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Wilhelm Furtwängler (1886–1954), along with Arturo Toscanini, were unquestionably the two dominant conductors of classical music in the 20th century.
Furtwängler always regarded Beethoven’s ‘Choral’ Symphony as a near-religious work and the performances he gave were always special occasions.
This release is important because it has never been released before outside Japan and came about because Furtwängler, having scheduled a number of performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No.9 in January 1953, fell ill during the first concert, which was abandoned. The concerts were then re-scheduled for the end of May with an extra performance thrown in for those who were at the uncompleted one.
This took place on May 30 but is often confused with the final concert which took place a day later, on May 31, and which has been released on a number of labels.
The original sound of the May 30 concert is superior to that of the performance of May 31 and has been enhanced with Ambient Mastering.
Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125, "Choral"
I. Allegro ma non troppo, un poco maestoso
II. Molto vivace
III. Adagio molto e cantabile - Andante moderato
IV. Finale: Presto - Allegro assai
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