TOSCANINI Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra of New York Complete Recordings ∙ Volume 2 (1926-36) - PASC588

This album is included in the following sets:

TOSCANINI Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra of New York Complete Recordings ∙ Volume 2 (1926-36) - PASC588

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Overview

BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 5
DUKAS L’apprenti sorcier

Overtures and excerpts:
GLUCK Orfeo ed Eurydice
MENDELSSOHN A Midsummer Night’s Dream
ROSSINI Il barbiere di Siviglia
ROSSINI L’Italiana in Algeri
ROSSINI Semiramide
VERDI La traviata

Studio and Live recordings, 1926-36
Total duration:  2hr 24:19

Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra of New York
New York Philharmonic Orchestra

conducted by Arturo Toscanini

This set contains the following albums:

The present release completes Pristine’s survey of Arturo Toscanini’s recordings with the Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra of New York begun with PASC 575, featuring every take published on 78 rpm as well as several items never released in that format. This volume presents a take of the Prelude to Act 3 of Verdi’s La Traviata which has not been available since the shellac era, as well as the first release of the finale of the Beethoven Fifth Symphony from an otherwise unissued live performance.

Toscanini’s first recordings with the ensemble then known as the New York Philharmonic were made during his earliest appearances as guest conductor in 1926. The Brunswick label assembled 74 players from the orchestra in a small venue (unidentified on the ledgers, but said to be the fifth-floor Chapter Room within Carnegie Hall) to record two excerpts from Mendelssohn’s incidental music for A Midsummer Night’s Dream using their proprietary “Light-Ray” electrical process. The resulting sound was clear (even preserving a player’s cough during the Scherzo), if a bit overloaded at climaxes.

Three years later, Toscanini, who was now co-conductor of the orchestra which had in the interim been merged with Damrosch’s New York Symphony, revisited the Mendelssohn Scherzo to produce a supercharged reading which shaved a half-minute off his earlier running time for this short piece, a clear demonstration of the virtuoso ensemble he had honed. A Sorceror’s Apprentice recorded during these later sessions had a similar breathless excitement; yet the broader tempi and more elastic phrasing that characterized the Maestro’s conducting style during this period was well documented in his recordings of the Orfeo Dance, the two Traviata Preludes, and the Barber of Seville Overture.

A word is in order at this point about the alternate takes. In the early days of electrical recording, it was common for the Victor label to make at least three takes of each side. One would be chosen as the master, with the others marked to be held or destroyed. During the early 1940s, Victor replaced the originally-issued takes on many of its best-selling recordings due to wear on the metal mothers which were used to grow new stampers. Several Toscanini recordings experienced substitutions of this nature, some (as seen in this volume) having more than one alternate take published. While the alternates are usually fairly similar to the originally-published versions, some noticeable differences occasionally appear.

After frustrating experiences in 1929 with the frequent stops and starts of recording on limited-duration 78s, Toscanini vowed never again to make records. Victor, however, was keen on preserving his interpretation of the Beethoven Fifth Symphony. In March of 1931, two live performances were each recorded directly onto nine 78 rpm matrices. The first attempt was deemed unusable, and the second was subjected to sonically-compromising dubbings for all but the last two sides. The end of the first matrix was further degraded with a muffled-sounding insert from the first performance. Not surprisingly, it was rejected by Toscanini. Modern restoration tools have allowed this performance finally to be heard without special pleading for the sound, while the concluding side from the earlier performance is presented here for the first time.

Toward the end of his final season as music director of the Philharmonic in 1936, RCA was able to reach a compromise with the Maestro. Recordings would be made during studio sessions, which would allow for retakes; but they would be taken down without fully stopping after each side. Instead, at pre-arranged points in the score, the conductor would pause momentarily while the next side was begun on a second cutter. The overtures to L’Italiana in Algeri and Semiramide were done in this manner, preserving the forward momentum of a live performance in vivid, almost high fidelity sound.

