Brahms Symphony No. 3 in F Major Op. 90
Brahms Symphony No. 4 in E Minor Op. 98
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Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra - 1949 (Op. 90) and 1948 (Op. 98)

As mentioned in my text of CD 1112, Furtw?ngler's Brahms may not be for everyone. It is much more dramatic and heroic than what we usually hear. However, it is very much to my liking. The 3rd Symphony included in this CD has wonderful sound, surprising for a live recording of this date. I know some people who prefer the 1954 interpretation. That one is a very good recording, but I find this one more visceral and wilder, especially in the last movement. The crescendo of the trombones at 1:04 of the last movement is stunning, and I can say that I have never heard this last movement so strongly conducted.

After the beautiful sound of the 3rd, the 4th may be disappointing. Certainly the sound is not as clean and balanced as the previous symphony, perhaps because the recording is a year older. In the end, I was surprised at how well it sounded, considering the dry, shrill sound at the beginning. But the interpretation should not be at all disappointing. Furtwängler had a way with the 4th. His sense of structure is infallible here, and the work develops inexorably to a magnificent finale.

The total length is very near the limit of tolerance for a CD. If you have any problems, I suggest that you burn a CD for each symphony.

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