Richard Strauss – Furtwangler – Ackermann – Schwarzkopf (French)
My friend Pierre Barbier pursues his wonderful reissues! Among the most remarkable, but they are numerous: Falla by Ansermet, Debussy by Ansermet & Rosenthal or a Debussy Ravel program by Michelangeli.
This time, he “attacks” on Furtwangler! Another miracle of restoration. It seems pointless to speak of the interpretation, but just to mention that the restoration of the famous 1950 (Death & Transfiguration) and 1954 (Till & Don Juan) recording sessions with the Vienna Philharmonic is quite impressive: one begins to scrutinize all the instrumental parts of these three works by one of the best orchestras in the world.
I must be a poor music critic, since I hardly support M. Callas, S. Richter, C. Kleiber and … E. Schwarzkopf (except The Merry Widow with Ackermann again). My wife yelled at me from afar “this is horrible” … And yet it is one of the most famous recordings of recording history! However there is the beautiful accompaniment of Otto Ackermann, conductor of Romanian origin, who made the most of his career in Switzerland and the quality of Philharmonia of that time.
One might fear that the old recordings, once so magnificently restored, could loose their aura. This is belied for example in the absolute poetry of the central passage of Don Juan.
In short, another essential reissue!