Discussion:
Bruno Walter film date query
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Kerrison
2018-07-30 07:07:29 UTC
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In this YouTube clip from a German documentary, a very lively Bruno Walter conducts the Berlin Philharmonic in the finale of Mozart's 40th Symphony. Shortly after the start there is a shot of the programme page giving the date as 17 March 1930.

However, in the 'comments' and 'replies' under the video, there are those who claim it isn't 1930 at all but a clip of Walter in Berlin in 1950. He was in his early 50s in 1930 and in his 70s in 1950, so judging from assorted photos of him at those respective ages, I think the 1930 date is right. Still, a Bruno Walter specialist will doubtless know for sure! ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NV3ICecRBKc
j***@aol.com
2018-07-30 07:42:18 UTC
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On Monday, July 30, 2018 at 3:07:31 AM UTC-4, Kerrison wrote:
> In this YouTube clip from a German documentary, a very lively Bruno Walter conducts the Berlin Philharmonic in the finale of Mozart's 40th Symphony. Shortly after the start there is a shot of the programme page giving the date as 17 March 1930.
>
> However, in the 'comments' and 'replies' under the video, there are those who claim it isn't 1930 at all but a clip of Walter in Berlin in 1950. He was in his early 50s in 1930 and in his 70s in 1950, so judging from assorted photos of him at those respective ages, I think the 1930 date is right. Still, a Bruno Walter specialist will doubtless know for sure! ...
>
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NV3ICecRBKc

I'm certainly not a Bruno Walter specialist (but an admirer!) and as was mentioned in a Youtube comment, the clip shows the concert in the Berlin Philharmonie - according to Wikipedia this hall "...was constructed over the years 1960–1963 (open on October 15, 1963 Concert Beethoven Symphony No.9 Herbert von Karajan cond. BPO). It was built to replace the old Philharmonie, destroyed by British bombers on 30 January 1944."

Thanks for showing this fascinating clip...
Ed Romans
2018-07-30 08:56:15 UTC
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On Monday, July 30, 2018 at 8:42:20 AM UTC+1, ***@aol.com wrote:
>
> I'm certainly not a Bruno Walter specialist (but an admirer!) and as was mentioned in a Youtube comment, the clip shows the concert in the Berlin Philharmonie - according to Wikipedia this hall "...was constructed over the years 1960–1963 (open on October 15, 1963 Concert Beethoven Symphony No.9 Herbert von Karajan cond. BPO). It was built to replace the old Philharmonie, destroyed by British bombers on 30 January 1944."
>

The clip is definitely shot in the old Philharmonie so it must be pre 1944. The boxes around the edges of the stalls and arches behind the orchestra are easy to compare with a google image search for the old venue.

Ed
drh8h
2018-07-30 13:07:14 UTC
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On Monday, July 30, 2018 at 4:56:17 AM UTC-4, Ed Romans wrote:
> On Monday, July 30, 2018 at 8:42:20 AM UTC+1, ***@aol.com wrote:
> >
> > I'm certainly not a Bruno Walter specialist (but an admirer!) and as was mentioned in a Youtube comment, the clip shows the concert in the Berlin Philharmonie - according to Wikipedia this hall "...was constructed over the years 1960–1963 (open on October 15, 1963 Concert Beethoven Symphony No.9 Herbert von Karajan cond. BPO). It was built to replace the old Philharmonie, destroyed by British bombers on 30 January 1944."
> >
>
> The clip is definitely shot in the old Philharmonie so it must be pre 1944. The boxes around the edges of the stalls and arches behind the orchestra are easy to compare with a google image search for the old venue.
>
> Ed

But I think there is no audience in this performance. The hall scenes are probably stock footage. Come to think of it, there may be a film of him conducting the same music in 1930. That is certainly a post-war version of Walter. Did they just substitute the whole thing?
c***@googlemail.com
2018-07-30 19:08:36 UTC
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On Monday, July 30, 2018 at 2:07:17 PM UTC+1, drh8h wrote:

>
> But I think there is no audience in this performance. The hall scenes are probably stock footage. Come to think of it, there may be a film of him conducting the same music in 1930. That is certainly a post-war version of Walter. Did they just substitute the whole thing?

