Beethoven by Furtwängler






Guide of Beethoven's symphonies conducted by Furtwängler

The Symphony n°5

The Symphony n°9





Guide on symphonies conducted by Furtwängler


Beethoven was among Furtwängler's favourite composers.

11 recordings of the 5th Symphony, 10 of the 9th, one needs some help when looking for the best Furtwängler's recordings on Beethoven's works. This study has been released in 1987 by the Wilhelm Furtwängler Society UK.

Furtwängler conducts Beethoven, part 1-2, by Benoit Lejay, 1986 (PDF file, 10 pages, 1,5 Mo)

Furtwängler conducts Beethoven, part 3-4, by Benoit Lejay, 1986 (PDF file, 9 pages, 1,4 Mo)


3rd Symphony - Considering the importance of the 3rd Symphony, Benoit Lejay has written an additional study with comparative table on 8 recordings. This study has been released in 1995 by the Wilhelm Furtwängler Society UK. Eric Grunin's website on the 3rd Symphony allows us to compare Furtwängler's interpretation with all the recordings which have been made of this work. You can see for instance that Furtwängler, followed only by Mengelberg, is quite extreme compared to his colleagues in the way he varies the tempo within a performance.

Furtwängler and the Eroïca, by Benoit Lejay, 1994 (PDF file, 4 pages, 0,6 Mo)

Furtwängler's variations of tempo within a performance, compared to other recordings (Eric Grunin's website)


CD SWF 892 (1989)


4th Symphony - Furtwängler always fought the prejudice according which Beethoven's even number symphonies were less achieved than odd numbers. So much so that he recorded 3 times the 4th Symphony in studio, in addition to two live recordings. The release of CD SWF 892, featuring the last (live) recording of this symphony by Furtwängler, was the perfect opportunity for Benoit Lejay to conduct a comparative study on these 3 versions.

Bilingual booklet of CD SWF 892 is available to members (PDF File, 11 pages, 1,9 Mo)



Beethoven's Symphony n°5

conducted by Furtwängler in 1937, 1943 and 1954





An analysis by Sami Habra


Sami Habra has selected three of the best recordings of the Fifth Symphony by Furtwängler conducting the Berlin Philharmonic in 1937, 1943 and 1954. There is no better introduction to the art of conducting than listening to music excerpts carefully chosen and commented.


Discover, in music, Beethoven's 5th Symphony by Furtwängler...



Beethoven's Symphony n°9

conducted by Furtwängler in 1942, 1951 and 1954




An analysis by Sami Habra


Sami Habra has selected three of the best recordings of the Ninth Symphony by Furtwängler conducting with various orchestras in 1942, 1951 and 1954.


Discover, in music, Beethoven's 9th Symphony by Furtwängler...







The composer | The Man - | The conductor