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Best sound over all previous editions. Extensive notes and broadcast commentary and ovations.
From the Recording Notes by Richard Caniell: This 1941 broadcast of the Sixth Symphony and Piano Concerto was released by us through Naxos, but they omitted the Voyevoda and the commentary without our knowledge or permission, and the sound was denigrated in a loss of overtones, in some sound compression of the tuttis and in a thickening of the bottom end, hence this release of the complete concert.
Our original tape of this broadcast from Gardner revealed the transfer from the lacquers to be good, the surface noise sporadic and not excessive and the dynamics needing only a little emphasis to reverse the leveling which the original broadcast engineers imparted to the sound transmission. Its many pitch problems were solved by the young conductor John Sullivan, who is our music consultant. We believe the All-Tchaikovsky Benefit Concert to be a worthy addition to our knowledge of Toscanini’s involvement with these works and represented the first occasion when Horowitz and Toscanini collaborated in the First Piano Concerto.
Bonus: Rienzi Overture, The Flying Dutchman Overture (with rehearsal segment), Tannhäuser Prelude to Act III (Original full length version)
Three discs for the price of two
Remastered from a new source with a substantial improvement in sonics over our previous Guild Music release. Plus: two rehearsal portions from Die Walküre. Bonus:?Overture to Rienzi, Flying Dutchman rehearsal &?broadcast, Tannhäuser Prelude Act III
The first Beethoven Ninth conducted by Toscanini with the NBC had him untypically pleased. Here it is in excellent sound for the era. The second CD offers the entire concert of 5 April 1941: Rossini, Mendelssohn, and Berlioz. Another offering for Toscanini’s 150th anniversary
BOXED SET - 10 CDS FOR THE PRICE OF 8 - LIMITED EDITION
BEST SOUND OVER ALL PREVIOUS RELEASES
Full Broadcast Commentary: Gene Hamilton
Rehearsal and broadcast Beethoven Third Piano Concerto (with Rubinstein); interview with Robert Hupka and two True Stereo Beethoven Overtures, 1939.
Finally, the ultimate presentation of the complete broadcast series in a restoration that offers best sound over all previous releases. Full commentary, extensive articles, photos, plus the tenth CD offers a rehearsal (orchestra) for the broadcast of the Beethoven Third Piano Concerto followed by the broadcast of that work (with Rubenstein) in better sound than the RCA Victor CD. Also Hupka interview about accidental stereo and two examples from the 1939 Beethoven Cycle.
TOSCANINI 150TH ANNIVERSARY
Limited edition which has now been re-published. Available now.
Concerts of 24 February, 17 March, 31 March, 7 April
Derived from private recordings that have preserved four of the six concerts that were broadcast, our restoration offers Heifetz in the Violin Concerto and Horowitz in the First Piano Concerto, among many other works. On-pitch transfers with best sound. Another valuable addition to our Toscanini Legacy series.
From Colin Clarke’s review published in FANFARE magazine's Nov/Dec 2014 issue:
As a window into Toscanini’s fire-hot Brahms, this can hardly be bettered. . . . There is more impetuosity in the orchestral contributions to the Heifetz account of the violin concerto, which acts as an indispensable complement to that violinists Boston and Chicago commercial accounts. The warmth, both orchestrally and from the solo, comes through the intervening years. The violin (sound) is excellently preserved here. . . .
Matching the high level of soloist for the violin concerto is Vladimir Horowitz for the First Piano Concerto. . . sonic problems here are particularly intrusive . . . yet, on the other side of the coin, the gossamer strings of the central slow movement serve surprisingly well . . . If the soloist and conductor are (famously perhaps) not ideally matched, there is plenty of fire from both in the finale. . . . this remains a stimulating and unmissable performance.
Toscanini followers will need no prompting to purchase this set. The sterling work at Immortal Performances continues.
Brahms: Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24
Brahms Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major, Op. 83
Brahms and Toscanini: BBC Interview: Ian Carson - Manoug Parikian
This long sought broadcast is now made available after a lengthy restoration as a world premiere release made in association with the Toscanini Estate. It also includes Brahms Handel Variations (Rubbra) from NBC 1939, the Second Piano Concerto with Horowitz (Lucerne 1939) and an interview with Manoug Parikian, concertmaster of the Philharmonia orchestra about playing Brahms under Toscanini’s direction. Extensive articles, Recording Notes, Requiem text, documentation and biographies.
