Franz Konwitschny Conducts Brahms' Symphony No. 1
Apart from these high-profile concert activities, Franz Konwitschny was inseparably associated with the foundation and development of the new Eterna label. Between 1959 and 1961 Eterna issued all Beethoven’s and Schumann’s symphonies in the then innovative stereo format. Like all Konwitschny’s late recordings, these gramophone records are now sought-after collector’s items that offer interpretations of lasting significance.
One such notable document of the great maestro is the present recording of Johannes Brahms’s First Symphony, made in June 1962 only weeks before Konwitschny’s death. The producer of this recording, Dieter-Gerhardt Worm, praises “the coherence and euphony of the interpretation. Konwitschny does nothing subjectively, he interprets the work. When I played Konwitschny the recording in hospital before his last concert tour, tears of joy rolled down his face.” Worm, who worked on most of Konwitschny’s recordings as a young production manager for the Eterna label, remembers the focused studio work and the immense artistic importance of the conductor: “As a conductor, he was always one of the greatest for me. What he did as a Bruckner conductor, for instance, was incredible. Konwitschny was more than a musician to whom one could say anything; he was someone who knew instinctively how to apply what he had learnt and integrate it into his conducting gestures.”