SWF D03: the ‘German Requiem’ of Stockholm

We announced it more than a month ago; today is the day we offer on our site, to be downloaded by our members, a monument in Furtwängler’s discography: Brahms’ German Requiem, as recorded by Swedish Radio on 19 November 1948.

At last restored to high definition, with an exceptional dynamic and a clarity of sound that enables all the details to be heard, here is a performance imbued with truly elegiac depth. The press reports, translations of which are reproduced in the booklet, insist on the serene wisdom that emerges from Furtwängler’s reading. To be sure, he does not back away from the spectacular character of certain passages (in the second and sixth movements notably), yet this immense funeral cantata takes on its veritable dimension in the ‘soft’ passages, such as the intermediate movements. And as for the last movement, it is a door open onto a beyond that becomes a reconciliation with death.

We emphasise the unique aspect of this production, not just because of the high definition but no less for the unparalleled editorial scope: the facsimile of the programme and a very copious and extensively documented booklet, for which we once more thank our Swedish friends.

19 October 2018

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