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Penguin Guide, January 2009

Despite its celebrity, Furtwängler’s 1947 recording of the great B flat Wind Serenade has been reissued only once before, on LP by the short-lived Unicorn label, and its reappearance now in this excellent transfer by Ward Marston could not be more welcome. It is a performance of enormous warmth, lightness of touch and tonal richness, which we have long treasured on the five original 78s. It is a reading of depth and, although the sonorities are at times weightier than we are used to nowadays, the phrasing of the Viennese players has enormous delicacy and grace. The Eine kleine Nachtmusik comes from 1949 and there is a bonus in the form of the Gluck Alceste Overture, one of the few wartime records Furtwängler made with the Berlin Philharmonic for the Telefunken label. A must.

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