Wilhelm Furtwängler (January 25, 1886 – November 30, 1954) was a German conductor and composer. Emil Orlik ( July 21, 1870 – September 28, 1932) was born in Prague, then in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and lived and Events 41 - After a night of negotiation Claudius is accepted as Roman Emperor by the Senate Year 1886 ( MDCCCLXXXVI) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Events 1700 - Battle of Narva — A Swedish army of 8500 men under Charles XII defeats Year 1954 ( MCMLIV) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1954 Gregorian calendar) Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany ( ˈbʊndəsʁepuˌbliːk ˈdɔʏtʃlant is a Country in Central Europe. Conducting is the act of directing a Musical performance by way of visible gestures A composer (literally meaning 'one who puts together' is a person who creates Music, usually in the medium of notation, for Interpretation and Performance
Furtwängler was born in Berlin into a prominent family. Berlin is the capital city and one of sixteen states of Germany. His father Adolf was an archaeologist, his mother a painter. Adolf Furtwängler ( June 30, 1853 - October 10, 1907) was a famous German Archaeologist, teacher Art historian Archaeology, archeology, or archæology (from Greek grc ἀρχαιολογία archaiologia – grc ἀρχαῖος archaīos Painting (pān'tīng in Art, is the practice of applying Color to a Surface (support base such as e Most of his childhood was spent in Munich, where his father taught at the university. Munich (München; Minga is the capital city of Bavaria, Germany. He was given a musical education from an early age, and developed an early love of Beethoven, a composer he remained closely associated with throughout his life. Ludwig van Beethoven ( English ˈlʊdvɪg væn ˈbeɪtoʊvən, 16 December 1770 &ndash 26 March 1827 was a German Composer and Pianist. Though his chief posthumous fame rests on his work as a conductor, he was also a composer and regarded himself first and foremost as such, having in fact first taken up the baton in order to perform his own works.
By the time of Furtwängler's conducting debut at the age of twenty, he had written several pieces of music. However, they were not well received, and that combined with the financial insecurity a career as a composer would provide led him to concentrate on conducting. At his first concert, he led the Kaim Orchestra (now the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra) in Anton Bruckner's Ninth Symphony. The Münchner Philharmoniker ( Munich Philharmonic) is one of three orchestras located in the city of Munich, along with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra The Münchner Philharmoniker ( Munich Philharmonic) is one of three orchestras located in the city of Munich, along with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra Anton Bruckner (4 September 1824 &ndash 11 October 1896 was an Austrian composer known primarily for his symphonies, masses, and Motets Anton Bruckner 's Symphony No 9 in D minor is the last Symphony upon which he worked leaving the last movement incomplete at the time of his death in 1896. He subsequently held posts at Munich, Lübeck, Mannheim, Frankfurt, and Vienna, before securing a job at the Berlin Staatskapelle in 1920, and in 1922 at the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra where he succeeded Arthur Nikisch, and concurrently at the prestigious Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Lübeck ( is the second largest City in Schleswig-Holstein, in Northern Germany, and one of the major Mannheim is a City in Germany. With 327318 inhabitants it is the second-largest city in the state of Baden-Württemberg after the capital Stuttgart Vienna ( in Wien; see also other names) is the Capital of Austria, and is also one of the nine States of Austria. The Staatskapelle Berlin is the orchestra of the Berlin State Opera (Berliner Staatsoper Unter den Linden The Gewandhausorchester Leipzig ( Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra) is a famous German Orchestra based in Leipzig, Germany. WikipediaWikiProject Classical music#Biographical_infoboxes --> Arthur Nikisch (Hungarian Nikisch Artúr) ( 12 October The Berlin Philharmonic (in German: Die Berliner Philharmoniker) is an Orchestra based in Berlin, Germany. Later he became music director of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the Salzburg Festival and the Bayreuth Festival, which was regarded as the greatest post a conductor could hold in Germany at the time. The Vienna Philharmonic (in German: die Wiener Philharmoniker) is an Orchestra in Austria, regularly considered one of the finest in the The Salzburg Festival (Salzburger Festspiele is a prominent festival of Music and Drama. The Bayreuth Festival is a music festival held annually in Bayreuth, Germany, at which performances of Operas by the 19th century German composer
