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Debussy: Iberia, La Mer, Etc / Toscanini, Nbc Symphony


Release Date: 01/25/2005 
Label:  Guild   Catalog #: 2271/72   Spars Code: AAD 
Composer:  Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 2 Hours 25 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This concert is an important one for all those who love Toscanini because it marks the last time he performed what were probably his three favorite Debussy pieces. Not only are these Toscaniniís last performances of these three great works, but they are also the best sounding ones. For the NBC broadcasts had been moved, in January 1951, from the rather dead and dry Studio 8H in the RCA building at New Yorkís Rockefeller Center to the sonic warmth of Carnegie Hall. It is most interesting to compare this 1953 performance with the one of Iberia that Toscanini and the NBC Symphony recorded in Studio 8H on June 2, 1950 for RCA. Because Toscanini, in his later years, often conducted works faster than he had done earlier in his career, and Read more because those later, faster performances were occasionally a bit tense and driven, we have fallen into the habit of assuming that the more satisfyingly relaxed of two Toscanini performances of the same work will be the slower one. The fascinating thing about this particular comprison is that the 1953 Iberia is more relaxed and yet is almost a minute shorter than the one from 1950. As with Iberia, so with La Mer: the differences between the performance of February 14, 1953, and that of June 1, 1950 are slight but significant. And again the later performance is both better and a little faster ñ in all three movements. The rehearsal included in this set gives us an excellent chance to hear Toscanini at work, gradually building the great performance of La Mer we have just heard. We hear him say: ìAlways, I remember. I remember. I have a good memory. I remember.î William H. Youngren writes: ìConsidering that Toscaniniís photographic memory contained most of the music of the last 200 years, this must be one of the worldís great understatements. Yet it was uttered with the same self-effacing matter-of-factness as everything he said about himself. Toscanini was not, heaven help us, a humble man: when it came to orchestral conductors, he knew he was the best ñ or, anyway, the least baad. He didnít brag about such matters; he merely told the truth. It was this spirit of clear-eyed realism and dedication to the task at hand that made his men ñ or most of them, at any rate ñ love and respect him. And it is these same qualities that were so clearly at work in his many, fortunately preserved rehearsals.î Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune by Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1892-1894; France 
Date of Recording: 02/14/1953 
Venue:  Live  Carnegie Hall, New York City, NY 
Length: 8 Minutes 39 Secs. 
Notes: Composition written: France (1892 - 1894). 
2. La mer: 1st movement, De l'aube à midi sur la mer by Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903-1905; France 
Date of Recording: 02/13/1953 
Venue:  Live  Carnegie Hall, New York City, NY 
Length: 14 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a recording of a rehearsal. 
3. La mer: 2nd movement, Jeux de vagues by Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903-1905; France 
Date of Recording: 02/13/1953 
Venue:  Live  Carnegie Hall, New York City, NY 
Length: 34 Minutes 20 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a recording of a rehearsal. 
4. La mer: 3rd movement, Dialogue du vent et de la mer by Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903-1905; France 
Date of Recording: 02/13/1953 
Venue:  Live  Carnegie Hall, New York City, NY 
Length: 17 Minutes 59 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a recording of a rehearsal. 
5. Images for Orchestra: no 2, Ibéria - Par les ruses et par les chemins by Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1905-1912; France 
Date of Recording: 02/14/1953 
Venue:  Live  Carnegie Hall, New York City, NY 
Length: 6 Minutes 52 Secs. 
6. Images for Orchestra: no 2, Ibéria - Les parfums de la nuit by Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1905-1912; France 
Date of Recording: 02/14/1953 
Venue:  Live  Carnegie Hall, New York City, NY 
Length: 6 Minutes 19 Secs. 
7. Images for Orchestra: no 2, Ibéria - Le matin d'un jour de fête by Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1905-1912; France 
Date of Recording: 02/14/1953 
Venue:  Live  Carnegie Hall, New York City, NY 
Length: 4 Minutes 21 Secs. 

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