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. 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