Arturo Toscanini


  • The Maestro

The year was about 1955, and I was living in Denver, Colorado. I recall that I was sitting on the floor, right next to our family’s “Hi-Fi”, which in those days was composed of a Pilot AM/FM tuner, a Bogen amplifier, and a 33 – RPM record player. The equipment was set to a radio station that was about to broadcast a live concert by the NBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Arturo Toscanini.

The maestro frequently performed works of Verdi, Rossini, Wagner, and Beethoven. On that day, however, he was going to perform the Symphony #40 by Mozart. I still recall how marvelous that performance was. And I literally almost jumped up and down and danced in the living room when the last movement began! Great musical memories—

On this DVD we get to view a documentary about the work of Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini whose career spanned across the 19th and 20th century. The program contains footage of Toscanini on television and in film, with home movies, clips from the Salzburg Festival in the 1930’s, and input from those who worked with him.

Arturo Toscanini raised the standards of orchestral and operatic performance over his 69 years on the podium. But as he did so, he acquired a reputation as something of a tyrant, who unleashed an explosive temper at musicians if rehearsals did not meet his expectations. He would scream at musicians “Stupido… ignoranti…” and he would stomp off the stage. But the results that he achieved were legendary.

Here is Arturo Toscanini conducting the Mozart Symphony No 40 G minor, K 550: (Yea… synchronization between video and audio is pretty poor!)


And here is Toscanini conducting Beethoven’s Symphony No.9:



And next, here is Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, 1st movement, with Arturo Toscanini conducting the NBC Symphony orchestra:



Tags: Arturo Toscanini, NBC Symphony, Maestro

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  1. Stanley Slome Reply

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