Toscanini's 1939 Beethoven Cycle, Part 5

"The fifth broadcast concert of Toscanini’s Beethoven cycle with the NBC Symphony Orchestra took place last night at Radio City. Of the master’s physical life, the program traversed the first three decades of the nineteenth century. Of his creative life, it spanned a distance that is unequaled in the realm of music. There were the “Leonore” Overtures Nos. 1 and 2; the Eighth symphony, and excerpts from the ballet “Prometheus”— products of the earlier years. And there were the middle two movements of the F major quartet, Op. 135, which came the year before the master’s last. Toscanini has simply transferred the original quartet parts for full orchestral strings and fortified the ’cellos in certain measures with a few stands of double-basses ... In the hands of a Toscanini, whose sense of classic line is exquisite, whose shaping of delicate nuance is a unique feat, these excerpts—particularly the slow movement—are almost reborn to our ears, assuming a pristine beauty... " - The New York Times, 1939

This week we present the fifth and penultimate volume of this monumental series, presented in stunning sound quality. As essential purchase!

"What also marks these richly satisfying performances is their warmth, their absence of the relentlessness that could disfigure his Beethoven. The voltage is high, but the music has space; it breathes, and gives delight" - The Sunday Times, 2019