RECENT: Defining Our Field - what is 'classical music' to us, why are we involved and what can we learn from our differences? Read John Dante Prevedini's essay, watch the panel discussion and make your own comments.
One of the 20th century's most authoritative conductors, Wilhelm Furtwängler, was born in Berlin on 25 January 1886, and died in Baden-Baden on 30 November 1954. He had association with Europe's finest orchestras: Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra from 1922, the Berlin Philharmonic also from 1922, Vienna Philharmonic from 1924, and the New York Philharmonic from 1936, although this coincided with censure for pro-Nazi activities from which he was later exonerated. Opera likewise attracted his interest: Bayreuth from 1931, Covent Garden from 1935, and also La Scala and the Salzburg Festival. As a composer he left two symphonies alongside other orchestral pieces and chamber music.
CD Spotlight. Sensitively Passionate - Furtwängler's First Symphony, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... minutely detailed and highly expressive ...'
CD Spotlight. Precious Testimony - Historic Bruckner, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... Furtwängler transforms the music into a cosmic glow that lightens the very depths of one's spirit.'
CD Spotlight. Sterling Playing - Wendy Warner's interpretations of Popper and Piatigorsky, heard by Howard Smith. '... sovereign music-making deserving of the highest accolades.'
CD Spotlight. Highly Challenging - Music for unaccompanied violin, heard by Howard Smith. '... searching performance ...'
CD Spotlight. Sensuality and Freedom - Stokowski conducts Schubert and Dvorák, heard by Béla Hartmann. '... one is never left in any doubt as to the force of the conductor ...'
Profile. The Hungarian Nightingale - A meeting with Gisela Doráti, better known as 'Gizi', by Bill Newman