The Vienna Philharmonic is one of the world's leading recording orchestras. Ever since its very first recording of Beethoven's 6th Symphony under Franz Schalk in 1928, work in the studio has taken up a considerable part of its "free time", which is, on account of its duties at the Vienna State Opera, in any case very limited. There are not many major 20th-century conductors, many important works of the operatic and concert repertory, or indeed many important labels that do not figure in its large and comprehensive disco-graphy.
In his final performances with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra in August 2013, Claudio Abbado conducted Anton Bruckner's unfinished Symphony No. 9 in D minor, and this recording is drawn from the best takes from those concerts. Considering that this rendition came near the end of Abbado's life and stands as a worthy testament to his achievements, it's easy to read too much into the interpretation, and to view it as a mystical or transcendent reading because of the circumstances. On the one hand, Abbado's understanding of this symphony was as thorough as any conductor's, and the Lucerne musicians played with seriousness and dedication, offering a version that has impressive power and expressive depth. On the other hand, there are many competitive recordings that either match Abbado's for strength and feeling, or surpass it in purely technical terms of sound quality and reproduction. Certainly the sound is exceptional, according to Deutsche Grammophon's high standards, and this stereo recording is exceptionally clean and noise-free.
This DVD is a fascinating document of a great conductor and orchestra playing two of the most underrated of Shostakovich's symphonies in 1985 and 1986 concerts in Vienna's Musikverein.
In 2014 Deutsche Grammophon celebrated the 20th anniversary of its flagship series, The Originals, with a limited edition collection featuring some of the labels greatest albums.
This second volume concludes the labels survey of its iconic series by presenting more legendary analogue albums. Including key recordings such as Beethovens Late Sonatas with Pollini, Berliozs Symphonie Fantastique with Markevitch, Brahmss Hungarian Dances with Karajan, Dvoraks New World with Fricsay, Chopin Preludes with Argerich…
Conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler already enjoyed a worldwide legendary standing during his lifetime he was considered the German conductor and performances were greeted with rapturous applause. Today, more than 50 years after his death, Wilhelm Furtwängler is still an icon and his work has become an integral part of the music scene.