Search - George Frederick Handel, Franz [Vienna] Schubert, Franz Joseph Haydn :: The Fascination of Furtwängler

The Fascination of Furtwängler
George Frederick Handel, Franz [Vienna] Schubert, Franz Joseph Haydn
The Fascination of Furtwängler
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Classical
 

      
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A fine sampler of Furtwangler remastered, but buy it used
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 02/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This 2-CD set contains mostly bits and pieces, so although there are great performances here, it only makes sense to buy them in completed form. The first CD is devoted to studio ecordings from 1951 to 1954, the year Furtwangler died. Famed performances of the Schubert Ninth, Haydn 88th, and Schumann Fourth Sym. have come out beautifully in DG's latest remastering, only the Schumann retaining a bit too much steeliness. The only complete work is a Handel Concerto Grosso Op. 6 No. 5, done in a measured, old-fashioned style. The scherzo from Furtwangler's own Sym. #2 is intriguing enough to make me want to hunt down the whole work.

CD 2 will dismay anyone not used to old shellac recordings from 1930, the year almost everything here was done. But once you adjust to the thin sound, you discover that DG has done an even better job of making this material listenable. A Rossini La Gazza Ladra Over. is delightful, as are two Brahms Hungarian Dances and a single Dvorak Slavonic Dance. The opening work, a wonderful Mendelssohn Hebrides Over., unfortunatley is in inferior sound compared to the rest. It comes with a segment of Furtwangler in rehearsal for the same work, which isn't of much interest even for German speakers.

In all, DG is asking too much for the casual buyer to spend on a sampler, but it can be had cheap at Amazon Marketplace. If you purchase it that way, this is a wonderful introduction to Furtwangler's unique artistry."