TWO PERFORMANCES IN ONE SET (5 CDS FOR THE COST OF 4)
STABILE - SOMIGLIA - CRAVENCO - VASARI
OLTRABELLA - BIASINI -BORGIOLI - LAZZARI
Others - Chorus of the Vienna State Opera
Vienna Philharmonic, Salzburg
9 August 1937
Also: FALSTAFF Act I - same cast as above (29 August 1936)
VALDENGO - NELLI - ELMO - MERRIMAN
STITCH-RANDALL - GUARRERA - MADASI
Others - Robert Shaw Choral
NBC Symphony Orchestra
1, 8 April 1950
(Commentary by Ben Grauer)
Bonus: FALSTAFF rehearsal Act I, NBC March 1950
The Salzburg performance is here offered in the best, most natural sonics achievable, unlike the bloated, bottled releases we’ve heard, in an edition that we believe superior in all ways. The 1950 broadcast with full commentary and curtain calls offers sound better, in some ways, then the excellent RCA/BMG release and offers a bonus of an orchestral rehearsal for Act I never previously available. This is the ultimate edition.
Toscanini: A Lifetime of Influences
by Richard Caniell
This well-known first concert by Toscanini and the NBC Symphony offers best sound over all previous editions. Also included: a musician tells about rehearsing for this concert, then Chotzinoff tells the story of visiting Toscanini to gain his agreement, Sarnoff tells the audience about Toscanini signing a three year contract, and a Hupka interview in which he tells about recording Toscanini and the photographs he took. Lastly, there is a 17 minute rehearsal segment of the Beethoven Coriolan Overture, the presence of which is connected to a second booklet in the album (44 pages) entitled Toscanini, A Lifetime of Influences by Richard Caniell in which this rehearsal was a pivotal experience. Booklet article by Robert Matthew-Walker, rare photos.
The 7th of July Concert, published complete for the first time, is in excellent sound. This album also includes a performance of Strauss Death and Transfiguration, professionally recorded at the Festival. (It is erroneously stated in our booklet material that this Death and Transfiguration is a world premiere we have since learned this is not the case.) The bonus offers two performances: Smetana’s The Moldau and Strauss’ Don Juan from the 1949 Venice Music Festival in less good sonics. Booklet text concerning the performances, recording notes and photos, combine to present a vivid aural portrait of Toscanini’s first European performances after the war.
Vienna State Opera Chorus - Vienna Philharmonic - Salzburg 1937
Nissen - Reining - Noort - Wiedemann - Others
Nissen - Kullman - Lehmann - Wiedemann - Others
Act III Scenes - Salzburg 1936
This well-known, much revered recording in a restoration that offers improved sound in many portions even over the celebrated Andante release. The 1936 Meistersinger offers Act III, Scenes 1 through 3, and the Prize Song through to the end of the opera in good sound for the era. Extensive articles, photos, documentation and biographies.
The Missa Solemnis is offered in superior sound to the BBC’s own CD release and with its many problems now resolved. In addition the two BBC Recordings of the Sixth and Seventh
Symphonies are heard in a restoration that draws out their inherent color and dimension.
