This collection is especially important for its inclusion of a previously unissued Beethoven 9th, of which critic Christopher Dyment writes in his liner notes, “The present La Scala performance reverts to some extent to the broader approach of a decade earlier, to which Toscanini was to adhere in his RCA recording in 1952.
But there is greater drama and more sharply-etched phrasing in the opening movement, more of the sheerly demonic in the scherzo and more intimacy in the Adagio than is to be found in that recording. In the trio the limitations of Toscanini’s wind soloists may have determined its modest pace; but elsewhere it is the beneficent influence of his joy in returning to the scene of his greatest triumphs which courses through the performance.” Unfortunately, a segment of the finale of the 9th Symphony’s recording (measure 92 from the start of the allegro assai “joy” theme–through measure 38 of the Alla Marcia) was missing from the set of 78 rpm acetates that served as the source for this rare recording and had to be substituted from the NBC performance of December 1939.
- CD No. 1 (72:22): BEETHOVEN, Egmont Overture, Op. 15; Symphony No. 1 in C, Op. 21, & WAGNER: Die Meistersinger Overture; Lohengrin Prelude to Act III, & Tannhäuser Overture and Bacchanale. (All from the concert at Kunsthaus, Lucerne on 7 July 1946.)
- CD No. 2 (63:50): BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 9, Op. 125, with the chorus of La Scala, Gabriella Gatti, sop., Fedora Barbieri, mez., Giacinto Prandelli, ten., & Tancredi Pasero, bass, (from the concert at Teatro alla Scala in Milan, 24 June 1946).
(AAD) UPC # 017685-10272-1.