FULL OF EMBERS - SENSATIONAL MOZART SHOTS BY FERENC FRICSAY
(written by Hartmut Lück, 11.Jan.2018)
"His name is legend, his fame enormous." (Neue Zürcher Zeitung) Now groundbreaking Mozart recor-dings by Ferenc Fricsay - a fabulous treasure that slumbered in the archive of Deutschlandfunk's Kul-tur.
Ferenc Fricsay is one of the tragic artists of the 20th century. The Hungarian conductor died early, at the age of only 48 years. And as if he had anticipated his untimely death, he worked without ceasing and within a very short time created his own "aesthetics that remained valid".
Everything for the music: Ferenc Fricsay (1914-1963)
The exceptional conductor, born in Budapest in 1914, found extremely adverse conditions. Bon into the catastrophes of the 20th century, the son of a Jewish mother was already confronted with German and Hungarian anti-Semitism - and was stunned by the moral and physical ruins of the Nazi regime after the Second World War. His passion for music did not detract from this.
On the contrary, the music offered solace in those years, and that did not change the devastating state in which Fricsay found the RIAS Symphony Orchestra in 1948. When he took over the orches-tra, only "second and third-rate concerts" had to be performed with the musicians, Fricsay said in re-trospect. For the passionate conductor no reason for resignation, but rather an incentive. The Hungarian wins well-trained musicians for the orchestra and forms it within a few years into a highly differentiated ensemble.
Full of embers: Mozart's fever
The audience is excited. The concerts of the RIAS Symphony Orchestra are booming, and Ferenc Fricsay senses that he has to capture this unique, unfurled, uplifting tone. He tirelessly drives the orchestra to recordings. In the years 1951-1954 he dedicated himself to the orchestral works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart . Fricsay, by the way an excellent connoisseur of contemporary music, considers Mozart to be "the greatest spirit of music that ever lived".
But unlike many music lovers, he does not see the light-footed dancer in the sensual Bonvivant. On the contrary. For him, Mozart is "full of passion, full of passion and in every measure - if he wanted - full of drama". What this means is now demonstrated by Fricsay's state-of-the-art Mozart recordings for radio. For decades, they slumbered in the archives of the Deutschlandfunk Kultur. Now they are being handed over to the classical audience for the first time in remastered form.
Absolute music: "a glimmer of gold" - "a certain happiness"
Four recordings comprise this edition, which can be regarded as a sensation without any exa-geration. Mozart was seldom heard so profoundly, so yearningly driven. Fricsay discovers ro-mantic motifs in the Viennese classic. Mozart moves closer to Beethoven and a bit from Haydn. In doing so, Fricsay never suppresses the exhilarating, relieving moment with Mozart, who crea-ted absolute music for Fricsay. Whether in the selection of the symphonies to be heard here, the smaller orchestral works or the arias attached as bonuses:
One always feels what Fricsay meant when he spoke of the "shimmer of gold," the "certain happi-ness" that Mozart donates. Therefore, this limited edition is recommended to all lovers of profound orchestral music. The musical experience is overwhelming, and the attached Mozart notes by the Hungarian conductor and the highly informative essay by Wolfgang Stähr on Fricsay's legendary years with the RIAS Symphony Orchestra also offer pure reading enjoyment.