The German
Wilhelm Furtwängler Society

The German Wilhelm-Furtwängler-Gesellschaft (WFG) was founded in 1976 in Berlin: Its aim is to preserve the artistic accomplishments of the conductor, composer and author Wilhelm Furtwängler. The Furtwängler-Society organises concerts, lectures and other programmes, it releases selected and outstanding recordings by Furtwängler, it promotes the valorisation of the artist’s estate, as well as the co-operation with similar institutions which pursue identical goals in Germany and abroad.

A question of dating?

Two concerts four years apart, a magnetic tape recording, but of which concert? It's about the fourth movement of Brahm's symphony No. 1 with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Wilhelm Furtwängler. Friedrich Engel, who has worked on Furtwängler's relationship to the sound recording technology of the Reichs-Rundfunk-Society, argues for a revision of the previous dating on the basis of hitherto little appreciated evidence. Text only available in German.


Kurt-Victor Selge (1933-2022)

The Wilhelm Furtwängler Society mourns the death of its long-time Chairman Prof. Dr. Kurt-Victor Selge, who died in Berlin on 5 April 2022, one month after completing his 89th year. More ...


Prof. Dr. Kurt-Victor Selge


100 years ago:
Wilhelm Furtwängler becomes artistic director of the Berliner Philharmoniker

100 years ago, on 20 March 1922, Wilhelm Furtwängler took over the artistic direction of the Berlin Philharmonic. He was thus, in direct succession to Arthur Nikisch, the third principal conductor of the "Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra" (as the orchestra was called until its transformation into a foundation under public law in 2002), which was founded in 1882. Furtwängler was artistic director of the orchestra from 1922 to 1945 and from 1951 until his death in 1954. In Deutschlandfunk's "Kalenderblatt", Wolfgang Schreiber commemorates Furtwängler's appointment as chief conductor of the philharmonic orchestra. You can listen to and read the contribution on the station's website, but only in German www.deutschlandfunk.de.

Beethovens Ninth, conducted by Furtwängler, Bayreuth 1951

BIS 71 years ago, on July 29, 1951, Wilhelm Furtwängler conducted Beethoven's Ninth Symphony in a concert to mark the reopening of the Bayreuth Festival, which was taking place for the first time after seven years.

The concert was broadcast by Bayerischer Rundfunk and around the world, including Swedish radio. CD releases of the concert were issued by EMI, Toshiba, and recently the Wilhelm Furtwängler Centre of Japan (WFHC-013, available from WFG). Now the recording is released in a new sonic form by BIS.
"Using the analog mono tape digitized by Swedish Radio, this CD reproduces the broadcast as it would have been heard by listeners in Sweden: We have chosen not to change anything, not to "polish up" the sound, not to clean up and shorten the pauses or omit audience noise within the music, but to leave the original as it was. In this way, we hope to convey the feeling of actually sitting in front of an old radio in 1951 and listening to this important concert - a true historical document" (BIS information).
Philippe Jacquard, a great Furtwängler connoisseur, has reviewed this new release in detail: www.hdarchivesconcerts.fr

Furtwängler's studio recordings for Deutsche Grammophon

FonoForum_1Wilhelm Furtwängler made only four recordings Only four recordings was made with the Berlin Philharmonic for Deutsche Grammophon (DG) in the post-war period. These are interpretations of works from the conductor's core repertoire which may be described as "legendary".

Schubert's "Great" C major Symphony (No. 8, former No. 9), Schumann's Symphony No. 4 in D minor, Haydn's Symphony No. 88 in G major and Furtwängler's Second Symphony. The recordings, made between 1951 and 1953, have lost none of their fascination almost seven decades later. Deutsche Grammophonhas reissued them in a limited and numbered vinyl deluxe edition (4 LP). All records were made from masters of the original tapes as 180 g pressings and each has its own cover, based on the original record sleeve. The box contains an accompanying text by Helge Grünewald and facsimiles of the original recording logs.

Found Pieces

In this section we would like to draw your attention to interesting documents or texts on Wilhelm Furtwängler in a loose sequence.

Details on news.

Become a member

Join the Wilhelm Furtwängler Society and support our work. You will be able to order CDs of Wilhelm Furtwängler recordings issued by our society. The current annual membership fee is 50 € per person. Joint or family membership are available for an annual fee of 70 €. Students, trainees and pupils benefit from a reduced annual fee of 25 €. For institutions or associations, corporate membership are available for an annual fee of 100 €. We are always delighted to receive higher voluntary contributions or a donations. Please follow this link to the online membership application form. You can find our statutes here.

We are collaborating with the following Furtwängler Societies in France and Japan:

Biography


For informations on Furtwänglers life and work look here: