The Lucerne Festival Orchestra recordings:

Beethoven Leonore Overture No. 3 - 1947
Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 1 (Aeschbacher)- 1947
Beethoven Violin Concerto (Menuhin) - 1947
Beethoven Symphony No. 3 - 1953

Brahms Symphony No. 1 - 1947
Brahms Violin Concerto (Menuhin) - 1949
Brahms Double Cto. (Schneiderhan/Mainardi) - 1949

Schumann Manfred Overture - 1953
Schumann Symphony No. 4 - 1953

Wagner Lohengrin Prelude - 1949

Bonus: Berlioz The Damnation of Faust - 1950

Adrian Aeschbacher
Yehudi Menuhin
Wolfgang Schneiderhan & Enrico Mainardi
Bonus: Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Hans Hotter, Frans Vroons, Alois Pernerstorfer

Lucerne Festival Orchestra 1947-53

1182: The live recordings in Lucerne have uneven sound, ranging from poor to very good. However, the performances are magnificent, especially the Leonore and the Brahms Symphony. Furtwängler was just coming back from the denazification trials in 1947 and he was in good form. These performances are also interesting because the orchestra has strong French influence. They still respond powerfully to his conducting and the changing tempos reasonably well. A very interesting document and the only recording of Furtwängler conducting Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto.

1183: The two Violin Concertos are “studio” recordings, the Beethoven from the 1947 Festival. The Beethoven was the first collaboration of Furtwängler with Menuhin, who had been a staunch supporter of Furtwängler after the war. It is a very expressive performance for both the soloist and the orchestra. The Lohengrin Prelude is a “studio” recording but it was never published. It is hard to understand why, since it is a terrific performance.

1184: The Brahms Violin Concerto is also a “studio” recording from the 1949 Festivaland also a very fine performance. The Double Concerto was a live performance from the same 1949 Festival, recorded from a radio broadcast. There are a few bad patches of sound and five very short segments were edited using the 1952 recording. On the other hand, this performance is superior to that later one. The soloists are better and in general the performance is more expressive and flows better. It is well worth having.

1185: This a complete concert from August 26, 1953 in Lucerne. Although the recording has basically good sound, it does have some annoying high frequencies that make it problematic in a few places. I have tried to make it as controlled as possible. The main interest here is the Schumann 4th Symphony. There only one other recording of this work by Furtwängler and a great one it is. It is a “studio” recording about three months prior to this concert. So it is interesting to hear a live version, and a great one it also is. The Manfred Overture is also very good. The Eroica is not as good as other live recording in my opinion. It is good in the sense that no Eroica by Furtwängler could be a bad interpretation. It tends to be slower than most and never really catches fire.

We encourage you to also browse through the rest of our collection, including recordings from the creator of this website and remasters Eduardo Chibás, the renowned pianist Artur Schnabel and other historical directors