Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Johann II [Junior] Strauss, Johannes Brahms, Wilhelm Furtwängler|
Brahms: Symphony No. 4; Johann Strauss II: Die Fledermaus Overture
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Is this Furtwangler's greatest Brahms 4th?
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 09/25/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Classica d'Oro is an offshoot of the well-known Opera d'Oro, an Italian label that has taken great advantage of the loose copyright laws in that country. Here they are on safe ground since all of Furtwangler's recordings, live or studio. have entered the public domain. This CD features a magnificent, highly energized Brahms 4th with the Berlin Phil. from 1948. Thanks to judicious excision of all tape hiss and surface crackle, the radio broadcast sonics are quite listenable. Presumably the CEDAR noise-reduction process, or something akin, was used. Harshness in the upper strings is also blessedly absent. Purists may claim that the original issue, presumably an air check 78 rpm, contained greater frequency response, but I have heard far worse.
Furtwangler has two other Brahms Fourths that I know -- this same one issued in a coarse remastering on EMI, the other a 1943 wartime concert with Berlin on Music and Arts. The 1948 reading is slower than the 1943 but has more presence and impact, largely due to the superior engineering, which is close up without being dry or boxy. Furtwangler was supreme in Brahms, so any rendition from him is worth hearing, yet it's hard not to judge this one as the best. It's riveting from beginning to end and shows the utmost involvement, I think, with the music's inner drama. (In any event, the EMI pressing is only available in a box set.) An unexpected source has given us an imopressive addition to the ever expanding list of Furtwangler reissues."