I haven't watched television for years, so I missed this; thank you, Mark, for linking to it. It's a very moving programme to me in its presentation of this special type of German that I know well, so direct, with that schalkhaft quality Furtwängler shared with his wife and you could hear in his performance of Till. The Zweig and Schönberg stories were not known to me, very illuminating. The Brahms 4th has a shockingly violent, tragic quality that I have never heard again with another conductor; it is exemplary, I think, for the man's whole habitus. - The voice-over was rather a pity, unnecessary. The Tristan recording was in fact 1952, of course, not 53.
I agree with everything you say: that Brahms really is something. It's surprising how little known the Zweig and Schoenberg matters are; sadly, I think much is to be ascribed to weird obsessions of the ignorant, hell bent, for reasons of their own, in trying to 'convict' Furtwängler of alleged 'crimes' of which he was entirely innocent. And yes, the Tristan dating is odd, to say the least.
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