Brahms & Bruckner: The Symphonies / Knappertsbusch
Berliner Philharmoniker; Münchner Philharmoniker; WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln; Knappertsbusch, Hans; Vienna Philharmonic; Staatskapelle Dresden; Bayerisches Staatsorchester
Few – if any – conductors are linked with the works of Richard Wagner in the eyes of the world’s music lovers to the same extent as Hans Knappertsbusch. Immediately after his conducting debut in Mühlheim/Ruhr from 1910 to 1912, he applied for a post as Assistant Conductor in Bayreuth. When in 1951 the famous festival reopened its doors, his name became legendary as the Parsifal conductor. The main focus of his concert programmes, however, was the works of the great Romantic nineteenth-century composers, especially Johannes Brahms and Anton Bruckner. Despite that subsequent generations have developed their own views on those works, Knappertsbusch’s recordings have retained their benchmark status to this day. Born in Elberfeld, now part of the city of Wuppertal, in 1888, Knappertsbusch was Music Director at the city’s opera house before he went, via Leipzig and Dessau, to Munich, where he eventually succeeded Bruno Walter as General Music Director. He was no fan of the Nazi regime, however, and so he left Munich and went to Vienna to conduct the Philharmonic and opera, returning eventually to Munich, where he died in 1965, after conducting his last Bayreuth Parsifal the previous year. This release in the Knappertsbusch Edition features the symphonies of Bruckner and Brahms.