RARE RECORDINGS FROM THE NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC SERIES
of New York
28 April 1935
Martinelli, Rethberg, Telva, Pinza
Chorus of the Schola Cantorum
1935 Met Simon Boccanegra
Act I, Scene 1 complete
Rethberg, Martinelli, Pinza, Tibbett
Harvey Sachs , in his famed book about Toscanini, writes of the three Philharmonic performances of the music that they were:
. . . of breathtaking depth and majesty; they are
relaxed and flexible yet precise and fluent
This important performance, previously published in exceedingly poor, off-pitch sound, is here offered in a sonically restored edition. The booklet text is by John Steane, the article about the composer and the Missa is by Richard Caniell, as are the extensive Recording Notes. The bonus offers the complete Act I, Scene 1 of Simon Boccanegra, Met 1935, a conjunction suggested by Mr. Steane as an interesting contrast in hearing two performances by Martinelli, Rethberg and Pinza in the same year. The album also offers two short interviews with Rethberg and Martinelli about their experience with Toscanini, together with photos of the singers in both broadcasts making this an album to treasure.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: NEWLY REVIEWED, COMPLETELY REMASTERED DISCS
The 1935 Missa Solemnis conducted by Toscanini means the world to our Sound Engineer, Richard Caniell, and he has spent untellable hours, weeks, from month to month over the past three years on it. Even after we released it and it was reviewed and purchased by many music lovers, he nonetheless kept returning to it, hoping to yet improve its sonics. Recently he achieved a significant break-through in sound improvement in clarity, in tone, in the divisions between the choral voices and the orchestra, and in more natural sound (which was greatly injured by the private recording and AM transmission). We now offer this re-mastered version, which includes a brief booklet dedicating the album to John Steane, as well as describing the improvements. (See link below to reviews of this new edition in Fanfares pages). For those who have previously purchased the earlier edition from us, the two remastered CDs will be provided for a minimal cost-covering fee of $10.00, to be included with some other of your purchases, or with the addition of postage costs if obtained by itself. (Contact us.)
Elgar: Introduction and Allegro for Strings, Op. 47
Mozart: Symphony No. 41 Jupiter in C Major, K. 551
Dvorak: Scherzo Capriccioso, Op. 66
Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition
9 April 1944 Concert
Wagner: Parsifal Prelude and Good Friday Spell
Mendelssohn: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in E?Minor, Op. 64
Jascha Heifetz, violin
Bonus: Rehearsals for the 20 April 1940 Concert
Very good sound, includes a free third CD of rehearsal portions of the four works heard on 20 April 1940. The 9 April 1944 Wagner has improved sound and the Mendelssohn Violin concerto (Heifetz) is on pitch.
From David Canfield’s review published in FANFARE magazine's Nov/Dec 2014 issue:
This set is recommended highly, and not only to Toscanini enthusiasts who will particularly welcome its issuance, but to all aficionados of great conducting and historical musical documents.
The sound is rich and full, and rather astonishing for the technology of the era, given its presence and vitality.
The Elgar Introduction and Allegro that opens the concert is a vibrant reading, with the solo string quartet of the NBC orchestra playing with almost a Heifetz-like intensity. . . Toscanini extracts every ounce of passion from his forces in this dynamic performance.
Toscanini reduced the size of his string section for the following Jupiter Symphony of Mozart to maintain proper balance between the sections. . . . Every line herein is clearly delineated and every woodwind interjection clearly audible in Toscanini’s meticulous balancing. [My] colleague [Mortimer] Frank is quoted in the program notes as preferring this performance of the Jupiter to the two later Toscanini readings captured on tape, calling this performance free from excessive haste, texturally transparent, and remarkably flexible in rhythm.
[The estimate of Pictures of an Exhibition (Orchestrated by Ravel) is given considerable length in this review, so you are referred to the complete text. Other aspects of the album connected to the 9 April 1944 concert and the Bonus disc of rehearsal excerpts are also set forth in the complete text of this lengthy assessment.]
This private off-the-air recording of a memorable concert in Toscanini’s last year with the Philharmonic has been very extensively worked upon to correct many pitch variances, minimize surface noise, fill in turnover gaps, and improve the dynamics that were compressed by the radio broadcast limiters. While in better sound than some home-recorded discs, the surface noise can rather high in some places, and while these don’t offer sonics of modern recordings, they are all we have and are, thus, a treasurable part of our cultural legacy.
The bonus Beethoven Triple Concerto, though noisy, has remarkable presence and focus of sound, hugely improved over the gravely over-filtered Naxos version that we endured with their re-engineering of our restoration, now released in this album with much relief.
The All Debussy concert offers somewhat better tone and dimension than what has been previously available, with many pitch problems corrected, and dynamics expanded to compensate the poor microphone placement and radio limiters of the time. The magazine Musical America devoted an entire page to this concert, its reviewer (Oscar Thompson) writing that . . . as a program, this was the outstanding novelty of the orchestral year, one which was among the most distinctive of Toscanini’s American achievements . . . in finish, balance of parts and beauty of tone, Toscanini’s orchestral performance could scarcely have been surpassed.
