On 22 CDs/SACDs: Radio recordings with Wilhelm Furtwängler

24 Jan 2019

On 8 February, the Berliner Philharmoniker will release a 22 CD/SACD Wilhelm-Furtwängler edition. This comprehensive edition, released on the Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings label, was presented in advance at a press conference at the Berlin Philharmonie.

For the first time, this edition brings together all surviving radio recordings of the Berliner Philharmoniker and their then chief conductor from the period 1939 to 1945. It presents a total of 21 concerts, in whole or in part. The recordings, which have been newly remastered for this release, allow the listener to re-live the artistically most productive years of the collaboration between the orchestra and its conductor. The focus is on performances of the German repertoire of the 19th century, with symphonies and solo concertos by Beethoven, Brahms, Bruckner and Schubert.

The edition is the first in which the Berliner Philharmoniker have documented this central chapter of their history themselves. Technologically, the release draws on the best available source material – specifically, original tapes which were taken to the Soviet Union after the war and were only returned to Germany from the early 1990s onwards. The recordings have been digitally transferred especially for this edition using state-of-the-art technology and carefully restored and remastered in 24-bit resolution.

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Andreas Furtwängler (r.), son of the conductor with Olaf Maninger (l.), principal cello and media board member of the Berliner Philharmoniker
(Photo: Peter Adamik)