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08-11-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
dazzdax
Netherlands
Posts 32
Joined on 10-22-2005

Post #: 1
Post ID: 4997
Reply to: 4997
Beethoven IX and Fürtwängler
The recording of Beethoven IX with Fürtwängler is cosidered by many as the non plus ultra among the interpretations. The recording is bold and very impressive indeed, but the interpretation is of course outdated and is one of a required taste. Fürtwängler treated this symphony as if it is a form of meditation, a religious experience. Although I must admit that this almost "religious" experience can be felt, this could never be the approach Beethoven had intended.
It is also strange that such a piece like the Beethoven IX with it's "humanistic" content (Schiller's text) could get the approvement from the Nazi's. Maybe the Nazi's had altered the chorus text somewhat. Es musst sein:

Ode an die Freude

Freude, schöner Götterfunken,
Tochter aus Elysium,
Wir betreten feuertrunken,
Himmlische, dein Heiligtum!
Deine Zauber binden wieder,
Was die Mode streng geteilt;
Nur die Deutscher sind unsere Brüder,
Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.

Chris
08-11-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 2
Post ID: 5000
Reply to: 4997
Perception is Reality

 dazzdax wrote:
The recording of Beethoven IX with Fürtwängler is cosidered by many as the non plus ultra among the interpretations. The recording is bold and very impressive indeed, but the interpretation is of course outdated and is one of a required taste. Fürtwängler treated this symphony as if it is a form of meditation, a religious experience. Although I must admit that this almost "religious" experience can be felt, this could never be the approach Beethoven had intended.

I would very much disagree that 1942 interpretation is in any ways outdated, in fact from a certain perspective it has no time references. I do not see in Furtwangler any religious “experience” in fact quite opposite, perhaps that I so like it. Regarding the Beethoven’s intentions, that would be more complicated. I do not value music in a way “how composer intended”, and I hardly look at music this way. Knowing the history of the 9th I would agree that the Furtwangler 1942 was not something that Beethoven have in his mind but the Beethoven’s wish does not affect anything...


 dazzdax wrote:
It is also strange that such a piece like the Beethoven IX with it's "humanistic" content (Schiller's text) could get the approvement from the Nazi's. Maybe the Nazi's had altered the chorus text somewhat.

And why do you think that Nazi did not feel that they had the best humanistic intentions? The Nazism is sold to mostly gullible public in severally corrupted, demonized and simplistically-primitive way. Many governments, and parties of interests cash out the publicity about the “evil Nazi people”, failing to knowledge that the most horrible things that represent is winning the world, led by the most vocal “profitable” Nazism opponents…  Anyhow, I do not see any contradiction between Naziis and “Ode to Joy”…The Ode is juts a literature and the perception is Reality.

BTW, many of you might be surpassed but if I know anything about Sound and the nature of Audio Methods then I have to admit that I have learned from that “Magnetophone” recording much more ABOUT AUDIO then anyone could imagine. It might be the subject of a separate audio thread….

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
09-16-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,145
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 3
Post ID: 5315
Reply to: 5000
Holy Crap! (Music and Arts transfer)
Well, bringing up the rear guard, I finally got a copy of the Music and Arts CD transfer of the 1942 concert, and what a performance!!!  It might take re-reading for me to sync the liner notes/review with what I heard, which did not need a contemporaneous historical context, as far as I am concerned.  The critic apparently heard tons of anger.  What I heard is amazingly disciplined ensemble work, with Furtwangler in control right out of the gate, unlike typical "power" conductor sessions, when the orchestra often takes a while to settle down and settle in.  I love the parts where each ensemble comes up as it voices a theme, with such interesting tone from the woodwinds, almost more like Tchaikovsky than the average Beethoven reading.  Yes, this is a very strong, "fierce" performance, but it is also incredibly nuanced, if writ large, which definitely keeps this one out of the bombast catagory.  And as forceful as it is at times, it is always under control, with a sense of almost limitless reserves, despite the limits of the recording.  It's almost as though Furtwangler had the musicians hypnotized, like the magician's lady from the audience who rigidly spans the space between two chairs and then wakes up and whistles like a canary.  Uncanny.

I appreciate that this performance is not just a matter of lyrics and dynamics, as we too often hear from Beethoven 9.  Furtwangler really reaches deep into this work to keep the hair literally standing up on my arms!  His phrases just come alive, so rich with tone, and each with its own sort of internal propulsion, vibrant in the "living and breathing" sense.  The players are each and every one alive, and they are all definitely playing and creating the same work, which is both immanent and extent simultaneously.

As for the recording, I think it is pretty stupendous, really.  Yes, there are the predictable level problems, and most audiophiles will compare it unfavorably to "Casino Royal"; but this transfer certainly captures and delivers the performance, unlike any other rendition of this session I have heard.  How good would it have been if they could have just left the omni alone through the whole thing!?!

I couldn't be more pleased, to have now a 9th I can return to with eager anticipation.

Bravo!

Do I gush?  Hear for yourself.

Best regards,
Paul S
Page 1 of 1 (3 items) Select Pages: 
   Target    Threads for related reading   Most recent post in related threads   Forum  Replies   Views   Started 
  »  New  Ludwig van Beethoven "9 Symphonien"..  Rudolph Kempe with Munich Philharmonic!!!...  Musical Discussions  Forum     22  114679  03-17-2005
  »  New  Bruckner Ninth and the War...  The lovable Romy...  Musical Discussions  Forum     20  60703  04-07-2006
  »  New  The “Inverted High End Audio” ™..  God is in the Nuances...  Playback Listening  Forum     30  143513  10-08-2006
  »  New  Furtwangler War Years Recording..  It was not me stepping on my Cat — it was Heifetz......  Musical Discussions  Forum     5  31600  02-14-2007
  »  New  Ode to joy..  The angels must have smiled down upon them......  Musical Discussions  Forum     1  15498  08-23-2009
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