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Toscanini Conducts Music From Russia


Release Date: 01/28/2003 
Label:  Music & Arts Programs Of America Catalog #: 1115   Spars Code: AAD 
Composer:  Sergei ProkofievPeter Ilyich TchaikovskyMikhail GlinkaModest Mussorgsky
Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 2 Hours 18 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Russian music figured in Toscanini's symphonic programs from his very first concert, when on March 20, 1896, he played the Nutcracker Suite with his orchestra at the Teatro Regio, Turin. A year later, also at Turin, he followed this with, if not the first, certainly one of the earliest Italian performances of the Pathetique Symphony, just five years after its premiere. This and Toscanini's Italian premiere of Eugene Onegin at La Scala in April, 1900, served Tchaikovsky's cause in Italy, just as Toscanini's US premiere of Boris Godunov at the Met in March, 1913, did much for Mussorgsky's in the New World. Although he followed this up with performances of Boris at La Scala commencing in 1922, other Russian music largely dropped out of sight. Read more For example, after that early Pathetique, Tchaikovsky for a long time disappeared from his concert repertoire; Toscanini found his music in general too emotionally obvious ("I've never had the desire to conduct this Leoncavallo of the classics," he remarked in a 1934 letter) and some of it, such as the Fifth Symphony too banal ever to touch. Nevertheless, when symphonic music started to dominate Toscanini's music making in the late 1920s, Russian works began to reappear with greater frequency; so much so that the works here presented from NBC concerts of 1947-48 (taken from recently discovered broadcast transcription discs, and lovingly reprocessed by Maggi Payne) were all repeatedly programmed by him during the New York Philharmonic-NBC Symphony years and were all set down in studio sessions or released in "official" RCA recordings. For the collector then, the principal interest in this representative cross-section of Toscanini's selective affinity for Russian music will lie in the observable difference of approach disclosed by these performances from the familiar commercial releases. As each was the product of fresh and prolonged study, so every one of them differed, often substantially , from the other, and in the conductor's last years this sometimes led to greater breadth and relaxation. Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 1 in D major, Op. 25 "Classical" by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1916-1917; Russia 
Date of Recording: 11/15/1947 
Venue:  Live  Carnegie Hall, New York City 
2.
Symphony no 6 in B minor, Op. 74 "Pathétique" by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Russia 
Date of Recording: 11/15/1947 
Venue:  Live  Carnegie Hall, New York City 
3.
Capriccio brillante on the theme "Jota aragonesa" by Mikhail Glinka
Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845; Russia 
Date of Recording: 02/28/1948 
Venue:  Live  Carnegie Hall, New York City 
4.
Manfred Symphony in B minor, Op. 58 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885 
Date of Recording: 02/28/1948 
Venue:  Live  Carnegie Hall, New York City 
5.
Pictures at an Exhibition for Orchestra (orchestrated by Ravel) by Modest Mussorgsky
Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1874/1922; Russia 
Date of Recording: 02/14/1948  
Venue:  Live Carnegie Hall, New York City 

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