WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

In Memory Of Arturo Toscanini / Munch, Walter, Monteux


Release Date: 06/05/2007 
Label:  Music & Arts Programs Of America Catalog #: 1201   Spars Code: AAD 
Composer:  Ludwig van BeethovenClaude DebussySir Edward ElgarPeter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,   ... 
Conductor:  Bruno WalterCharles MunchPierre Monteux
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Symphony of the Air
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Mixed 
Length: 2 Hours 22 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



IN MEMORY OF ARTURO TOSCANINI Bruno Walter, cond; 1 Pierre Monteux, cond; 2 Charles Munch, cond; 3 Symphony of the Air MUSIC & ARTS 1201, mono; 1,2,3 stereo 4 (2 CDs: 141:54) Live: New York 2/3/1957


BEETHOVEN Read more class="ARIAL12b">Symphony No. 3. 1 DEBUSSY La mer. 3 ELGAR Enigma Variations. 2 Berlioz Roman Carnival Overture. 4 TCHAIKOVSKY The Nutcracker: Suite. 4 WAGNER Die Meistersinger: Prelude to Act I 4


The three works led by three different conductors were all recorded in concert—a memorial event that took place in Carnegie Hall on February 3, 1957, 18 days after Arturo Toscanini died in a coma on January 16th. Each of these conductors had previously led the NBC Symphony, which, in a vain struggle to maintain its existence, renamed itself the Symphony of the Air. What we have in these three performances is a document of a significant event, but one that, in the main, may be more valuable as such than for other reasons. So far as I know, only the Beethoven has had previous release. As a reading it is remarkably similar to Walter’s second New York Philharmonic account, albeit sonically inferior to it. Nonetheless, it testifies to Walter’s ability to impose his own concepts of rhythm, tempo, and sonority, on a group whose standards under Toscanini were quite different. As in its previous release, the sound is acceptable but not up to the norm of the day. Sonically, the two other items are considerably better and seem to be drawn from a superior source. Monteux’s Enigma Variations has many of the virtues of Toscanini’s admirable conception, and as Harris Goldsmith notes in his uncommonly informative annotations, “stole the show” at the concert. Munch’s La mer , at least as heard here, is less intense than Toscanini’s without quite matching the power and drama that Toscanini generated. But, given the occasion and the ad hoc circumstances under which the performance took place, it is certainly admirable.


The Tchaikovsky, Berlioz, and Wagner items are drawn from a recording that the orchestra produced as a fundraiser. All were programmed on the orchestra’s conductorless concert of October 27, 1954, and all share traits with Toscanini’s typical readings of each. Yet here, as in that concert, the absence of a guiding hand on the podium deprives each one of the subtle rhythmic flexibility that stamped the Maestro’s work. In short this is a special release, undoubtedly having documentary value, but one that will command interest mainly for specialists.


FANFARE: Mortimer H. Frank
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 3 in E flat major, Op. 55 "Eroica" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Bruno Walter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Symphony of the Air
Period: Classical 
Written: 1803; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 02/03/1957 
Venue:  Live  Carnegie Hall, New York City, USA 
Notes: This selection is a mono recording. 
2.
La mer by Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Charles Munch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Symphony of the Air
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903-1905; France 
Date of Recording: 02/03/1957 
Venue:  Live  Carnegie Hall, New York City, USA 
Notes: This selection is a mono recording. 
3.
Variations on an Original Theme, Op. 36 "Enigma" by Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Pierre Monteux
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Symphony of the Air
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1898-1899; England 
Date of Recording: 02/03/1957 
Venue:  Live  Carnegie Hall, New York City, USA 
Notes: This selection is a mono recording. 
4.
Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Symphony of the Air
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Russia 
Date of Recording: 09/21/1954 
Notes: This selection is a stereo recording. 
5.
Le carnaval romain Overture, Op. 9 by Hector Berlioz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Symphony of the Air
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1843-1844; France 
Date of Recording: 09/21/1954 
Notes: This selection is a stereo recording. 
6.
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg: Act 1 Prelude by Richard Wagner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Symphony of the Air
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1867; Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/21/1954 
Notes: This selection is a stereo recording. 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title