1951 Bayreuth Beethoven 9 unearthed from Swedish Radio archive

In the discography compiled by Renė Trémine published by Tahra in 1997, it is noted on page 27 that the tapes of the recording of the famous 29 July 1951 Bayreuth Beethoven 9 were archived in Bavarian Radio, Munich and Swedish Radio (archive LB 14784).

It has been suspected and argued that the first release of the recording of this concert by EMI was not the actual concert itself, but that of an edited version of the rehearsals and parts of the concert. The first commercial release of the actual concert recording based on the tapes archived in Bavarian Radio came from Orfeo in 2007. It sort of opened a Pandora box of the legitimacy of the previous releases in representing this important concert.

Now the sound source archived in the Swedish Radio has been unearthed by the Chairman of BIS Records, Robert von Bahr, after a long search and will be released in December in SACD format. King Records in Japan will be responsible for a local release in Japan around the same time. The sound quality was claimed to be “not bad”. It has been seen as a major achievement by King Records and advertised as such.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed to have another good version of this recording in this 135th birth year of Furtwängler.