Friday, November 07, 2008
Only the first two movements were performed
Above are the programmes from the Berlin Philharmonic archives for their 1944/45 season detailing the last five concerts that Wilhelm Furtwängler conducted with the orchestra before the defeat of the Third Reich in 1945. The Gerhart von Westerman work was a first performance. The note after the concert on 22/23 January 1945 explains that only the first two movements of the Mozart Symphony G minor were performed on the 23rd. No explanation is given as to why, but we must assume that an air raid interrupted the performance.
These were not the last concerts given by the Berlin Philharmonic before the Nazi surrender. After the interrupted concert on January 23 Furtwängler fled to Switzerland via Vienna. But the orchestra stayed in Berlin and gave their final concert under the Nazis on March 28 conducted by Robert Heger. Read the chilling story of that last concert here.
A full analysis of the new music performed under Furtwängler is here. My source for the programmes Wilhelm Furtwängler, Die Programme der Konzerte mit dem Berliner Philharmonischen Orchester 1922-1954, published by F. A. Brockhause, Wiesbaden 1965. The collage is (c) On An Overgrown Path 2008. Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Report broken links, missing images and errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk