“The King of the Indiscreet”

A quick glance at the cover of this programme reveals only "Concertgebouw" in large letters printed across the top. A closer look reveals that this is not one of Furtwängler's rare concerts with this orchestra, but a performance on tour by the Berlin Philharmonic. And looking even more closely, this is no longer Amsterdam, but The Hague...

There's nothing unusual about this all-Beethoven line-up.

But this evening of February 8, 1932, and others around it, deserve our attention for a very special reason. Furtwängler and his orchestra are accompanied by an unusual guest, photographer Erich Salomon — who disappeared in 1944 in the Theresin camp — the man who was once called "the King of the Indiscreet", so successful was he in capturing politicians and artists at a glance with his little Leica.

He was close enough to Furtwängler for the latter to allow him to take snapshots during his breakfast in Potsdam! In any case, the result is a unique and remarkable report on Furtwängler and his 1932 tour, and in particular on his stopover in The Hague: an impressive number of shots, of which here is an example, taken during the "Sitzprobe".

25 January 2024

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