Volume 12 of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL editionpresents a sensational archive discovery: a live recording of the Manfred Overture from the 1953 festival, until recently presumed lost, and now released for the very first time. In 1953, Furtwängler also conducted two of his all-time favourites, Beethoven's Eroica and Schumann's Fourth Symphonies. Until now, these exciting interpretations were only available in technically flawed recordings made by enthusiasts. For this edition, the newly rediscovered original tapes from the archives of the SRF Swiss Radio and Television were made available.
Wilhelm Furtwängler, invited to Lucerne for the first time in 1944, was one of the defining artists of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL's first decades. From 1947, he performed in Lucerne each summer (with the exception of 1952, when he had to cancel due to illness) until his final concert in August 1954, a few months before his death (recording also available in the "Historic Performances" series: audite 95.641). In total, Furtwängler conducted eighteen of the festival's concerts, sixteen of which with the Swiss Festival Orchestra who also played on 26 August 1953.
Furtwängler's motto was to be "faithful to the spirit" rather than "faithful to each note". This Lucerne recording demonstrates his methodical approach, especially by means of a precisely calculated tempo architecture: Furtwängler's seemingly arbitrary tempo modifications hold structural significance, dynamising the musical form. Illustrated with numerous photos from the festival's archive, the 32-page booklet in three languages discusses this approach, whilst also referring to other famous recordings, such as Furtwängler's studio recording of Schumann's Fourth Symphony with the Berlin Philharmonic, made only a few months earlier. © Audite