Towards the end of the war, under extreme pressure from the Nazi Party, Furtwängler fled to Switzerland. Switzerland (English pronunciation; Schweiz Swiss German: Schwyz or Schwiiz Suisse Svizzera Svizra officially the Swiss Confederation It was during this troubled period that he composed what is largely considered his most significant work, the Symphony No. 2 in E minor. Work on the symphony was begun in 1944, and carried on into 1945. It was given its premiere in 1948 by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Furtwängler's direction. Furtwängler and the Philharmonic recorded the symphony for Deutsche Grammophon; the music was much in the tradition of Anton Bruckner and Gustav Mahler, composed on a grand scale for very large orchestra with romantic, dramatic themes. Deutsche Grammophon is a German classical Record label. The company has long been known for its high standards of audio fidelity. Anton Bruckner (4 September 1824 &ndash 11 October 1896 was an Austrian composer known primarily for his symphonies, masses, and Motets Another important work is the Sinfonie-Konzert (Symphonic Concerto) for piano and orchestra, completed in 1937 and revised in 1944. Many themes from this work were also incorporated into Furtwängler's unfinished 3rd Simphony. The Sinfonie-Konzert is profoundly tragic, and the incorporation of a motif, seemingly from American popular music, in the third movement raises interesting questions of Furtwängler's view of his culture's future, not unlike the "ragtime" theme in the last movement of Brahms' Second Piano Concerto.
He resumed performing and recording following the war and remained a popular conductor in Europe, although he was always under somewhat of a shadow. He died in 1954 in Ebersteinburg close to Baden-Baden. Baden-Baden is a town in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is located on the western foothills of the Black Forest, on the banks of the Oos River He is buried in Heidelberg's Bergfriedhof. Heidelberg is a city in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. As of 2006 over 140000 people live within the city's area
Furtwängler is most famous for his performances of Beethoven, Brahms, Bruckner, and Wagner. Ludwig van Beethoven ( English ˈlʊdvɪg væn ˈbeɪtoʊvən, 16 December 1770 &ndash 26 March 1827 was a German Composer and Pianist. Johannes Brahms ( pronounced ˈbʁaːms (May 7 1833 &ndash April 3 1897 was a German Composer Anton Bruckner (4 September 1824 &ndash 11 October 1896 was an Austrian composer known primarily for his symphonies, masses, and Motets However, he was also a champion of modern music, and was known to give performances of thoroughly modern works, such as Béla Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra. Béla Viktor János Bartók (March 25 1881&ndashSeptember 26 1945 was a Hungarian Composer and Pianist, considered to be one of the greatest Concerto for Orchestra ( Sz 116 BB 127 is a five-movement musical work for orchestra composed by Béla Bartók in 1943
Furtwängler's relationship with and attitude towards Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party was a matter of much controversy. Hi and welcome to Wikipedia! Please understand that this article is frequently vandalized and vandalism is reverted immediately The, officially National Socialist German Workers' Party, ( abbreviated NSDAP) was a Political party in Germany between 1919 and 1945 When the Nazis came to power in 1933, Furtwängler was highly critical of them. In 1934, he was banned from conducting the premiere of Paul Hindemith's opera Mathis der Maler, and Furtwängler resigned from his post at the Berlin Opera in protest. Paul Hindemith (16 November 1895 &ndash 28 December 1963 was a German Composer, Violist, violinist teacher music theorist and conductor. Opera is an art form in which Singers and Musicians perform a Dramatic work (called an opera which combines a text (called a Libretto This article is about the opera For the symphony see Mathis der Maler (symphony. In 1936, with Furtwängler becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the regime, there were signs that he might follow Erich Kleiber's