Wilhelm Furtwängler – The Decca Recordings Wilhelm Furtwängler – The Decca Recordings

Wilhelm Furtwängler – The Decca Recordings
Wilhelm Furtwängler
Decca Eloquence
Catalogue No.

CD 1

1 Coriolan Overture, Op. 62
Wiener Philharmoniker

 JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833–1897)
2-5 Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73
London Philharmonic Orchestra

CD 2

1-4 Symphony No. 1 in B flat major, Op. 38 ‘Spring’

 CÉSAR FRANCK (1822–1890)
5-7 Symphony in D minor

CD 3

ANTON BRUCKNER (1824–1896)
1-4 Symphony No. 4 in E flat major ‘Romantic’
Wiener Philharmoniker



Recording information

Recording Producer: unknown (Beethoven, Schumann, Bruckner); Victor Olof (Brahms, Franck)
Balance Engineers: unknown (Beethoven, Schumann, Bruckner); Kenneth Wilkinson (Brahms); Cyril Windebank (Franck)
Recording Locations: Kingsway Hall, London, United Kingdom, 20, 22, 24 & 25 March 1948 (Brahms); Kongreβhalle, Deutsches Museum, Munich, Germany, 29 October 1951 (Beethoven, Schumann, Bruckner); Grosser Saal, Musikverein, Vienna, Austria, 14–15 December 1953 (Franck)
Original Decca LP Releases: ECM 684 (Beethoven, Schumann): March 1973; LXT 2586 (Brahms): June 1951; LXT 2905 (Franck): March 1954; ECM 685 (Bruckner): March 1973


‘Meditation, philosophy, the interior life, a quieter tonal fire and a milder, smaller flame than we sometimes feel – these are the qualities in the performance and recording which can best be felt and enjoyed.’ Gramophone, January 1952 (Brahms)

‘A stately ceremonial whose jubilation is massive and startling in the Furtwängler conception of a symphony we consider light in a more customary presentation.’ High Fidelity, Summer 1952 (Brahms)

‘Furtwängler lives, obviously, in a different time-scale from the rest of us … Technically faultless, this disc has depth, clarity and brilliance over and above that of the competing versions … listeners whose time-scale coincides with Furtwängler’s will certainly prefer it to any other.’ Gramophone, April 1954 (Franck)

‘The second movement is well-paced, and is clearly and tastefully interpreted … praise is due the orchestra for some splendid playing, which the engineers have captured with splendid fidelity and spaciousness.’ High Fidelity, August 1954 (Franck)

‘A tremendous performance of the Coriolan – one of the greatest that even Furtwangler can have given … His way [with Schumann’s First] was to bring all the power and intensity to bear on the music that he brought to bear on Beethoven … a performance of this stature makes us think about Schumann all over again.’ Gramophone, March 1973

‘From the Scherzo through the finale, there is a sensation of moving forward and reaching out, of being vividly propelled towards the Symphony’s final, blazing pages … no doubt of Furtwängler’s profound and individual insights into this score.’ John Ardoin, The Furtwängler Record (Bruckner)

‘The First is particularly revelatory, for Furtwängler casts it in a more vivid and Brahmsian mould than usual.’ John Ardoin, The Furtwängler Record (Schumann)

‘An orchestrally fallible performance that nonetheless moves, glows and exults.’ Gramophone, December 2019 (Brahms)