Händel Concerto Grosso in D Minor Op. 6 No. 10
Gluck Alceste Overture
Mozart Symphony No. 39 in Eb K 543
Weber Freischütz Overture

Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra - 1942 (Gluck) and 1944

Although these composers represent unusual repertory for Furtwängler, these are works that he performed with regularity. They are all wonderfully etched characterizations, and, needless to say, very different from what is done these days in this kind of music. These performances will surprise and perhaps scandalize those not acquainted with Furtwängler's style. The original sound was very good in all of these recordings except the Mozart.

This is certainly not the Mozart we are accustomed to hearing these days. Like Furtwängler's Brahms, his Mozart is seen through the eyes of Beethoven. Here is an excellent example, like the post-war 40th, of how moving it can be. Has the introduction ever sounded so dramatic while retaining its grandness? Has the second movement ever sounded so expressive without losing its virility? This was a very difficult recording to make listenable. The microphone seems to have been placed inside the tympani. The aggressive, edgy sound of the violins also had to be mellowed. However, with a great deal of work, I think we can now not only admire, but actually enjoy, this marvelous performance.

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