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Re: [furt-l] Furtwangler, The 1937/1938 Rings

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  • Stephen Morris
    While I know some of us are following the fiftieth anniversary with interest, I note that we don t actually have an anniversary concert performance until Mar
    Message 1 of 15 , Feb 1, 2004
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      While I know some of us are following the fiftieth anniversary with
      interest, I note that we don't actually have an anniversary concert
      performance until Mar 12, when Furtwaengler was in London doing Beethoven 4
      and 5, and no recording until the Caracas concerts on March 19 and 21,
      because F spent the first months of 1954 recovering from influenza. While
      no doubt I will listen to the Caracas concert, I have always thought it
      strange that F chose to fly to Caracas for two outdoor concerts with a
      lesser ensemble after having been so sick. Of course, I know from first
      hand testimony how much these concerts meant to those who attended, and, no
      doubt to the orchestra.
      One also recalls the exciting musical plans that Furtwangler had before
      him in 1955: not only the American tour, which would I suppose have been in
      familiar repertoire, though under exciting circumstances with great
      recording resources available, but a Bruckner Ninth and a Haydn 100 (I
      believe) in Vienna, as well as a planned production of Pfitzner's Palestrina
      for Salzburg that summer. I'm sure that Kempe, who took over the latter,
      was fine, and I would sure like to lay my hands on that complete
      performance. But Furtwaengler's way with that great masterpiece of late
      German romanticism would surely have been unique. Important also in that
      Furtwaengler's first conducting mentor- and mentor also to a certain Mr.
      Klemperer and Mr. Szell while he was GMD in Strasbourg- was none other than
      Hans Pfitzner. So a complete Palestrina at the end of F's life would have
      been quite a memorial.
      On April 2,4,5 and 6 this year I will also no doubt think of the BPO
      concert that escaped the tape recorder, including the Beethoven Second and
      Brahms first piano concerto with Then-Bergh. But of course, the glass is
      much more than half full, and we above all contemplate with infinite
      gratitude that so very much of Furtwaengler's art was preserved, and still
      seems such an inspiration today. Regards, Steve Morris
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Lee Schipper" <schipper@...>
      To: <furt-l@...>
      Sent: Sunday, January 25, 2004 10:37 PM
      Subject: Re: [furt-l] Furtwangler, The 1937/1938 Rings


      > Well, EF's tape of the Luzerne Berlioz sounds like AM sound taped in
      > someone's home, but who knows?
      >
      > Lee Schipper
      > Co Director, EMBARQ
      > World Resources Institute
      > 10 "G" St NE, Washington DC 20002
      > 1 202 729 7735
      > FAX 1 202 729 7798
      > fax 1 202 729 7798
      > http://www.embarq.wri.org/en
      > http://www.shellfoundation.org/transport
      >
      > >>> smorris4@... 01/25/04 8:01 PM >>>
      > Testament must have thought it was onto something when it released its
      > Furtwaengler Wagner disc a couple of years ago, because, if memory
      > serves,
      > the liner notes referred to the "likelihood" of more live Furtwaengler
      > Wagner appearing. I assumed they were misled as we all were by the
      > supposed
      > EMI matrix numbers. I always fantasized that the eight sides of
      > Siegfried
      > would turn out to be the last scene of the opera complete with Melchoir
      > and
      > Flagstad.
      > Lee raised a very good point about the sound quality and clean cuts
      > in
      > the1937 Ring. Because Flagstad's part is complete I assumed there was
      > method behind the selection, and the lengths of the known sections do
      > seem
      > to correspond to the matrix numbers
      > given in Tremine's discography. The great puzzle of course was, why did
      > HMV/ ever bother to record a virtually complete Rheingold- without
      > Flagstad-
      > and then cut back so drastically on the later, more popular operas? It
      > certainly suggests the possibility that more was taken, and only these
      > limited sides remained. But then, why would one lose or dump the more
      > popular works and keep the Rheingold? A similar puzzle is why earlier
      > Smidth
      > discographies reported that the 41 and 43 Viennese Tristans were
      > "complete"
      > I absolutely agree that the fiftieth anniversary would be the ideal
      > opportunity to get to the bottom of these mysteries. As to the idea of
      > the
      > crazed collector hoarding a unique treasure, one wouldn't want to
      > contemplate the psychology of such a person too closely, but I do wonder
      > what the fun would be of having something so rare but not letting OTHER
      > collectors know about it so they could feel envious? Actually, if
      > these
      > things still exist ( and we mustn't utterly give up hope) by now they're
      > surely gathering dust in some heir's basement.
      > I think the likeliest survivor, by the way, would be a private copy
      > of
      > one of the several BROADCAST performances by WF which are known: the
      > Luzern
      > Creation and the Scala Meistersinger for example, after invention of the
      > tape recorder, as happened with Jakob Staempli's off the air copy of
      > that
      > Luzern Schumann Fourth a few years back...
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: <ParsifalCSA@...>
      > To: <furt-l@...>
      > Sent: Sunday, January 25, 2004 10:09 AM
      > Subject: Re: [furt-l] Furtwangler, The 1937/1938 Rings
      >
      >
      > > I just went and checked my copy of Emmon's TRISTANISSIMO (pp.157-158)
      > where the story of the disappeared copies of an apparently complete 1937
      > CG
      > WALKURE and GOTTERDAMMERUNG are detailed, and what happened to those
      > copies. It appears that some of the original matrices may have been
      > melted
      > down after the war, but, according to Emmons (quoting Flagstad), several
      > test pressings of the Ring WERE made, with Melchior and Flagstad
      > receiving
      > individual copies. Emmons also states that the excerpts that showed up
      > on LP
      > (Eddie Smith's copies?) came "alledgely from the Earl of Harewood."
      > Flagstad
      > was not in the RHEINGOLD, so Flagstad doesn't discuss that. From
      > Rockenbauer, we also know that a portion of the SIEGFRIED (May 28,
      > 1937)--
      > ten discs-- was at one time in the HMV/EMI archives. So, we may be no
      > closer to the truth....just "educated" speculation...
      > >
      > > Boyd
      > >
      > > Boyd
      > >
      > > In a message dated 1/25/2004 11:03:22 AM Eastern Standard Time,
      > loeb123@... writes:
      > >
      > > >
      > > > Well if a set was given to Lord Harewood I think he would have said
      > > > something - or his son would have - very strange indeed.
      > > > Richard
      > >
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