Beethoven interpretations by Wilhelm Furtwängler on Vinyl

Increasingly, recordings of Wilhelm Furtwängler are also released again on Vinyl. Two exemplary Beethoven interpretations were published by Warner Classics, the successor to the EMI. Ludwig van Beethoven was one of the guiding stars of the conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler. He performed the symphonies again and again with different orchestras. The Ninth was frequently performed by the Berliner Philharmoniker under Furtwängler's direction. But he never recorded the work in the studio. The recording of the Bayreuth Festival of 1951 is considered particularly impressive.

Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D Minor op. 125
Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Elisabeth Höngen, Hans Hopf, Otto Edelmann
Chor und Orchester der Bayreuther Festspiele
Wilhelm Furtwängler
Warner Classics 190295 895730
2 LP

Beethoven's Fifth Symphony played a special role not only in the repertoire of Wilhelm Furtwängler, but in the history of music recording. In 1913, the Berlin Philharmonic, with its then chief conductor Arthur Nikisch, recorded the work as the first symphony for the new medium disc. The so-called fate symphony accompanied the entire career of Wilhelm Furtwängler. In the spring of 1954, a few months before his death, the studio production of the Fifth was created in the Great Hall of the Wiener Musikverein with the Vienna Philharmonic.

Beethoven: Symphony No 5 in C Minor op. 67
Wiener Philharmoniker
Wilhelm Furtwängler
Warner Classics 190295 895723
1 LP

Sensational Archive Discovery
Furtwängler conducts Schumann and Beethoven in Luzern 1953

A sensational discovery in the archives of the Lucerne Festival with two of Furtwängler's all-time favourites: a live recording of the Manfred Overture (1953), presumed lost until recently and now released for the very first time, alongside Beethoven's »Eroica« and Schumann's Fourth Symphonies, remastered for the first time using the original tapes.


more Information

It is the desire of many Furtwängler fans to experience the atmosphere and aura of the performances also in the recordings to a maximum extend. This goal serves the SACD with two additional tracks, which will be released February 2018: The atmosphere of Furtwängler's stage appearance and applause, followed by increasing silence of the audience at the beginning of the works create special ambience and the air of a live performance.


Furtwängler-Edition - 14 LP-Box

With the great demand for the LP version of their internationally successful Furtwängler 12-CD boxed set, audite now presents a selection of recordings in LP format for audiophile vinyl enthusiasts. Containing compositions by Beethoven, Bruckner, Schubert, Brahms and Wagner, the LP boxed set presents the principal works of the CD boxed set. The majority of the concerts given by Wilhelm Furtwängler and the Berlin Philharmonic between 1947 and 1954 were recorded by the RIAS Berlin. The original tapes from the RIAS archives have been made available for the first time for this edition so these recordings also offer unsurpassed technical quality.
14 LP-Box, audite 87.101

Bruckner’s Fifth Symphony in ideal sound quality

Im early 2011 Wilhelm Furtwängler’s interpretation of Anton Bruckner’s Fifth Symphony was released. It is the live recording of a concert by the Berlin Philharmonic from October 1942. We have been able to locate a copy of a tape which is much better than the one previously known. The CD was released as a recording by the Wilhelm-Furtwängler-Gesellschaft (only available to members).

In order to make this eminent document of Furtwängler’s interpretative art accessible to a wider public the recording was released in parallel by the English label Testament.

"Open Wounds"
Wilhelm Furtwängler and Thomas Mann

Prof. Dr. Klaus Kanzog, specialist in German Studies, will give a lecture on this topic on Sunday, 12 May 2013 at 11 a.m. at the Südfoyer of the Philharmonie Kammermusiksaal. This lecture is organised by the Wilhelm-Furtwängler-Gesellschaft, in co-operation with the Berlin Philharmonic Foundation.
Admission free.

The lecture recalls the politico-cultural situation of the years 1944 to 1947 in Germany and Switzerland. It recapitulates aspects of Furtwängler denazification-procedure in Berlin and attempts to qualify the positions of the conductor who had remained in Germany, and of the author Thomas Mann who had been impelled to exile.


Elisabeth Furtwängler
[20.12.1910 - 5.3.2013]

Elisabeth Furtwängler was an eminent guardian of the heritage of the unparalleled conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler, and her passing is met with heartfelt sympathies by the Wilhelm-Furtwängler-Gesellschaft and its fellow societies in France and Japan. She was the centre of a large family from her first marriage to Hans Ackermann fallen in Strasbourg as early as 1940, followed by the union with Wilhelm Furtwängler in 1942/43. The re-discovery of this great and highly-educated musician acoustic and written heritage, beginning some ten years after his death and continually growing up to this day, owes more than five decades of ample stimuli to his widow. It gives solace to know that until an age of 103 Elisabeth Furtwängler continued to be in alert and lively contact with her family and her numerous friends, and that her parting has been brief, with a clear state of mind and full of gratitude.