footsteps into exile, when he was offered the principal conductor's post at the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, where he would have succeeded Arturo Toscanini. Erich Kleiber ( August 5, 1890 &ndash January 27, 1956) was an Austrian born conductor. The New York Philharmonic is the oldest active Symphony Orchestra in the United States, organized during 1842 WikipediaWikiProject Classical music#Biographical_infoboxes --> Arturo Toscanini (ɑrˈturɔ ˌtɔskɑˈnini (March 25 1867 &ndash January Toscanini's biographer Harvey Sachs wrote that Toscanini recommended Furtwängler for the position, one of the few times Toscanini expressed admiration for a fellow conductor. There is every possibility that Furtwängler would have accepted the post, but a report from the Berlin branch of the Associated Press, possibly ordered by Hermann Göring, said that he was willing to take up his post at the Berlin Opera once more. The Associated Press ( AP) is an American News agency. The AP is a Cooperative owned by its contributing Newspapers radio Hermann Wilhelm Göring (also spelled Goering) (12 January 1893 15 October 1946 was a German Politician, Military leader and a leading member This caused the mood in New York to turn against him; from their point of view, it seemed that Furtwängler was now a full supporter of the Nazi Party.
However, Furtwängler never joined the Nazi Party nor did he really approve of them, much like the composer Richard Strauss, who made no secret of his dislike of the Nazis. Richard Georg Strauss (11 June 1864 &ndash 8 September 1949 was a German Composer of the late Romantic era and early modern era particularly noted Furtwängler always refused to give the Nazi salute, for instance, and there is even film footage of Furtwängler shaking Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels' hand, then turning away and wiping his hand with a handkerchief. A salute (also called obeisance) is a Gesture (often Hand gesture) or other action used to display respect Paul Joseph Goebbels (German pronunciation ˈɡœbəls English generally ˈɡɝbəlz (29 October 1897 1 May 1945 was a German politician and Reich Minister of Public 
Furtwängler was treated relatively well by the Nazis; he had a high profile, and was an important cultural figure. His concerts were often broadcast to German troops to raise morale, though he was limited in what he was allowed to perform by the authorities. He later said he tried to protect German culture from the Nazis; it is now known that he used his influence to help Jewish musicians escape the Third Reich.
Albert Speer claimed that in December 1944 Furtwängler asked whether Germany had any chance of winning the war. Berthold Konrad Hermann Albert Speer, commonly known as Albert Speer ( 19 March 1905 - 1 September 1981 was an Architect, author and for part of World Speer replied in the negative, and advised the conductor to flee to Switzerland from possible Nazi retribution. Switzerland (English pronunciation; Schweiz Swiss German: Schwyz or Schwiiz Suisse Svizzera Svizra officially the Swiss Confederation  Furtwängler did in fact escape to Switzerland shortly after a concert in Vienna with the Vienna Philharmonic on 28 January 1945. Vienna ( in Wien; see also other names) is the Capital of Austria, and is also one of the nine States of Austria. The Vienna Philharmonic (in German: die Wiener Philharmoniker) is an Orchestra in Austria, regularly considered one of the finest in the Events 1077 - Walk to Canossa: The Excommunication of Henry IV Holy Roman Emperor is lifted Year 1945 ( MCMXLV) was a Common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar At that concert he conducted an account of Brahms's Second Symphony that was caught on tape and is considered one of his greatest recordings. Johannes Brahms ( pronounced ˈbʁaːms (May 7 1833 &ndash April 3 1897 was a German Composer The Symphony No 2 in D, Op 73 was composed by Johannes Brahms in the summer of 1877 during a visit to the Austrian Alps. 
At his denazification trial, Furtwängler was charged with supporting Nazism by remaining in Germany, performing at Nazi party functions and with making an anti-Semitic remark against the part-Jewish conductor Victor de Sabata. Denazification (Entnazifizierung was an Allied initiative to rid German and Austrian society culture press economy judiciary and politics of any Victor de Sabata ( April 10, 1892 - December 11, 1967) was an Italian conductor and Composer.  However, he was eventually cleared on all these counts. 
