The Furtwänglerian art of conducting - 1944




The Furtwänglerian art of conducting: a panorama





Bruckner, Symphony n°9



by Felix Matus-Echaiz





                        Symphony n°9

                Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

                   7.X.1944, Beethovensaal, Berlin


            "Magnetofonkonzert", balance Friedrich Schnapp

                            CD SWF 041



 I. Feierlich, Misterioso
 6'43 - 7'15

This excerpt shows how, while leading the orchestra to the edge of a "break", Furtwängler prepares the beginning of a new section. The orchestra seems to "dilute" itself, but tension increases to the extreme before relaxing when the new theme starts.


  II. Scherzo: Bewegt, lebhaft - Trio : Schnell
0’0- 0’30

One of the striking features of Furtwängler genius is his capacity of giving a double expression to the orchestra. In this sample, cords playing pizzicato make music go forward, while clarinets, despite owning the main theme in this opening, go backward.


  III. Adagio : Langsam, feierlich

The way Furtwängler conducts the slow and peaceful violins going downward is a perfect example of an artistry without equivalent. We find again the capacity of duality highlighted above: while giving a sense of suspended musical flow, the music does move forward..

  (c) 2004    





The composer | The Man - | The conductor