Haha well spotted! This is now stretching the detective work a bit - if you look at the barrier on the podium behind Walter it does look like the one in the Titania Palast cinema where the orchestra would have played in 1950:
https://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/news-photo/furtwaengler-wilhelm-25-01-1886-conductor-composer-news-photo/541073663#/furtwaengler-wilhelm-2501188630111954conductor-composer-of-the-picture-id541073663

Ed
drh8h
2018-07-30 19:31:26 UTC
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On Monday, July 30, 2018 at 3:08:39 PM UTC-4, ***@googlemail.com wrote:
> On Monday, July 30, 2018 at 2:07:17 PM UTC+1, drh8h wrote:
>
> >
> > But I think there is no audience in this performance. The hall scenes are probably stock footage. Come to think of it, there may be a film of him conducting the same music in 1930. That is certainly a post-war version of Walter. Did they just substitute the whole thing?
>
> Haha well spotted! This is now stretching the detective work a bit - if you look at the barrier on the podium behind Walter it does look like the one in the Titania Palast cinema where the orchestra would have played in 1950:
> https://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/news-photo/furtwaengler-wilhelm-25-01-1886-conductor-composer-news-photo/541073663#/furtwaengler-wilhelm-2501188630111954conductor-composer-of-the-picture-id541073663
>
> Ed

I thought about it some more. I think the "1930" performance was this one. See what happens when people put things together than don't belong together. Mistakes are labelled, and become "facts." Like the people who bring things into the "Antiques Roadshow."

DH
j***@aol.com
2018-07-31 00:34:40 UTC
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I thought I would consult Bruno Walter experts and found the following: https://books.google.com/books?id=eFwzgkxoI30C&pg=PA417&lpg=PA417&dq=film+1950+%22bruno+walter%22&source=bl&ots=8GoOyR5vkc&sig=vIUFI0eEpCRXTy5ynXRSUGIOZPE&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjUz8zHicjcAhUkneAKHZtJDCUQ6AEwEnoECAUQAQ#v=onepage&q=film%201950%20%22bruno%20walter%22&f=false

This is from the book Bruno Walter: A World Elsewhere By Erik Ryding, Rebecca Pechefsky

The conclusion seems to be that this is a composite! The 1950 performance was spliced in to 1930's stock footage...
drh8h
2018-07-31 11:14:54 UTC
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On Monday, July 30, 2018 at 8:34:43 PM UTC-4, ***@aol.com wrote:
> I thought I would consult Bruno Walter experts and found the following: https://books.google.com/books?id=eFwzgkxoI30C&pg=PA417&lpg=PA417&dq=film+1950+%22bruno+walter%22&source=bl&ots=8GoOyR5vkc&sig=vIUFI0eEpCRXTy5ynXRSUGIOZPE&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjUz8zHicjcAhUkneAKHZtJDCUQ6AEwEnoECAUQAQ#v=onepage&q=film%201950%20%22bruno%20walter%22&f=false
>
> This is from the book Bruno Walter: A World Elsewhere By Erik Ryding, Rebecca Pechefsky
>
> The conclusion seems to be that this is a composite! The 1950 performance was spliced in to 1930's stock footage...

Silly me forgot to pull my copy of the book! Looks like they nailed it.

DH
Daniel Pyle
2018-07-31 01:16:20 UTC
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>
> Haha well spotted! This is now stretching the detective work a bit - if you look at the barrier on the podium behind Walter it does look like the one in the Titania Palast cinema where the orchestra would have played in 1950:
> https://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/news-photo/furtwaengler-wilhelm-25-01-1886-conductor-composer-news-photo/541073663#/furtwaengler-wilhelm-2501188630111954conductor-composer-of-the-picture-id541073663
>
> Ed

There is additional evidence that the performance is from 1950. The flute player (who is only seen from the back) is playing a French-style silver flute, which was used in the BPO only after WWII. (You can see silver flutes in the 1945 film of Celibidache conducting them in "Egmont" Overture.) Before that the Berliners always had wooden German-style flutes (see the 1942 film of Furtwängler leading BPO in the Prelude to Act I of "Die Meistersinger".)
Daniel Pyle
2018-07-31 01:24:02 UTC
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I cannot be certain, but I am reasonably sure that the flutist is Aurele Nicolet (BPO principal 1950-1959). We can see only the back of his head, but it looks like him.

Daniel



>
> There is additional evidence that the performance is from 1950. The flute player (who is only seen from the back) is playing a French-style silver flute, which was used in the BPO only after WWII. (You can see silver flutes in the 1945 film of Celibidache conducting them in "Egmont" Overture.) Before that the Berliners always had wooden German-style flutes (see the 1942 film of Furtwängler leading BPO in the Prelude to Act I of "Die Meistersinger".)
Kerrison
2018-07-31 05:51:53 UTC
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>
>
>
> >
> > There is additional evidence that the performance is from 1950. The flute player (who is only seen from the back) is playing a French-style silver flute, which was used in the BPO only after WWII. (You can see silver flutes in the 1945 film of Celibidache conducting them in "Egmont" Overture.) Before that the Berliners always had wooden German-style flutes (see the 1942 film of Furtwängler leading BPO in the Prelude to Act I of "Die Meistersinger".)