As part of his closing remarks at his denazification trial, Furtwängler said,
(quoted from John Ardoin's The Furtwängler Record)
The violinist Yehudi Menuhin was among those in the Jewish music community and the United States who had a positive view of Furtwängler. John Ardoin, (born January 8 1935 Alexandria Louisiana – died March 18 2001 San José, Costa Rica) was best known as the music critic of Yehudi Menuhin Baron Menuhin, OM, KBE (April 22 1916 – March 12 1999 was an American -born Violinist and conductor who spent In 1933 he had refused to play with him, but in the late 1940s after a personal investigation about Furtwängler, he became supportive of him, and performed and recorded alongside him. 
British playwright Ronald Harwood's play Taking Sides (1995), set in 1946 in the American zone of occupied Berlin, is about U. Ronald Harwood CBE, (born 9 November 1934 in Cape Town, South Africa) is an author Playwright and Screenwriter Taking Sides is a 1995 play by British Playwright Ronald Harwood, about the post-War U Berlin is the capital city and one of sixteen states of Germany. S. accusations against Furtwängler of having served the Nazi regime. In 2001 the play was made into a motion picture starring Harvey Keitel and featuring Stellan Skarsgård in the role of Furtwängler. Harvey Keitel (born 13 May 1939 is an Academy Award -nominated American actor (ˈstɛlːan ˈskɒːʂgɔɖ in Swedish or "Skashgord" born 13 June 1951 is a Swedish Film Actor, known for his roles in Breaking 
In 1949 Furtwängler accepted a position as principal conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra ( CSO) is an American orchestra based in Chicago Illinois. However the orchestra was forced to rescind the offer under the threat of a boycott from several prominent musicians including Vladimir Horowitz and Artur Rubinstein. Vladimir Samoylovich Horowitz (ולדימיר הורוביץ Владимир Самойлович Горовиц Vladimir Samojlovič Gorovits; Володимир Самійлович Arthur Rubinstein KBE ( January 28 1887 &ndash December 20 1982) was a Polish - American pianist who is widely  According to a New York Times report, Horowitz said that he "was prepared to forgive the small fry who had no alternative but to remain and work in Germany. " But Furtwängler "was out of the country on several occasions and could have elected to keep out".  Rubinstein likewise wrote in a telegram that "Had Furtwängler been firm in his democratic convictions he would have left Germany". 
Furtwängler had a unique conducting technique. He saw symphonic music as creations of nature that could only be realised subjectively into sound. This is why composers such as Beethoven, Brahms and Bruckner were so central to Furtwängler's repertoire, because he identified them as great forces of nature. He disliked Toscanini's approach to the German repertoire. He walked out of a Toscanini concert once, calling him "a mere time-beater!". Furtwängler did not have a strong beat, as you can see in video recordings  that show him making awkward, gawky movements like a medium in a trance. He wished that the sense of time be established by the players in themselves, as in chamber music. Furtwängler would then show the orchestra when he wished to use rubato. His gestures bear seemingly little relationship to the rhythms of the music, while his physical motions were described as "like a puppet on a string" by one orchestra member . Furtwängler would generally hold his baton hand closer to his body and his left would be outstretched giving the expression of the phrase to the orchestra. On occasion he would violently shake his baton hand when he would get into conducting fits onstage. In the video above you can see Furtwängler conducting Beethoven's Ninth Symphony on 19. 4. 42 in celebration of Hitler's birthday. In the symphony's coda, Furtwängler can be seen having tremendous fits as he leads the orchestra through the chorus' final cries of "Götterfunken, Götterfunken!". Despite, or perhaps because of, this unorthodox style, musicians were mesmerized by his leadership. His best performances are characterized by deep, bass-driven sonorities, soaring lyricism and wrenching extremes of emotion co-existing with logical cogency. Neville Cardus wrote in the Manchester Guardian in 1954 of Furtwängler's conducting style as follows:
"He did not regard the printed notes of the score as a final statement, but rather as so many symbols of an imaginative conception, ever changing and always to be felt and realised subjectively. . . Not since Nikisch, of whom he was a disciple, has a greater personal interpreter of orchestral and opera music than Furtwängler been heard. "
Many commentators and critics regard him as the one of the greatest conductors in history. 
