Sunday, April 17, 2011

Furtwangler In America

Wilhelm Furtwangler’s first appearances in the United States occurred in 1925.

Between January 3 and January 30 of that year, he conducted the New York Philharmonic in ten concerts, nine in Carnegie Hall and one in the Brooklyn Academy Of Music.

The photograph below depicts Furtwangler conducting the New York Philharmonic in Schumann’s Symphony No. 4 during the conductor’s first visit to America.

Furtwangler’s 1925 New York repertory is listed below. If Furtwangler offered more than one performance of a listed work, asterisks note the total number of performances.

Symphony No. 5
Symphony No. 7

“Benvenuto Cellini” Overture **

Symphony No. 1 ***

Concerto Grosso, Opus 6, Number 10 ***

Cello Concerto No. 2 **
Symphony No. 94 (“Surprise”)

The Hebrides Overture (“Fingal’s Cave”)

Piano Concerto **
Symphony No. 4 **

R. Strauss
Death And Transfiguration
Don Juan **
Till Eulenspiegel

The Rite Of Spring [complete ballet] **

Symphony No. 5 **

“Die Meistersinger” Prelude
Prelude And Liebestod From “Tristan Und Isolde”

“Der Freischutz” Overture

Furtwangler’s New York concerts were a sensation, more so with the public than with American critics, most of whom were diehard advocates of the streamlined music-making of Arturo Toscanini. At Furtwangler’s final 1925 New York concert, the ovations were the most prolonged of the season—and Furtwangler was immediately reengaged for the following year.

Furtwangler spent no unnecessary time in the United States.

On the morning after his final concert, he returned to Europe on the “Minnetonka”.

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