The Blüthner enigma solved

In the news article of February 22, we raised an enigma: did Furtwängler perform in Berlin as early as 1915, long before he performed with the Philharmonic?

Investigations brought results: yes, Furtwängler did conduct the Blüthner Orchester in 1915. It was on March 19, in the Blüthnersaal photo below, for a charity concert to support survivors of the Navy.

Performing with him were Joachim's pupil, violinist Waldemar Meyer (1853-1940), Austrian soprano Hedwig Francillo-Kauffmann (1879-1948) and baritone Sydney Biden (1873-1957).

The programme (compiled from articles):
– Gluck: Overture for Alceste,
– Beethoven: Leonore III Overture
– Strauss: Tod und Verklärung
– Mendelssohn: Concerto for violin (W. Meyer)
– with Hedwig Francillo-Kauffmann:
   - Haendel: Aria with flute, from L'Allegro, il Pensieroso ed il Moderato,
   - Verdi: Aria from Traviata and/or Meyerbeer: "Ombre légère" from Dinorah
– with Sydney Binen: Beethoven: "An die Hoffnung" (orch. Mottl)

8 March 2024

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