Conductor Christoph Eschenbach has said of Furtwängler that he was a "formidable magician, a man capable of setting an entire ensemble of musicians on fire, sending them into a state of ecstasy". WikipediaWikiProject Classical music#Biographical_infoboxes --> Christoph Eschenbach (born February 20, 1940, 
Furtwängler was famous for his exceptional inarticulacy. West Berlin was the name given to the western part of Berlin between 1949 and 1990 His pupil Sergiu Celibidache remembered that the best he could say was "Well, just listen" (to the music). Sergiu Celibidache (/'serʤju ʧelibi'dake/ ser-joo chay-lee-bee-DAH-kay ( June 28, 1912 &ndash August 14, 1996) was a Romanian-born German Carl Brinitzer from the German BBC service tried to interview him, and thought he had an imbecile before him. A live recording of a rehearsal with a Stockholm orchestra documents hardly anything intelligible, only hums and mumbling. ('stɔkhɔlm is Sweden 's Capital and its largest City. It is the site of the national Swedish government, the parliament, and the On the other hand, a collection of his essays, On Music, reveals some deep thought below the surface. Still, Furtwängler remained highly respected amongst musicians. Even Arturo Toscanini, usually regarded as Furtwängler's complete antithesis (and sharply critical of Furtwängler on political grounds), once said – when asked to name the world's greatest conductor apart from himself – "Furtwängler!"
One of Furtwängler's protegés was pianist Karlrobert Kreiten. WikipediaWikiProject Classical music#Biographical_infoboxes --> Arturo Toscanini (ɑrˈturɔ ˌtɔskɑˈnini (March 25 1867 &ndash January A pianist (/'piənɪst/ is a Musician who plays the Piano. A professional pianist can perform solo pieces play with an ensemble or Orchestra Karlrobert Kreiten ( June 26, 1916 - September 7, 1943) was a German Pianist, though holding Dutch citizenship his entire He was also an important influence on the pianist/conductor Daniel Barenboim, of whom Furtwängler's widow, Elisabeth Furtwängler, said, "Er furtwänglert. Daniel Barenboim (born November 15, 1942) is a pianist and conductor. " ("He furtwänglers. ") Barenboim recently recorded Furtwängler's 2nd Symphony with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra ( CSO) is an American orchestra based in Chicago Illinois. Furtwängler's performances of Beethoven, Bruckner and Wagner remain important reference-points today.
There is a huge number of Furtwängler recordings currently available, mostly from live concerts. Many of these recordings were made during World War II using experimental tape technology. World War II, or the Second World War, (often abbreviated WWII) was a global military conflict which involved a majority of the world's nations, including After the war they were confiscated by the Soviet Union for decades and have only recently become widely available, often on multiple legitimate and illegitimate labels. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR was a constitutionally Socialist state that existed in Eurasia from 1922 to 1991 Despite sonic limitations, the recordings from this era are widely admired for their intensity by Furtwängler devotees.
This is only a small selection of some of Furtwängler's most famed recordings. For more information, see his discography and list of currently available recordings. The French Wilhelm Furtängler Society also has a list of recommended recordings.
|Brahms Second Symphony, first movement|
|Furtwangler's handling of this passage from the first movement of Brahms's Second Symphony has been widely praised for its handling of tempo and mood|
|Bruckner Fifth Symphony, introduction|
|Image:Furtwangler Bruckner 5 intro.ogg|
|This crescendo passage from the beginning of Bruckner's Fifth Symphony displays a frenetic energy characteristic of Furtwängler's World War II performances|