Bach: Toccata and Fugue - Orchestrated by Sir Henry Wood
(with full broadcast commentary)
The legacy of private recordings made of the New York Philharmonic broadcasts of the 1935 and 1936 seasons when they were directed by Toscanini have had little circulation and those which have been reproduced have been in appallingly bad sound (with gaps every 15 minutes while the private recordist changed discs). The reasons for this dismal state of affair is set forth in this album but there is a bright side: our discovery of the first generation copy of the original lacquers. These provide superior sonics and, while the lacquers are sporadically noisy, a rich experience of the two concerts is now possible. There are no gaps and broadcast commentary is included for both performances. The booklet offers extensive texts about the performances and includes detailed recording notes. This is the first in a planned series of Toscanini New York Philharmonic restorations we will be releasing, albums that we believe will justly be considered the ultimate editions.
Leonard Warren, Zinka Milanov, Jan Peerce, Nan Merriman, Nicola Moscona
600 Voice Chorus
WAGNER - VERDI - SOUSA
Madison Square Garden - 25 May 1944
Of all the many wartime benefit concerts conducted by Toscanini, this one, performed in the old Madison Square Garden before an audience of over 19,000 music lovers, was the most stupendous. For this occasion the New York Philharmonic and the NBC Symphony were fused into one orchestra of over 200 musicians. With a chorus of 600 voices, and with famed soloists from the Metropolitan Opera, this is a concert of historic importance. Superb sound; extensive program notes. The bonus presents the VE Day broadcast in which Toscanini conducted the Beethoven Fifth Symphony
This immense concert offers, among other memorable performances, what may be the most electrifying, deeply moving performances of the Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde ever conducted by the Maestro. For those who revere these artists, musicians and conductor, this is the ultimate, never to be forgotten, memento of an unparalleled musical event.
The Immortal Performances restoration of the 1938 Verdi Requiem BBCSO is startlingly better than Testament and shows what has been greatly missing until now - its fine presence and frequency range.
Christopher Dyment, author of Toscanini in Britain
Best sound over all previous editions. Extensive notes and broadcast commentary and ovations.
Recently, Mr. Caniell’s attention returned to this BBC 1938 Verdi Requiem broadcast previously released in a good transfer by Testament, though our sound engineer had different ideas of how it should sound. Testament’s exceedingly wide distribution cancelled his intent to work on, and release, the BBC until now, 10 years later. During these intervening years of enlarged experience with restoration techniques, Mr. Caniell re-affirmed that while the Testament edition was good, its sound was compressed in a way that could be made far better.
Mr. Caniell’s transfer is taken from the tapes given to him by Richard Gardner, Toscaninni’s sound editor. Mr. Caniell writes in his Recording Notes: What you have in your hands is the result of my endeavor to open up the tonal spectrum, reduce the thick bottom end, and enliven the performance by restoring lost overtones. In addition, I endeavored to further restore the dynamics between piano and forte, recreating, so far as possible, the heaven-storming crescendi that the Old Man achieved with the BBC forces.
Of the six recordings of Toscanini’s performances of the Verdi Requiem known to me, the 1938 NBC performance seems to me in many ways the most beautiful and most remarkable of them all.
Harvey Sachs, author of Toscanini
One of Toscanini's most memorable achievements with this great work, never broadcast in the U.S., in good sound. Perhaps Milanov's greatest singing of this music. This virtually unknown performance with the NBC Symphony, from Toscanini's personal collection, was passed down from Toscanini to Richard Gardner, his sound engineer, who in turn gave it to our archivist and sound engineer, Richard Caniell. A stupendous performance! Bonus: All Verdi NBC Concert, 31 January 1943 with Peerce, Della Chiesa, Moscona and chorus. The concert includes music from Forza del Destino, Nabucco, Traviata, Otello and the first U.S. performances of Hymn of the Nations in an electrifying performance. Much of this program has not been previously released.
This much-circulated broadcast is here presented in the best sonics ever heard together with the full broadcast commentary. Also includes Memorial comments connected with Toscanini’s death as well as the WQXR program The Impact of Toscanini. Articles, biographies, Recording Notes.