Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|R. Strauss, Toscanini, NBC Symphony|
Listen to Samples
Don't Miss this version of "Dance of the 7 Veils"
(5 out of 5 stars)
"RCA's original engineers, and BMG's producers, should definitely be rewarded with 'five stars' for their amazing aircheck recording of the live 1939 NBC Symphony broadcast of the "7 Veils Dance" from "Salome": I would give this artifact my own "High Fidelity Disk Award for 1939". This excerpt shows the potential sound quality available for transcription disk equipment of that era, and an analysis reveals high frequency transients that extend up to about 10 kHz, with amazing solidity in the low registers, and a wide, natural dynamic range. Toscanini's rendering is gutsy, inflected, and forceful, but by no means fast: his measured tempi add to the impact.The "Eulenspiegel" is, to my taste, the finest of the NBC broadcasts and recordings of the work. Here, Toscanini is relaxed, and the brilliant playing by his crack orchestra is glowingly registered The transparency of texture will evoke the actual strands of music in your mind: as the conductor would have said, "It is like reading the score!"Sadly, the old RCA tube-type peak limiter is back in the circuits and cranked up to a fare-thee-well in the 1949 recording session that produced the Rhine Journey excerpt. Non-engineering types may be able to tolerate that, though one admits that the recording is therefore rather "glassy sounding" and one-dimensional from the dynamic flattening. Toscanini's emendation of the text, deviating from the familiar Humperdinck version, adds the glowing, broad fanfares from the original scoring of the "Siegfried as Hero" section, ahead of the rushing passages of the Rhine Journey: this creates a closer resemblance to the authentic stage version, and is like an "opera without words" evocation that improves the delineation of events in the excerpt. Toscanini maven Robert C. Marsh found the 1952 studio recording of the Siegfried Idyll (in BMG's Vol. 48) to be "a little chilly and lacking intimacy". Surely there is a bit more passion in the live March 7, 1953 broadcast issued (in part) on Fonit-Cetra CD's, and the earlier 1946 reading contained in this present issue has a more straightforward childlike simplicity, with an affecting of rapt attention in the quietest passages (which have, however, been slightly marred by the low-level intermodulation distortion on the source disks, also audible in the earlier Vault Treasures LP release.)"