It is all very curious! In the Mozart clip, at about 1:13 where the camera is closer to BW, the lighting on him seems to be different - ie: brighter - to the previous back-of-the-orchestra shot. That means more than one camera set-up, as per the brief inserts of the orchestra members themselves.

Then at about 3:34 you get a back-of-the-stalls shot, showing the hall, the platform and the conductor, with the audience in the foreground. This is referred to in the book quoted above, so as it's the pre-war Philharmonie then it must be 1930.

The page from the book referred to above also refers at the top to the movie "Carnegie Hall". This is complete on YouTube and features BW in part of the "Mastersingers" Overture. If you slide the time-line thing along to about 40:30 you get a close-up of BW conducting to a pre-recorded playback track. This was filmed in 1946 and I must say he looks older in this clip than he does in what we are told is the 1950 film of the Mozart! ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruvljAjzscg&t=7370s


Incidentally, was he similarly conducting to a pre-recorded track in the Mozart as well? It's certainly a much cleaner-sounding audio than the 1931 "Oberon" and with all the different camera set-ups needing precise editing of the film, presumably the audio is from 1950. Like I said, all very curious, not to say confusing!
drh8h
2018-07-31 11:26:30 UTC
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On Tuesday, July 31, 2018 at 1:51:55 AM UTC-4, Kerrison wrote:
> >
> >
> >
> > >
> > > There is additional evidence that the performance is from 1950. The flute player (who is only seen from the back) is playing a French-style silver flute, which was used in the BPO only after WWII. (You can see silver flutes in the 1945 film of Celibidache conducting them in "Egmont" Overture.) Before that the Berliners always had wooden German-style flutes (see the 1942 film of Furtwängler leading BPO in the Prelude to Act I of "Die Meistersinger".)
>
>
> It is all very curious! In the Mozart clip, at about 1:13 where the camera is closer to BW, the lighting on him seems to be different - ie: brighter - to the previous back-of-the-orchestra shot. That means more than one camera set-up, as per the brief inserts of the orchestra members themselves.
>
> Then at about 3:34 you get a back-of-the-stalls shot, showing the hall, the platform and the conductor, with the audience in the foreground. This is referred to in the book quoted above, so as it's the pre-war Philharmonie then it must be 1930.
>
> The page from the book referred to above also refers at the top to the movie "Carnegie Hall". This is complete on YouTube and features BW in part of the "Mastersingers" Overture. If you slide the time-line thing along to about 40:30 you get a close-up of BW conducting to a pre-recorded playback track. This was filmed in 1946 and I must say he looks older in this clip than he does in what we are told is the 1950 film of the Mozart! ...
>
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruvljAjzscg&t=7370s
>
>
> Incidentally, was he similarly conducting to a pre-recorded track in the Mozart as well? It's certainly a much cleaner-sounding audio than the 1931 "Oberon" and with all the different camera set-ups needing precise editing of the film, presumably the audio is from 1950. Like I said, all very curious, not to say confusing!

I don't think he looks older in the CH film, just more made-up and tense. The Mozart performance he seems more natural and relaxed.

DH
Kerrison
2018-08-08 11:05:49 UTC
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> I don't think he looks older in the CH film, just more made-up and tense. The Mozart performance he seems more natural and relaxed.
>
> DH

I've just come across another clip of the same Mozart finale, this time seemingly from another German TV documentary, where the opening hall shots are different from the first clip I found. The date on this one however is "1932"! ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6feSPSseEo

Here's a reminder of the "1930" version. Note the different beginning ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NV3ICecRBKc
drh8h
2018-07-30 12:54:51 UTC
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On Monday, July 30, 2018 at 3:07:31 AM UTC-4, Kerrison wrote:
> In this YouTube clip from a German documentary, a very lively Bruno Walter conducts the Berlin Philharmonic in the finale of Mozart's 40th Symphony. Shortly after the start there is a shot of the programme page giving the date as 17 March 1930.
>
> However, in the 'comments' and 'replies' under the video, there are those who claim it isn't 1930 at all but a clip of Walter in Berlin in 1950. He was in his early 50s in 1930 and in his 70s in 1950, so judging from assorted photos of him at those respective ages, I think the 1930 date is right. Still, a Bruno Walter specialist will doubtless know for sure! ...
>
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NV3ICecRBKc

When I first saw this with the program shown from 1930, I thought it has to be from then. But then I looked at this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIooqW8WM60

Now that looks like a man in his mid fifties. (I've been there!)

I think the "1950" people are right and they just showed a program book with him conducting the piece. In the Mozart, he looks like he did in the studio photos from the Columbia recording sessions.
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