Furtwängler: Symphony No. 2

Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Daniel Barenboim

A superb conductor, Wilhelm Furtwängler was a tragic figure. He was at odds with the Nazis over his support of modern music, and unbeknownst to them, he helped save the lives of many Jewish musicians. Furtwängler always thought of himself as a composer who conducted, and when the war came, he retreated to composition. In 1944, he began his Symphony No. 2. Then, avoiding arrest by hours, he escaped to Switzerland with the score. Though cleared of collaboration charges, he was vilified to the point where the Chicago symphony had to withdraw its conducting offer to him in 1948. In 1954, 11-year-old Daniel Barenboim met Furtwängler in Salzburg. Now Barenboim, conducting the Chicago Symphony, pays tribute to this great musician with the American premiere of Furtwängler’s vast and exceedingly romantic score.