Friday, May 6, 2011

Great conductors of the 20TH century EMI VOL.35 - Toscanini

CD1 [74:51]

Berlioz: Grand Overture 'Les Francs Juges'
April 1941

Brahms: Symphony No.4
November 1948

Dvorák: Symphonic Variations
December 1948

Puccini: Intermezzo ('Manon Lescaut', Act III)
July 1944 Live recordings: NBC Studio 8H, New York
NBC Symphony Orchestra

CD2 [78:22]

Wagner: Overture 'Rienzi'
Live recording: NBC Studio 8H, New York, December 1938
NBC Symphony Orchestra

Beethoven: Symphony No.6 'Pastoral'
Queen's Hall, London, October 1937
BBC Symphony Orchestra

Wagner: Brünnhilde's Immolation ('Götterdämmerung') (with Helen Traubel)
Live recording: Carnegie Hall, New York, February 1941
NBC Symphony Orchestra

Bellini: Introduction, Chorus & Cavatina ('Norma')
(with Nicola Moscona)
Live recording: Carnegie Hall, New York, December 1945
Boys' Choir & Peter Wilhovsky Chorus
NBC Symphony Orchestra


The Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini (1867-1957), who would become a phenomenon in the world of musical performance in the 20th century and an abiding influence as an interpreter (particularly of the music of Beethoven, Wagner & Verdi), was born, the son of a tailor, in Parma in 1867. His musical gifts were such that he was enrolled at the city's Conservatory by the age of nine. Starting his career as an orchestral cellist, he rapidly moved to conducting and served a ten-year 'apprenticeship' in Italian opera houses, before being appointed artistic director of La Scala, Milan, in 1898, aged 31. So it was that the first part of Toscanini's unprecedented 68-year-long career (1886-1954) would be spent in the theatre (15 years at La Scala and 7 years at the Metropolitan in New York), where he pursued his ideal of opera as a totally integrated dramatic art. Once he had achieved that, his career moved from the pit almost exclusively to the podium and the centre of his musical activities became New York, where he was principal conductor of the Philharmonic (1928-36) and then, even more famously and for very nearly the rest of his life, the director of a radio orchestra, the NBC Symphony, created specially for him. He stayed with the orchestra for 17 years and made most of his recordings with it. He died in 1957, two months before his 90th birthday.
The importance of the material on these two CDs lies not only in the rarity of the live recordings, which have not been available before, but also in the rarity of some of these works in Toscanini's own repertoire. The performance of Beethoven's 'Pastoral' Symphony was given in London with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in 1937 and is widely considered to be Toscanini's finest recording of the work, with the conductor at his most expressive and persuasive. The live recordings of the Brahms Symphony (from 1948) and of Brünnhilde's Immolation from Wagner's Götterdämmerung (from 1941) are new to the catalogue and demonstrate the extra intensity Toscanini achieved when performing in front of an audience. The other broadcasts feature works that Toscanini rarely performed in the United States (or, in the case of the Wagner and Berlioz overtures, anywhere else). Furthermore, the extracts from Bellini's Norma, from the two Wagner operas and from Puccini's Manon Lescaut remind us of Toscanini's devotion to the world of opera in the earlier part of his career. Conductors of The 20th Century Vol 35 - Arturo Toscanini.part1.rar Conductors of The 20th Century Vol 35 - Arturo Toscanini.part2.rar Conductors of The 20th Century Vol 35 - Arturo Toscanini.part3.rar

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