Wil­helm FurtWän­gler

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Ro­man­tic Po­ems (Praga Dig­i­tals 350 148) Recorded 1949–1954, these sym­phonic po­ems and ‘in­ci­den­tal’ pieces re­flect Furtwän­gler’s com­mit­ment to the Ro­man­tic sen­si­bil­ity. In­cluded are Les Pre­ludes (Liszt); Siegfried Idyll (Wag­ner); Vari­a­tions on a Theme of Haydn (Brahms); The Moldau (Smetana); Waltz and Fi­nale from Ser­e­nade for Strings in C Ma­jor, Op. 48 (Tchaikovsky) and Pizzi­cato-Polka (Strauss). Furt­wan­gler’s nat­u­ral affin­ity for the mu­sic has each of the suc­ces­sive melodic pe­ri­ods flow into each other in an aura of be­guil­ing rap­ture. In the Vari­a­tions Brahms cre­ates eight vari­ants which Furtwän­gler in­fuses with a solemn grandeur. In Moldau the sheer (tragic) warmth of the Vi­enna Phil­har­monic strings im­me­di­ately cap­tures our in­ter­est, not to men­tion the al­lure of the moon­lit, night-mu­sic scene in wood­wind, brass, and string Tech­ni­colour be­fore the cas­cades hurl us to­ward Prague, res­o­nant with splen­dour. Gary Lemco

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