At the end of the last year, we were very much excited to hear a
great news from Japanese EMI about the new-year issues in 2011, which
announced that the original TAPE of the famous Furtwangler's recording
of Beethoven's seventh symphony with Vienna Philharmoniker has been
discovered in the library of British EMI.
As all of you know, the recording has long been available on LP
and CD, but the source has always been the 78s of the original issue in
1950s, and many of us consider that the original tape should have been
misplaced or erased after cutting the 78s because magnetic tape was very
expensive at that time.
Last year, however, British EMI accepted a strong and long-term request
from Japanese EMI that the major Furtwangler's recordings should be
remastered from the original tape (or original metal master for 78s) for
issuing on SACD, and top four engineers in British EMI were selected for
the remastering project. In the process, they discovered the original
TAPE of the seventh symphony, and they were overwhelmed by the high
quality sound much better than the conventional one taken from 78s.
On January 19, 2011, at last the exciting series have been issued
limitedly in Japan, and I have obtained the complete Beethoven
symphonies and Wagner recordings. I am very happy to report that all the
remastered recordings are surprisingly super, and we can sell out the
conventional CDs and LPs in handy.
The first impression of the sound of the seventh symphony is not
far from the conventional sound, but the sound of a calm passage, for
example in the second movement, is much more beautiful than the
conventional one. In the conventional issue, there are connected points
of different sides of the 78s, but in the tape version, the total
performance is continuously recorded. As a result, I have found that the
General Pause in the last movement is slightly different from the
conventional issue, which is important to accurately understand
Furtwangler's recognition of this part.
In other issues, Bayreuth's Ninth is outstanding. The tonal
balance becomes better, the unnatural artificially-added echo that is
heard in the conventional issues has been removed. Another notable point
is that the last tone is perfectly corrected.
I believe that these series would be released globally soon.
T. Hasegawa <[log in to unmask]>