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CD Review

Arturo Toscanini

The Complete Concert - 14 October 1939

NBC Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini
Guild GHCD2202 80m
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This is a memorable relay of a live concert in which Toscanini directed the NBC Orchestra in an unprecedented programme of characteristic frission and high voltage.

The Schubert Symphony is played with absolute technical mastery and Toscanini has the gauge and power of the work in a palm's grasp. Strauss' 'Don Juan' is also brilliantly incandescent especially in the final moments. The esoteric Haydn Symphony Concertante is also full of wonderful moments especially in the final movement whilst the mammoth concluding Bach-Respighi arrangement is a fitting end to a triumphal concert.

Guild chose to intersperse the pieces with the original broadcast commentaries, a decision which I don't really agree with. However the CD is packed with wonderful annotation that really spices up the cherry on the cake. At budget price, this is indeed an essential CD for the ongoing Guild Toscanini collection.

Copyright © 2002, Gerald Fenech