The Good Old Days

For those who doubt that orchestra life was very hard in "the good old days," this should set you straight. I was recently researching information about the conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler, and happened upon details of the Berlin Philharmonic's 1951 month-long tour. I thought I'd share it with you just for amusement, really, and for insight into orchestra life a half century ago...

It makes me tired just to look at it. (Note, by the way, how long most of the programs are - May 15 in Hamburg, for example).

Berlin Philharmonic, Wilhelm Furtwängler conducting, 1951 Tour

April 18, Cairo
Haydn: Sym 101
Strauss: Death and Transfiguration
Beethoven: Symphony #7

April 19, Cairo
Rameau: La princesse de Navarre
Debussy: Nocturnes - "Nuages"; "Fêtes"
Berlioz: Rakoczy March
Tchaikovsky: Sym #6, "Pathetique"

April 20, Cairo
Weber: Der Freischutz: Ov
Brahms: Sym #3
Hindemith: Concerto for Orchestra
Wagner: Tannhäuser: Ov

April 21, Cairo
Mozart: Sym #40 in G Minor
Beethoven: Leonore Ov #3
Beethoven: Symphony #5

April 22, Cairo
MORNING:
Weber: Der Freischutz: Overture
Schumann: Piano Concerto (Tagliaferro, piano)
Tchaikovsky: Symphony #6, "Pathetique"

April 22, Cairo
EVENING:
Mozart: Sym #40 in G Minor
Beethoven: Leonore Ov #3
Beethoven: Symphony #5

April 23, Cairo
Bruckner: Symphony No. 7
Mendelssohn: Violin Con (Siegfried Borries, violin)
Wagner: Tannhäuser: Ov

April 24, Alexandria
Haydn: Symphony #101
Strauss: Death and Transfiguration
Beethoven: Symphony #7

April 25, Alexandria
MORNING
Brahms: Symphony #3
Debussy: Nocturnes - "Nuages"; "Fêtes"
Wagner: Die Meistersinger: Ov

April 25, Alexandria
EVENING
Brahms: Symphony #3
Debussy: Nocturnes - "Nuages"; "Fêtes"
Wagner: Parsifal: Good Friday Music
Wagner: Götterdammerung: "Siegfried's Funeral"
Wagner: Tannhäuser: Ov
Berlioz: Rakoczy March

April 30, Naples
Mozart: Symphony #40
Brahms: Symphony #3
Debussy: Nocturnes - "Nuages"; "Fêtes"

May 1, Rome
Bruckner: Symphony #7
Strauss: Don Juan
Wagner: Tannhäuser: Ov

May 2, Bologna
Haydn: Symphony #101
Brahms: Symphony #3
Beethoven: Symphony #5
Wagner: Tannhäuser: Ov

May 3, Turin
Weber: Der Freischutz: Ov
Debussy: Nocturnes - "Nuages"; "Fêtes"
Strauss: Death and Transfiguration
Beethoven Symphony No. 7
Wagner: Tannhäuser: Ov

May 4, TRAVEL DAY (TO PARIS)

May 5, Paris
Bruckner: Symphony #7
Beethoven Symphony No. 5
Weber: Der Freischutz: Ov

May 6, Paris
Haydn: Symphony #101
Brahms: Symphony #3
Strauss: Don Juan
Wagner: Parsifal: "Good Friday Music"
Wagner: Tannhäuser: Ov
Berlioz: Rakoczy March

May 7, TRAVEL DAY (TO VIERSEN, Germany)

May 8, Viersen Haydn: Symphony #88
Hindemith: Concerto for Orchestra
Bruckner: Symphony #7

May 9, Dusseldorf
Cherubini: Anacreon: Ov
Brahms: Symphony #3
Tchaikovsky: Symphony #6, "Pathetique"

May 10, Dortmund
Haydn: Symphony #101
Brahms: Symphony #3
Beethoven: Symphony #5

May 11, Essen
Haydn: Symphony No. 101
Debussy: Nocturnes - "Nuages"; "Fêtes"
Bruckner: Symphony #7

May 12, Bielefeld
Haydn: Symphony #101
Strauss: Death and Transfiguration
Bruckner: Symphony #7

May 13, Wolfsburg
Cherubini: Anacreon: Ov
Brahms: Symphony #3
Beethoven: Symphony #5
Weber: Der Freischutz: Ov

May 14, Hannover
Haydn: Symphony #101
Debussy: Nocturnes - "Nuages"; "Fêtes"
Berlioz: Rakoczy March
Tchaikovsky: Symphony #6, "Pathetique"

May 15, Hamburg
Haydn: Symphony #101
Brahms: Symphony #3
Tchaikovsky: Symphony #6, "Pathetique"

May 16, Münster
Haydn: Symphony No. 101
Brahms: Symphony #3
Strauss: Don Juan
Wagner: Parsifal: "Good Friday Music"
Wagner: Tannhäuser: Ov

January 18, 2008 9:45 AM | | Comments (2)

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2 Comments

Egypt as an orchestra tour destination? Those really were the old days. Thanks for the interesting post

There was a DGG LP issues some years back of Furtwängler and the Berlin Philharmonic performing Bruckner's Seventh Symphony, taken from a Cairo performance. The cover of the LP showed Furtwängler riding a camel! It was definitely an attention-getter.

Interesting how musical life has changed. My orchestra - the Halle - gave 238 concerts in the 1955/56 season of which Barbirolli conducted around 190!

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