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Arturo Toscanini conducts Beethoven


Release Date: 12/06/2019 
Label:  Sony   Catalog #: 19075964772  
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Jan PeerceNan MerrimanEileen FarrellNorman Scott,   ... 
Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony OrchestraRobert Shaw Chorale
Number of Discs: 6 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The commitment from conductor and orchestra alike is total. This shines through in these incandescent performances. One recalls the Toscanini quote "Is not Napoleon. Is not Eroica. Is Allegro con brio." These are pure performances defined clearly by the scores and nothing else.

Celebrating the 250th anniversary of his birth, Sony Music Entertainment presents four major reissues devoted to Ludwig van Beethoven in its series of Classical Masters. Among the treasures in these new budget-priced sets are the complete symphonies, string quartets and violin sonatas performed by illustrious musicians of the past century.

Between 1949 and 1952, in his mid-80s, Arturo Toscanini conducted his hand-picked
Read more NBC Symphony Orchestra in the 9 Symphonies, with RCA Victor’s microphones (mostly in Carnegie Hall) capturing the legendary maestro’s final thoughts on the great works. These taut, unflaggingly energetic performances have never sounded better than in Sony Classical’s latest remastering. From the same period comes Beethoven’s Missa solemnis. When it was released in 1953, one of the reviewers in the UK’s Record Guide wrote that “for sheer incandescence and drama the performance can seldom have been equaled”, and later a Gramophone critic called it “indispensable”, declaring that “the strivings for effects almost beyond the power of even music to express, the visionary, the serene components of the massive work are all incomparably expressed in Toscanini’s reading”.

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Excerpt of review of earlier CD release of this set; NLA.

These definitive performances have been in and out of the catalog intermittently since the 1950s; more in than out, I am pleased to say.

Toscanini was well known for his strict adherence to the composer’s instructions. Although academic research has opened our senses to Beethoven’s tempo markings, many of these are almost met in the present very fine performances.

The commitment from conductor and orchestra alike is total. This shines through in these incandescent performances. One recalls the Toscanini quote "Is not Napoleon. Is not Eroica. Is Allegro con brio." These are pure performances defined clearly by the scores and nothing else.

– MusicWeb International (2004) Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 1 in C major, Op. 21 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1800; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: December 21, 1951 
Venue:  Carnegie Hall, New York 
2.
Symphony no 2 in D major, Op. 36 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1801-1802; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: November 7, 1949 
3.
Symphony no 3 in E flat major, Op. 55 "Eroica" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1803; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: December 6, 1953 
4.
Symphony no 4 in B flat major, Op. 60 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1806; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: February 3, 1951 
5.
Symphony no 5 in C minor, Op. 67 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1807-1808; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: March 22,1952 
6.
Symphony no 6 in F major, Op. 68 "Pastoral" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
Written: 1808 
Date of Recording: January 14, 1952 
7.
Symphony no 7 in A major, Op. 92 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1811-1812; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: November 9/10 1951 
8.
Symphony no 8 in F major, Op. 93 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1812; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: November 11, 1951 
9.
Symphony no 9 in D minor, Op. 125 "Choral" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Jan Peerce (Tenor), Nan Merriman (Mezzo Soprano), Eileen Farrell (Soprano),
Norman Scott (Bass)
Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Robert Shaw Chorale,  NBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1822-1824; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 3/31/52 & 4/1/52 
Language: German 
10.
Egmont, Op. 84: Overture by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1810; Vienna, Austria 
11.
Missa solemnis in D major, Op. 123 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Lois Marshall (Soprano), Nan Merriman (Mezzo Soprano), Eugene Conley (Tenor),
Jerome Hines (Bass)
Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Robert Shaw Chorale,  NBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1823; Vienna, Austria 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 The intense Toscanini January 5, 2021 By phillip sawicki (College Park, MD) See All My Reviews "Toscanini's interpretations of Beethoven are revived in this set, and in that sense it's a pleasurable return to an earlier era. But these recordings were made seventy years ago, and the fidelity of each disc is somewhat variable. While later recordings by other conductors may be preferable sonically speaking, I'm not sure anyone else has ever matched the maestro's dramatic renderings." Report Abuse
 Interesting compilation of Beethoven Symphonies April 19, 2020 By M. Uribe (Greeley, CO) See All My Reviews "Several compilations out there including Karajan, Szell, Bernstein and Toscanini. Interesting listening to the interpretive comparisons. Toscanini was considered a genius in his time, but I don't see these recordings as reflecting a great deal of difference. Remastering of the older recordings was decent. Having The Missa Solemnis included was a nice bonus. This is a collection worth having." Report Abuse
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