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CD Review

Toscanini Beethoven Concert

  • Ludwig van Beethoven:
  • Coriolan Overture
  • String Quartet #13, Op. 130 – Cavatina
  • String Quartet #9, Op. 59 #3 – Fugue
  • Piano Concerto #4 in G Major, Op. 58
  • Wolfgang Mozart: Piano Concerto #27, K. 595
Rudolf Serkin, piano
NBC Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini
Guild GHCD2228/9 2CDs 132m ADD
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Guild's admirable Toscanini Broadcast Legacy series continues apace with a further batch of radio broadcasts dedicated in the most part to Beethoven.

Toscanini was always well steeped in the interpretation of such classics as the 'Coriolan' Overture and this is a striking performance on all counts. The rehearsal sequences are also revealing for the animosity and utter dictatorship exerted by the fiery Italian conductor.

There are two versions of the 4th Piano Concerto dating from 1936 and 1944 with the brilliant Rudolf Serkin at the helm. There is little to choose between both interpretations that are magical in every department although the sound does come under some pressure at times.

I also enjoyed the rarities in the shape of the miraculous Cavatina from the Op. 130 quartet and the Fugue from Op. 59 #3, both coming to life in their orchestral arrangements.

As already hinted, the broadcasts are of variable quality but documentation and prestige are of the utmost importance and all who are collecting this wonderful series should not hesitate to add this outstanding all-Beethoven concert to their collection

Copyright © 2003, Gerald Fenech