The Furtwangler thing

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It can simply move you...

I guess, Tagalie, it is easier for Mozart's 40th to move an illiterate African than to "help get those blueberry stains out of the tablecloth". The concerts were prepared and organised by local people already interested to form Chamber Orchestra or groups (Trios, Quartets etc.) in countries in Central and West Africa at my years there (before my time here in Far-East). Beyond the local concerts, I helped them to organise Chamber Concerts with invited soloists I know. So, beyond Mozart's 40th, they were moved, interested, get excited with works by Beethoven, Schubert, Franck (the Violin Sonata), Tchaikovsky, Piazzolla as well as Mozart's Chamber works (Violin Sonata K.304 as well as the Piano Quartet in E-flat) plus some more.

As you said, it can always be often "hilarious" to read these "claims" but it is also "interesting" to note it. 

Parla

The Furtwangler Thing

Either this thread discusses Furtwangler or it uses him as an excuse to discuss the nature of musical communication.   I'm not sure which.  But this, after all, was a man whose very downbeat was obscure - deliberately so, since he hoped the orchestra would begin playing together without a formal cue from him, or so he said.  Hans Keller is on record as believing that - in this most egostistical of professions - he was totally without self-importance, simply placing the music first.   He certainly worked within a tradition which nowadays doesn't get much sympathy and is often misrepresented by Toscaniniphiles, for whatever reason.   If I had to suggest a short recording which gives some idea of him, it would have to be a concert performance of Beethoven's overture to Coriolan he gave at roughly what can now be seen as the crux of World War II for Germany, the summer of 1943, which can be accessed on Youtube and probably elsewhere, and is echoed in a postwar performance with the Vienna Philharmonic, of Beethoven's Coriolan overture.   For a langer and not unrelated example, the final Act of the Scala Gotterdammerung (admittedly best heard in context) which sustains enormous tensions and says a great deal about the twentieth century.   He had a profound sense of the past (he was the son of an archaeologist), which goes far beyond the 'historically informed'  and of place.  Of course it was, like everyone else's, a profoundly personal past, but an honest one, at a time and in a place where truthful pasts were very hard to come by. As for the Mozart G minor symphony, it was Keller again who found in Furtwangler's performance of it a model of classical grace which justified Schumann's decription of the work.  

Peter Street

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