Beethoven Symphony No. 3 ''Eroica''; Mozart Symphony No. 40

Few projects since the advent of the compact disc have proven as valuable as the accumulating archives of bygone but legendary conductors: RCA’s Toscanini series, George Szell and Bruno Walter on Sony Classical, Otto Klemperer and Wilhelm Furtwangler on Angel/EMI. Dim their recorded sound may be, but these discs form a clear and melancholy indictment against much of today’s generation of faceless stick wavers. Toscanini’s 1953 broadcast performance of the Beethoven ”Eroica”, broader and more eloquent than a 1949 version previously issued, proves that even in his 80s the spellbinding Italian maestro could rethink his musical outlook. The Mozart 40th Symphony, one of only a few of that composer’s works with which Toscanini felt at ease, flings out its tragic message in this reissue of a 1950 recording with a grandeur that Toscanini had only hinted at in his tightfisted 1948 televised performance, which RCA released in 1990. Despite tinny sound, the intense humanity of Toscanini at work is marvelously preserved. A-

Beethoven Symphony No. 3 ''Eroica''; Mozart Symphony No. 40
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