Toscanini's 1939 Beethoven Cycle, Pt. 1

"[Toscanini] has seldom given a more impressive demonstration of his capacity to make very familiar music fall so freshly and significantly upon the senses and the mind that the hearer listens to something he has known from childhood with the emotion of unending discovery. We heard three staples of the symphonic repertory: the overture to "Fidelio"; the First symphony; the "Eroica" — these three, and one would say that within the dimensions of two minor works and one which is an ultimate of musical creation — the "Eroica" — he had traversed the immensities of art and the whole sublime trajectory of the spirit of Beethoven." - New York Times, 1939

This year sees the 80th anniversary of Toscanini's legendary 1939 Beethoven Cycle with the NBC Symphony Orchestra. This unique series of concerts unfolded over six weeks of extended broadcasts beginning October 28th and running up to the grand finale at Carnegie Hall on 3rd December, and each is getting release on Pristine.

We're trying to keep the sense of occasion with the inclusion of radio commentary wherever possible, to bring you as close as possible to the experience of hearing these transmissions back in 1939 - but with a sound quality you couldn't have dreamed of at the time or since. Take a listen to the opening movement of the Symphony No. 1  - you've never heard it sound quite so good!