SCHUBERT: Symphony No. 8 (first movement) & Symphony No. 9; STRAUSS, JR.: Emperor Waltz (fragment) (Konserthus,12 May 1943); HAYDN: Symphony No. 94, STRAUSS: Don Juan & BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 5 (Konserthus, 25 Sept. 1950), all with VPO. UPC #0-17685-48022-5
Furtwängler’s wartime visits to Sweden were of special significance, because of the neutral status of Sweden during the war. Furtwängler seized the opportunity to do two things that were forbidden in the Third Rech: meet with his Jewish colleagues who stayed in Sweden during the war, such as Issai Dobrowen, and listen to records (usually on 78s) of western artists banned in Germany. The wartime visits to Sweden also held important artistic significance. They were Furtwängler’s only true political and cultural breathing spells during the war. Since he refused to conduct in occupied countries (except for a concert with VPO in Copenhagen in 1943), his choices for foreign musical visits were limited. The lack of hostilities in Sweden must be noticeable to any listener comparing the Stockholm Don Juan on this CD with the BPO performance from 1942, or the Schubert Ninth from the 1942 Berlin Philharmonic with the VPO performance given herein. In each case, the performance given in Sweden is more relaxed and deliberate than its feverish and anguished Berlin counterpart.
Disc 1 Sound Clips (MP3):
Disc 2 Sound Clips (MP3):