WAGNER: Overtures (Furtwangler, Commercial Recordings 1940-1950, Vol. 4) (Kirsten Flagstad/ Philharmonia Orchestra/ Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/ Ward Marston/ Wilhelm Furtwangler) (Naxos Historical: 8.110997)
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Furtw?ñngler was one of the very greatest interpretive musicians of the twentieth century. Although he completely rejected the idea of the conductor as a virtuoso and possessed a highly personal technique, his powerful grasp of musical architecture and mastery of tempo, phrasing, dynamics and transitions, often created an intensity of performance equalled by few and exceeded by none.
Furtw?ñngler himself wrote: 'the final and highest goal a conductor can attain is to conduct a legato melody... in such a way that it is really received as legato, something living and breathing that really flows'. On this disc he gives a superb demonstration of how to achieve in performance Wagner's idea of 'unending melody'.
Previous releases on Naxos have been highly praised, 'The Sunday Times' commenting that \The best, most Furtw?ñngler-ish thing on the disc is a noble account, dark and passionate, of the overture to Gluck's Alceste." (on 8.110994