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Volume 1 of this new Naxos edition of Wilhelm Furtwängler’s pre-1940s recordings includes an account of J.S. Bach’s third Brandenburg Concerto that is lightyears away from the ‘historically informed’ norm of today, yet eloquent, deeply-felt and with a real sense of light and shade.
The two Mozart opera overtures are typically dramatic and intense, while in the ever-popular Eine kleine Nachtmusik Furtwängler caresses the melodies, allowing rhythms to stand proud and making effective use of dynamic contrasts.
The Overture to Schubert’s Rosamunde is especially weighty in Furtwängler’s hands, while the B flat Entr’acte is tender and warmly expressed, and the G major Ballet Music puckish and witty.
Johann Sebastian Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G major, BWV 1048
Johann Sebastian Bach: Overture (Suite) No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068
Overture (Suite) No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068: II. Air, "Air on a G String"
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), K. 492
Le nozze di Figaro, K. 492, Act I: Overture
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail (Abduction from the Seraglio), K. 384
Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail, K. 384, Act I: Overture
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Serenade No. 13 in G major, K. 525, "Eine kleine Nachtmusik"
II. Romanze: Andante
III. Minuet: Allegro - Trio
IV. Rondo: Allegro
Franz Schubert: Rosamunde, D. 797
I. Overture (Die Zauberharfe, D. 644)
V. Entr'acte No. 3 in B flat major
IX. Ballet No. 2 in G major
“Furtwängler's Bach may occasion some strokes, but his Mozart and Schubert, recorded in 1929-37, sing and dance with irresistible élan, and the playing of the Berlin Philharmonic is gorgeous.”
“Furtwängler plays with a fine mixture of virility and grace….A particular delight [and] thoroughly enjoyable reissue.”
“…a fine performance, utterly characteristic in its power and malleability, and essential listening for anyone interested in this supremely great conductor.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.