Mark Obert-Thorn

Arturo Toscanini and the Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra of New York

Complete Recordings ∙ Volume 2


CD 1 (67:06)

GLUCK: Orfeo ed Eurydice

1. Dance of the Blessed Spirits (originally issued Take 4) (5:01)
Recorded 21 November 1929 ∙ Matrix: CVE 48956-4. First issued on Victor 7138 in album M-65

2. Dance of the Blessed Spirits (first substitute Take 1) (4:59)
Recorded 5 April 1929 ∙ Matrix: CVE 48956-1. First issued on Victor 7138 in album M-65

3. Dance of the Blessed Spirits (second substitute Take 3) (4:53)
Recorded 5 April 1929 ∙ Matrix: CVE 48956-3. First issued on Victor 7138 in album M-65


BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67
4. 1st Mvt.: Allegro con brio (6:16)
5. 2nd Mvt.: Andante con moto (9:59)
6. 3rd Mvt.: Allegro (4:58)
7. 4th Mvt.: Allegro (9:00)
Recorded live 6 March 1931 ∙ Matrices: CVE 67520-1R, 67521-2R, 67522-1R, 67523-1R, 67524-2R, 67525-2R, 67526-1R, 67527-2 and 67528-2 ∙ Unissued on 78 rpm

8. 4th Mvt.: Allegro - conclusion (3:04)
Recorded live 4 March 1931 ∙ Matrix: CVE 67528-1 ∙ Previously unpublished


MENDELSSOHN: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Incidental Music), Op. 61

9. No. 1 - Scherzo (4:49)
10. No. 7 - Nocturne (5:29)
Recorded 4 February 1926 ∙ Matrices: XE 17797 and between 17798 and 17801 ∙ First issued on Brunswick 50074

11. No. 1 - Scherzo (originally issued Take 3) (4:19)
Recorded 30 March 1929 ∙ Matrix: CVE 48948-3 ∙ First issued on Victor 7080 in album M-57

12. No. 1 - Scherzo (substitute Take 1) (4:19)
Recorded 30 March 1929 ∙ Matrix: CVE 48948-1 ∙ First issued on Victor 7080 in album M-57


CD 2 (77:14)

ROSSINI: Il barbiere di Siviglia

1. Overture (originally issued Take 3 for first side) (7:30)
Recorded 21 November 1929 ∙ Matrices: CVE 56802-3 and 56803-3 ∙ First issued on Victor 7255

2. Overture (first substitute Take 4 for first side) (7:29)
Recorded 21 November 1929 ∙ Matrices: CVE 56802-4 and 56803-3 ∙ First issued on Victor 7255

3. Overture (second substitute Take 2 for first side) (7:34)
Recorded 21 November 1929 ∙ Matrices: CVE 56802-2 and 56803-3 ∙ First issued on RCA Victor 11-9229 in album M-1063


ROSSINI: L’Italiana in Algeri

4. Overture (7:36)
Recorded 10 April 1936 ∙ Matrices: CS 101218-1 and 101219-1 ∙ First issued on Victor 14161


ROSSINI: Semiramide

5. Overture (12:32)
Recorded 10 April 1936 ∙ Matrices: CS 101214-1, 101215-1, 101216-1 and 101217-1 ∙ First issued on Victor 14632/3 in album M-408


VERDI: La traviata

6. Prelude to Act 1 (3:48)
Recorded 18 March 1929 ∙ Matrix: CVE 48936-3 ∙ First issued on Victor 6994

7. Prelude to Act 3 (originally issued Take 4) (4:07)
Recorded 29 March 1929 ∙ Matrix: CVE 48942-4 ∙ First issued on Victor 6994

8. Prelude to Act 3 (substitute Take 3) (4:06)
Recorded 29 March 1929 ∙ Matrix: CVE 48942-3 ∙ First issued on Victor 6994

9. Prelude to Act 3 (alternate unpublished take) (3:59)
Recorded 18 March 1929 ∙ Matrix: CVE 48937-3 ∙ Unpublished on 78 rpm


10. DUKAS: L’apprenti sorcier (originally issued Take 2 for second side) (9:18)
Recorded 18 March 1929 ∙ Matrices: CVE 48938-3 and 48939-2 ∙ First issued on Victor 7021


11. DUKAS: L’apprenti sorcier (substitute Take 1 for second side) (9:13)
Recorded 18 March 1929 ∙ Matrices: CVE 48938-3 and 48939-1 ∙ First issued on Victor 7021


Arturo Toscanini ∙ Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra of New York
New York Philharmonic Orchestra (CD 1, Tracks 9 and 10)

Bruno Jaenicke, solo horn (CD 1, Track 10)
John Amans, solo flute (CD 1, Tracks 1 - 3, 9, 11 & 12)

Producer and Audio Restoration Engineer: Mark Obert-Thorn
Pitch stabilisation and equalisation matching (Beethoven): Andrew Rose

Recorded in Carnegie Hall, New York City. (CD 1, Tracks 9 and 10 recorded in the Chapter Room of Carnegie Hall)


Total duration:  2hr 24:19    

CD1: 67:06
CD2: 77:13