Since our newsletters are now available in both French and English, it is only fair that the email addressed to you at the beginning of each month (the 2nd to be precise), giving you the news from the preceding month, should appear with a link to the appropriate version of the website.
In order to be able to do this, we have returned to the mailing list of our members and have by default applied the following rule:
– link to the French version: members in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Monaco, Canada,
– link to the English version: the rest of the world.
We realise that there is, however, the risk of an error or misdirection.
Because of this you can modify this choice yourself if you wish to: simply go to ‘Mon Profil/My Profile’ in the upper right corner of the screen and modify ‘Langue/Language’.
For new members the choice should be made upon inscription.
As we announced a few weeks ago, all systems are now go for downloading! From 1 May the first digital ‘pack’ — Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Berlin 1942 — will be available on our site, and you can download it for 8 €.
Need we say we have high hopes for this first project? We have carefully prepared the contents — plenty of pdf files to accompany the audio —, and we hope a lot of you will want to take full advantage of it.
In view of the many requests for a ‘physical’ product, we shall see about engraving a small number of CDs along with printed documentation. Please note, however, that this would be a derivative product that cannot rival the digital original.
We hope everyone will realize that this step is a crucial stage in our development, entailing an even more radical change than that caused by the move to CDs some thirty years ago. Above all, it promises many more great things to come!
Among the studies penned by faithful members, there is one that illustrates, in especially detailed fashion, a particular period in the career of Furtwängler: that covering his activity in Frankfurt, either as titular director of the concerts of the ‘Museums-Gesellschaft’ or as guest conductor, notably with his Berlin Philharmonic.
This circular, as it was then called, co-authored in 1986 by Hermann Wendel and Philippe Jacquard, had aged notably when transferred from a printed format (prepared with our limited means at the time…) to our earlier site, losing in the process its illustrations and undergoing textual modifications.
Here it is, in our new, updated graphic presentation, corrected and completed by what has been discovered since, and with a refreshed and augmented iconography.
For some years we have been offering our members facsimiles of programmes to download from our site — from Berlin (Philharmonie and Staatsoper), Vienna (Philharmonic and Symphony), the Philharmonia….. But one orchestra was notable by its absence, that of the Leipzig Gewandhaus, which Furtwängler conducted for six seasons from 1922. The destruction of 60% of the city is no doubt a major factor in the rarity of such documents.
To remedy this absence, we are simultaneously posting three programmes on our site, all of which present vocal soloists:
– 1 January 1923, the bass Alexander Kipnis,
– 1 January 1926, the Danish soprano Birgit Engell,
– 13 October 1927, the soprano Elisabeth Rethberg.
These three facsimiles are available via the links in the dates above, and as always on the ‘Get the programme‘ page.
In our search for programmes to present in facsimile, we previously found and uploaded the programme for the Berlin Staatskapelle concert of 3 April 1920, with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. That was the earliest one we had so far, but in this respect it is now just pipped at the post by one that you can open with a single click, presenting the concert of the previous day, Friday 2 April. According to the programme this was a special concert, and so it must have been, since apparently there was no time to produce a full booklet, the programme comprising just a single printed page.
So this becomes the first in our list, at least until another — perhaps from Lübeck or Mannheim — turns up to displace it.
Roger Smithson, a long-time member of the SWF, has translated the introductory notes to the programme facsimiles. It only remained to add these translations to the English version of our site, and this has now finally been completed for all of the programmes. We will do this consistently for future publications, such as that in mid-April when the Gewandhaus programmes will be put online.
Don’t forget that each of the programmes is linked to the concert concerned, but is also searchable from the Get the programme! page.