Toscanini's 1939 Beethoven Cycle, Pt. 3

"When Beethoven’s “Pastoral” is played with the beauty, clearness and meticulous finish of phrase that Mr. Toscanini bestows upon it there is a new realization of the beauty of the music and its craftsmanship, and the potent simplicity of the thought. For Mr. Toscanini, no more than Beethoven, hasn’t anything to conceal. Examine his performance with a magnifying glass for the score and an ear trumpet to magnify any tonal error at hand, and you will only marvel at the workmanship of composer, conductor and orchestra.

As for the thrilling performance of the Fifth symphony, it need only be said that it sounded exactly as Beethoven would have had it, and rang as true as steel throughout its gamut of heroic feeling. It is certainly the most dramatic symphony ever written. The audience was applauding wildly as the reviewers fled to their task." - 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. This third volume adds the Symphony No. 5 and Symphony No. 6 to the series, together with the Coriolan Overture.