Furtwangler always regarded Beethoven’s ‘Choral’ Symphony as a near-religious work and his performances of it were special occasions. This release is important because it has never been issued before outside Japan and came about because Furtwangler having scheduled a number of performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No.9 in January 1953, fell ill during the first concert which was abandoned. The concerts were then re-scheduled for the end of May 1953 with an extra performance thrown in for those who were at the uncompleted one. This took place on May 30th but is often confused with the final concert which took place a day later on May 31 and which has been released on a number of labels. ICA’s Ambient Mastering recreates the atmosphere of the concert perfectly.