The SWF continues its work of making available, through downloads, of sound documents of the highest importance.
After various releases — above all of the Deutsches Requiem of Stockholm (SWF D03) — this autumn will see the online availability of a new document: the Schubert concert, given by the Vienna Philharmonic in Stockholm in 1943.
The SWF had published this in vinyl, then in CD. Satisfaction, however, had not been total: the musical value of the performances was not in question, but the technical result, yes. Times have changed: the edition we shall offer you is based on the original source, that of Swedish Radio, with which the relationship established on the occasion of the Deutsches Requiem is producing great results.
As for the Requiem, it is Christophe Hénault (Art et Son) who has been entrusted with the transfer and work on the sound. In fact the quality of the document is exceptional for its time — a magnetic recording later transferred to LPs for archiving. To be true, it is not free of a slight background noise, nor of clicks that will be eliminated, yet the scope of the sound spectrum and the dynamics do justice to the performance.
We have the whole of the 9th Symphony, the first movement of the Unfinished, as well as the first few minutes of the Emperor Waltz, which was given as a encore. The rest has not been preserved, notably the Overture to Rosamunde that began the programme.
One reaction is self-evident: Furtwängler, in this haven of peace represented by then neutral Sweden, showed himself to be relaxed, far removed from the nervousness, the rage even, that marked a number of his concerts in Berlin or Vienna at that time.