The Radio Recordings 1939-1945 - Furtwängler

The Radio Recordings 1939-1945 - Furtwängler

Berliner Philharmoniker  ? (22 discs)

Mono Hybrid

Classical - Orchestral

Beethoven, Brahms, Bruckner, Furtwängler, Gluck, Handel, Mozart, Petting, Ravel, Schumann, F. Schubert, H. Schubert, Sibelius, Strauss, Wagner, Weber

Tibor de Machula, Pierre Fournier (cellos)
Fritz Heitmann (organ)
Edwin Fischer, Walter Gieseking, Conrad Hansen, Adrian Aeschbacher (pianos)
Georg Kulenkampff, Erich Röhn (violins)
Erna Berger, Tilla Briem (sopranos)
Elisabeth Höngen (contralto)
Peter Anders, Walter Ludwig (tenors)
Rudolf Watzke (bass)
Bruno Kittel Chor
Berliner Philharmoniker
Wilhelm Furtwängler (conductor)

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7 of 7 recommend this, would you recommend it?  yes | no

Analogue recording
Works (40)
Comments (12)

Comment by Ramesh Nair - February 9, 2019 (1 of 12)

I see one of this site's preferred vendors, Presto classical, has this already in stock through the Berliner Philharmoniker label # BPHR180181.
Even better, the booklet isn't in Japanese characters, but in German and/or English.

Comment by DYB - February 14, 2019 (2 of 12)

I purchased this from Japan. The Japanese edition contains the same English/German book. There is separate small booklet with Japanese translations. The Japanese OBI strip was placed over the original German packaging, extra materials placed and then covered with a second plastic wrap. So whether you order this from Japan or Europe, you will get the same box, but the Japanese edition has a few extra items like a few Furtwängler postcards, a calendar, the Japanese translation book and a DVD of some interviews with players of Berliner Philharmoniker.

I've been listening to selected items on and off for a couple of weeks and it is a spectacular set. The sound is by and large very clean. Some of it is just shockingly good for its age. The Russians seem to have kept the tapes in good condition and the German transfers and remasters are superb.

The presentation is what it is. I actually do not like these oversized boxes, but it will go well with other BPO sets if you have them. The book is definitely excellent; very informative with a lot of photos.

If you like Furtwängler - this is a must-own.

Comment by Longjohns and Wifebeaters - February 16, 2019 (3 of 12)

A YouTube trailer on this edition:

Comment by Athenaeus - April 10, 2019 (4 of 12)

The German edition is already sold out! But don't despair: they're re-manufacturing it and it should be available again next month. It seems it's selling well. Last week I managed to order what was probably one of the last German copies and I should soon receive it. If you can't wait for the German edition to be available again the Japanese release is still in stock (e.g. on the Tower Records website; make sure you read DYB's comment above about the Japanese edition).

I noticed someone posted a thorough disc-by-disc review of this set on the website of Potential buyers should check it out.

Comment by SACD-MAN (threerandot) - April 10, 2019 (5 of 12)

If they are reissuing this, I would personally prefer a much smaller package.

Comment by Athenaeus - April 11, 2019 (6 of 12)

The Berlin Philharmonic website still mentions the accompanying book and the photos remain the same. So they're surely re-manufacturing the same box-set.

Comment by DYB - April 14, 2019 (7 of 12)

I completely agree on the much smaller package! But alas, all of these Berliner Philharmoniker releases are gigantic deluxe boxes that I have absolutely no shelf space for. :(

Comment by SACD-MAN (threerandot) - June 20, 2019 (8 of 12)

No reviews for this as of yet. I decided to order this from Presto after all. I am anxious to hear these recordings and explore the book. Will put the discs in separate cases. I may even do an unboxing video for youtube. This is getting positive feedback and cant wait.

Comment by ubertrout - September 18, 2019 (9 of 12)

Any plans to list the orchestra's boxset which they're selling directly? Seems more widespread. UPC is 4260306181810

Comment by Joseph Ponessa - August 20, 2020 (10 of 12)

I had the Dreamlife Classics SACD release of the 1942 Beethoven's Ninth before I got the big box. So I compared that transfer, mastered from vinyl belonging to Shuichiro Kawai, to the one in the box set. The Dreamlife was far superior, so I ordered the other five discs in the Dreamlife Furtwangler series and have heard them all with great pleasure. I consider them an indispensable supplement to the box, which is admirable for its completeness, but unfortunately sounding scrubbed and sterilized. I am clinging to it, and grateful to have it, but must say that better should be possible.

Comment by Athenaeus - December 11, 2020 (11 of 12)

I finally finished listening to this box-set. I was surprised how good it was. Furtwängler wasn't always in top form but when he was, he was stunning! I particularly enjoyed the Bruckner, a lot of the Beethoven and the Schumann cello concerto. In most cases, the sound is surprisingly good considering the age of the recordings and their "travels" across Europe. The book that's included with the set contains a fascinating essay by Richard Taruskin; it really illuminates Furtwängler's style and enhances one's appreciation of his recorded legacy.

This set seems to be sold out in most countries but I see it's still available in Japan. Anyone who's interested but hasn't had a chance to buy it yet should snap it up while they still can.

Comment by Athenaeus - January 25, 2021 (12 of 12)

So folks, I hope you purchased this Furtwängler box set while it was still available because the music critic David Hurwitz has discovered a new function for it (other than musical enjoyment, that is). You must check out this video on his Youtube channel: