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The Immortal Toscanini, Vol. 2--Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 5, 6, 7 & 8


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Nov. 23 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: RCA
  • ASIN: B00000F1BQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #115,894 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Symphony No. 5 In C Minor, Op. 67: Allegro con brio
2. Symphony No. 5 In C Minor, Op. 67: Andante con moto
3. Symphony No. 5 In C Minor, Op. 67: Allegro
4. Symphony No. 5 In C Minor, Op. 67: Allegro
5. Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68 - Pastorale: Happy Feelings Aroused On Arriving In The Country
6. Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68 - Pastorale: Scene By The Brook
7. Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68 - Pastorale: Peasant's Merry - Making
8. Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68 - Pastorale: Thunderstorm
9. Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68 - Pastorale: Shepherds's Song: Joyous Thanksgiving After The Storm
Disc: 2
1. Symphony No. 7 In A Major, Op. 92: Poco sostenuto - Vivace
2. Symphony No. 7 In A Major, Op. 92: Allegretto
3. Symphony No. 7 In A Major, Op. 92: Presto - Assai meno presto - Presto
4. Symphony No. 7 In A Major, Op. 92: Allegro con brio
5. Sympnony No. 8 in F Major, Op. 93: Allegro vivace e con brio
6. Sympnony No. 8 in F Major, Op. 93: Allegretto scherzando
7. Sympnony No. 8 in F Major, Op. 93: Tempo di Menuetto
8. Sympnony No. 8 in F Major, Op. 93: Allegro vivace

Product Description

Arturo Toscanini ~ Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 5-8

Customer Reviews

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By A Customer on June 23 2004
Format: Audio CD
when furtwangler came to new york toscanini did everything possible to quash furtwanglers success in america and he accomplished that. toscanini also did the same thing to mahler and attempted but failed in quashing stokowski. americans gobbled up his pretentious ' by the sacred word' BS and followed him like he was a god.
but why did toscanini make such concentrated efforts to destroy these fellow conductors?
perhaps because toscanini was merely show. he hadnt even an iota of the artistry that the afore mnetioned possessed.
even toscaninis repertoire was limited. beethoven,brahms, the italians, and little else. and what he did conduct was normally lifeless. his recordings are dry and thats the way he preferred them.
both mahler and stokowski favored newer composers and that was another issue toscanini was at odds with.
toscanini preferred hanging onto the past and so americans, who also resist change,clung to him like moronic disciples.
could toscanini ever record anything like furtwanglers tristan? and could he give it the intensity, spirituality and passion that furtwangler did?
his recordings bear out that he simply wasnt that deep.
could toscanini challenge himself or listeners by givivng an unbridled perfromance of the challenging scriabin like stokowski did?
again, the answer is in evidence before us.
toscanini was the genesis of americas group of 'classical fundamnetalists' and in effect he and his followers have virtually killed the artform.
it really wasnt long ago when stravinsky and debussy were the rage. living composers exciting the world. who do we have today?
no one. the well is dry.
the blame can be laid at this violent, musical idiots feet.
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In Toscanini's lifetime, he was often reviled--particularly by Europeans--for his supposedly "insensitive" Beethoven and Brahms, but as time has receded from his active career we now recognize that he was merely too far ahead of his time. His 1933 Beethoven 5th with the NY Phil, also available on CD (and quite beautiful in its own way), is much more of its time: tempo fluctuations, rhetorical phrasing and a perhaps too-wide dynamic range that leads to certain notes being almost inaudible. In this set, however, it is only the 7th symphony that suffers from a tight, tense, inflexible reading, not to mention poor, boxy sonics that kill the conductor's intent. This 5th, once one gets past the slightly rushed first movement, is a model of classical balance and elegance; the 6th is moving in its emotional but unsentimental delineation of the score (though his BBC 6th is better); and the 8th is unsurpassed in its sweeping drama. In short, a fine addition to the "new" Toscanini legacy, for now and in the future.
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Toscanini was probably the most dominant maestro the world has ever known. Wherever his presence was felt, whether it be La Scala in Italy, The Met, Philadelphia, or NYP, it lingered even after he left. There have been many stories of when Toscanini left, not only did the quality of the performances diminish, but the respect of the musicians toward his "replacement." Granted it wasn't intentional, but rather a general feeling of incompetence in the new conductor in light of the old. When Toscanini would switch with Stokowski for guest conducting stints between Philadelphia and NYP, utmost respect was exhibited toward Toscanini in Philly, while in New York, the musicians resented Stokowski's different, although masterful and extraordinary, interpretations and style.
This reissue of Beethoven's last four great symphonies before the monumental ninth are among Toscanini's best. The fifth symphony is crisp and clean, the trademark Toscanini style (everyone talks about Stokowski's "Philadelphia Sound" or rather "Stokowski Sound," but what about the "Toscanini Sound?"). It is probably not the best of his numerous Symph. 5 recordings, but it is still very good. The climactic section in the coda leading to the four note heavy segment is hair-raising (the descending eigth note line in the violins into the driving four note phrases). His tempos are superb and closer to the proper tempo as compared to most maestri of the day. The second movement is quite lilting, lyrical, yet with an air of majesty and nobility. The third movement scherzo continues the sound of majesty and the transition into the finale is not only powerful, but right on target to Beethoven's original tempo marking (from 96 to 84).
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