TOSCANINI The Complete 1939 Beethoven Cycle (PABX023)
NBC Symphony Orchestra , Arturo Toscanini
This remarkable set of performances of Beethoven’s symphonies, together with some of Beethoven’s overtures and his Choral Fantasy, come from a series of six live broadcasts on NBC radio. In preparing this release Andrew Rose was able to access source recordings of unprecedented quality, taken from acetate discs recorded directly by NBC and almost certainly not played since. This, together with the use of the latest audio restoration technology, enables us to hear these performances, recorded when Toscanini was at his peak, with rock-solid pitch, superb tonal balance, and a clean, clear sound quality throughout.
This is not a cheap release, running to six CDs, but it is worth every penny and admirers of Toscanini should seek out this recording even if they have heard other releases of these broadcasts as these are so superior. Indeed anyone who enjoys the Beethoven symphonies and has the slightest interest in historic recordings should seek this out. This is a set that I shall return to with great frequency despite the number of complete cycles and individual recordings in my collection. Indispensable!
Available as a download or on CD from Pristine Classical.