Beethoven
1167


Beethoven Symphony No. 1 in C Major Op. 21
Beethoven Symphony No. 3 in Eb Major Op. 55


Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra - November 29 & 30, 1952
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The Eroica with the Vienna Philharmonic has always been my favorite version of the work. This performance from 1952 is certainly not as exciting, but it is beautifully played and recorded. This concert was given immediately after both symphonies were recorded for EMI, so the works were well rehearsed. And they have the added quality of being a live recording. There are two more live recordings of the Eroica in Berlin a week later, so Furtwängler was really into the work. The three versions are completely different. The Berlin performances were more muscular as is usually the case with Berlin Philharmonic concerts, but this Vienna performance wonderfully expressive with great phrasing. It is great to have them all.

The First Symphony was not played in Berlin, but we have this great recording from Vienna. Many consider this the finest of the Furtwängler recordings of this work. And the sound is as good as it gets in 1952.