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  • Toscanini Collection, Volumes 67-70: The Philadelphia Orchestra Recordings
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Toscanini Collection, Volumes 67-70: The Philadelphia Orchestra Recordings


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Audio CD, October 23, 1990
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 23, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Label: Rca Records/Sbme
  • ASIN: B000003EYL
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #585,605 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. La Mer: From Dawn Till Noon On The Sea
2. La Mer: Play Of The Waves
3. La Mer: Dialogue Of The Wind And The Sea
4. Iberia: In The Streets And Byways
5. Iberia: Fragrances Of The Night
See all 10 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Symphony No. 6, Op. 74 'Pathetique' In B Minor: Adagio; Allegro non troppo
2. Symphony No. 6, Op. 74 'Pathetique' In B Minor: Allegro con grazia
3. Symphony No. 6, Op. 74 'Pathetique' In B Minor: Allegro molto vivace
4. Symphony No. 6, Op. 74 'Pathetique' In B Minor: Adagio lamentoso
5. Death and Transfiguration, Op. 24: Largo: Happy Memories Of Childhood
See all 8 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Symphony No. 9 In C, D. 944, 'The Great': Andanta; Allegro ma non troppo
2. Symphony No. 9 In C, D. 944, 'The Great': Andante con moto
3. Symphony No. 9 In C, D. 944, 'The Great': Scherzo: Allegro vivace
4. Symphony No. 9 In C, D. 944, 'The Great': Allegro vivace
Disc: 4
1. Incidental Music To A Midsummer Night's Dream, Opp. 21 And 61: Overture
2. Incidental Music To A Midsummer Night's Dream, Opp. 21 And 61: Intermezzo
3. Incidental Music To A Midsummer Night's Dream, Opp. 21 And 61: Nocturne
4. Incidental Music To A Midsummer Night's Dream, Opp. 21 And 61: Song with Chorus
5. Incidental Music To A Midsummer Night's Dream, Opp. 21 And 61: Wedding March
See all 8 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Toscanini Collection

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Hank Drake VINE VOICE on March 3, 2007
Arturo Toscanini and Leopold Stokowski briefly switched podiums in 1941. Stokowski's stint with the NBC Symphony Orchestra is largely forgotten, but Toscanini's recordings with the Philadelphia Orchestra were the stuff of legend even before they were released in 1963.

The recordings were quite problematic, sonically. The initial 78rpm discs had defects (including off center pressings, which caused the pitch to waver) and were not stored in optimal conditions. It took recording engineers 1,000 hours of work time to make the Schubert C Major Symphony sonically acceptable. Even so, the recordings did not sound good, with screeching strings, unsteady pitch, and an occasional muddy quality.

The 1990 reissue listed here improved the sonic quality considerably, but they have been eclipsed by the Sony/BMG's 2006 remastered version: ASIN: B000JCDSGM

The performances bear the typical Toscanini hallmarks (phrasing, tempo, and unanimity of attack), while still sounding like the Philadelphia Orchestra. The Schubert C Major Symphony and Debussy selections have a slightly more relaxed, flexible quality than his later NBC recordings. Mendelssohn's Midsummer Night's Dream selections (including the rarely heard "Ye Spotted Snakes") are charming and transparent, while Resphigi's Feste Romane is orgiastic. The Strauss Death and Transfiguration, while a strong performance, does not have the shattering impact of Toscanini's 1952 NBC recording. Perhaps the highlight of the set is the performance of Tchaikovsky's Pathetique Symphony, far more flexible and yearning than either the studio or live NBC versions (the latter in early stereo, but with some slipshod orchestral playing).
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Robert E. Nylund on February 14, 2006
What a joy it was to finally hear Arturo Toscanini's 1941-42 recordings with the Philadelphia Orchestra. A labor of love went into producing relatively clean recordings from masters that had been defective. Something had gone terribly wrong many years ago and it was believed, by producer Charles O'Connell, that the recordings could never be issued. The signal-to-noise ratios were unacceptable; surface noise was louder than usual. O'Connell believed that wartime restrictions on recording materials may have been part of the problem.

Furthermore, a musicians' union recording ban made it impossible to redo the damaged masters; by the time the ban had ended, the Philadelphia Orchestra had left RCA Victor for Columbia and, presumably, RCA did not want to promote an orchestra that was no longer under contract. The decision was made to record all of the music with the NBC Symphony.

It wasn't until 1963 that RCA Victor finally issued one of the recordings, Schubert's "Symphony No. 9 in C." A lot of work had gone into the process, but the results were clearly worth it. Here was an exciting, even dramatic, spirited performance that clearly rivaled Toscanini's magnificent 1953 recording of the same music with the NBC Symphony. One could also enjoy the brilliant playing by the Philadelphia musicians, a wonderful testament to the years of refinement by Leopold Stokowski and Eugene Ormandy. Toscanini brought his own unique qualities to the performance, however, and there is far greater variety in the playing than in many of the recordings the Philadelphia Orchestra made with Stokowski and Ormandy.

In 1977, RCA was able to release the other Philadelphia Orchestra recordings, again spending many, many hours of editing and electronic doctoring.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 8, 2002
Music lovers who appreciate the work of some of the C20th great conductors and who can tolerate 60 year old recorded sound will find much to enjoy in this 4 CD set. It comprises recordings made during 1941-1942 when New York lost Toscanini briefly to Philadelphia. The Philadelphie Orchestra, long trained by Stokowski, took well to Toscanini's discipline, and the recording venue was preferable the studio Toscanini preferred in New York. Recordings totalling about five hours were made, but they suffered so much damage that it seemed unlikely that they could ever be issued. There were rumours that Toscanini's son was trying to fit all the pieces together, jig-saw like, that surivived of the Schubert 9th Symphony recording. Modern processing and re-mastering techniques eventually achieved the near impossible, and modern listeners can now enjoy the performances with ease.
The efforts were worthwhile, inasmuch as we are able to hear the work of the great conductor with different orchestral forces than the ones he usually led, and in better sound than he usually obtained elswhere at the time. All critics and reviewers agree that the Schubert and Tchaikovsky symphonies found here receive the best performances to survive from Toscanini's recorded legacy. The Mendelssohn/Berlioz CD also preserves some exquisite sound textures, even if the marerial might be likened to spun gold rather than the spun silk that other conductors achieve. The Richard Strauss tone poem receives a strong, taught performace also. So there is much here to treasure. In boxed format, it offers everything at a cheaper rate than if the CDs are purchased separately.
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