In mid-September a new album will be available for download:
Furtwängler and the Stockholm Philharmonic – 1942-1943
It features what has been preserved of the concerts given by the Stockholms Konsertförenings orkester — the future Royal Stockholm Philharmonic:
– 25 November 1942: Strauss's Don Juan; Prelude and Isolde's death from Wagner's Tristan;
– 8 December 1943: Beethoven's 9th Symphony.
Although Don Juan is not entirely 'mature', Prelude and Isolde's Death, from Wagner's Tristan, are infused with passion. But above all Beethoven's 9th catches the attention. Far from the somewhat frenetic dramatisation of Berlin, it sounds serene, unfolding with simplicity as if the musicians were discovering the work. The orchestra is flawless, the soloists rare in their subtlety, and the choirs have never been so 'readable'. Do not compare this performance with those of Berlin, Bayreuth or Lucerne. This is a different world.
The value of this reissue also lies in the work carried out by Christophe Hénault to ensure that these documents are released in the best possible conditions. We managed to obtain high-definition files from Swedish Radio. The restoration work focused mainly on removing the background noise. It should be remembered that these recordings were originally made on steel tape ("Blattnerphone") or magnetic tape, then, for financial reasons, transferred to 33 rpm 40 cm discs. It was only in the mid-1960s that these records were transferred back to magnetic tape, which has now been digitised.
Nils-Göran Olve and Göran Södervall, who previously documented the Deutsches Requiem published a few years ago, have written a highly documented text that reviews Furtwängler's appearances between 1940 and 1943, and provides us with little-known information.
This product (almost the equivalent of a CD and a half) will be available at a price of €13. As before, in addition to the booklets, the audio files will be available in both high definition and CD quality. In addition, you will be able to print the covers and inlay cards of the CDs (two boxes required), if you wish to burn them.