchestral musicians demonstrate a high degree of sensitivity and personal responsibility – something that developed impressively in the course of the years of intensive collaboration. The result is audible in the recordings of this edition: spontaneous and flexible music-making with a warm blended sound. Developments and intensifications never seem calculated, but grow organically out of themselves. For the remastering of the radio recordings, the best available material was used, in particular original tapes that were taken to the Soviet Union after the end of the war and only returned to Germany in the early 1990s. The recordings were carefully restored before vinyl mastering, digitally scanned using state-of-the-art technology and remastered in 24-bit resolution. The edition’s accompanying book contains numerous historical photos, articles about the making of the recordings and an in-depth essay by the American music researcher Richard Taruskin, who sheds light on Furtwängler’s artistic work. As a bonus, the box set includes a DVD with interviews with contemporary witnesses. To complement the present vinyl selection of radio recordings from 1939-1945, you can download these and all others from the period as studio-quality audio files with an enclosed download code. This edition presents a multifaceted overview of Furtwängler’s musical collaboration with the Berliner Philharmoniker and a unique document of the history of music interpretation.

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Berliner Philharmoniker
Wilhelm Furtwängler

Richard Strauss
Don Juan, op. 20

Richard Wagner
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg: Prelude to the first act (concert version)

Robert Schumann
Concerto for Cello and Orchestra in A minor op. 129

Richard Wagner
Tristan and Isolde: Prelude and Liebestod

Jean Sibelius
En saga op. 9

Ludwig van Beethoven
Coriolan, Overture op. 62
Symphony No. 5 in C minor op. 67

Richard Strauss
Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks op. 28

Ludwig van Beethoven
Violin Concerto in D major op. 61

Richard Strauss
Symphonia domestica op. 53

George Frideric Handel
Concerto Grosso in D minor op. 6 No. 10

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Symphony No. 39 in E flat major K. 543

Carl Maria von Weber
Der Freischütz op. 77: Overture

Maurice Ravel
Daphnis et Chloé, Orchestral Suite No. 1 (incomplete)
Daphnis et Chloé, Orchestral Suite No. 2

Franz Schubert
Symphony No. 7 in B minor D 759 “Unfinished”

  • Vinyl

    Wilhelm Furtwängler: The Radio Recordings 1939–1945

    8 LP · 180g Vinyl · limited and numbered: 1886 copies worldwide

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    8 LP (180g Vinyl)

    Limited and numbered: 1886 copies worldwide

    Bonus DVD with interview film

    Accompanying book
    hardcover, 112 pages

    Download code
    Audio files of all surviving radio recordings 1939–1945 in 24 bit and up to 48 kHz

    Digital Concert Hall
    7-day ticket to the Berliner Philharmoniker’s video streaming platform

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    US$ 288.65
    Excl. shipping

Video trailer