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The HMV Recordings [Box set]

Arturo Toscanini Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: £13.65 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Conductor: Arturo Toscanini
  • Audio CD (4 Feb 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 6
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: EMI
  • ASIN: B00AFARIZA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 120,413 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Variations on an Original Theme, Op.36 'Enigma': Theme (Andante)Bbc Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini 1:29£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Variations on an Original Theme, Op.36 'Enigma' - I. C.A.E. (L'istesso tempo)Arturo Toscanini/BBC Symphony Orchestra 1:53£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Variations on an Original Theme, Op.36 'Enigma': II. H.D.S.-P. ( Hew David Steuart-Powell) (Allegro)Bbc Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini0:41£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Variations on an Original Theme, Op.36 'Enigma': III. R.B.T. (Richard Baxter Townshend) (Allegretto)Bbc Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini 1:17£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Variations on an Original Theme, Op.36 'Enigma': IV. W.M.B. (William Meath Baker) (Allegro di molto)Bbc Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini0:26£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Variations on an Original Theme, Op.36 'Enigma': V. R.P.A. (Richard Penrose Arnold) (Presto)Bbc Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini 1:44£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Variations on an Original Theme, Op.36 'Enigma': VI. Ysobel (Isabel Fitton) (Andantino)Bbc Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini 1:23£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Variations on an Original Theme, Op.36 'Enigma': VII. Troyte (Troyte Griffith) (Presto)Bbc Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini0:58£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Variations On An Original Theme, Op.36 'Enigma': VIII. W.N. (Winifred Norbury) (Allegretto)Bbc Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini 1:35£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Variations on an Original Theme, Op.36 'Enigma': IX. Nimrod (A. J. Jaeger) (Moderato)Bbc Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini 3:18£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Variations on an Original Theme, Op.36 'Enigma': X. Intermezzo: Dorabella (Dora Penny) (Allegretto)Bbc Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini 2:36£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Variations on an Original Theme, Op.36 'Enigma': XI. G.R.S. (George Robertson Sinclair) (Allegro di molto)Bbc Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini0:51£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Variations on an Original Theme, Op.36 'Enigma': XII. B.G.N. (Basil G. Nevinson) (Andante)Bbc Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini 2:28£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Variations On An Original Theme, Op.36 'Enigma': XIII. Romanza: * * * [Lady Mary Lygon] (Moderato)Bbc Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini 2:46£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Variations on an Original Theme, Op.36 'Enigma': XIV. Finale: E.D.U. (the composer) (Allegro)Bbc Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini 5:24£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen16. Symphony No. 2 in D Op. 43 (1990 Digital Remaster): I. AllegrettoArturo Toscanini 8:52£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen17. Symphony No. 2 in D Op. 43 (1990 Digital Remaster): II. Tempo andante, ma rubatoArturo Toscanini12:37Album Only
Listen18. Symphony No. 2 in D Op. 43 (1990 Digital Remaster): III. VivacissimoArturo Toscanini 5:50£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen19. Symphony No. 2 in D Op. 43 (1990 Digital Remaster): IV. Finale (Allegro moderato)Arturo Toscanini12:18Album Only


Disc 2:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Eine Faust-OuvertüreBbc Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini12:35Album Only
Listen  2. Götterdämmerung: Siegfried's funeral marchBbc Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini13:25Album Only
Listen  3. ParsifalBbc Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini26:59Album Only
Listen  4. La Mer (1987 Digital Remaster): De l'aube à midi sur la merBbc Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini 8:17£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. La Mer (1987 Digital Remaster): Jeux de vaguesBbc Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini 6:32£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. La Mer (1987 Digital Remaster): Dialogue du vent et de la merBbc Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini 7:34£0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 3:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Die Zauberflöte, '(The) Magic Flute' K620 (1938 - Remaster): OvertureBbc Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini 6:41£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. La Scala di seta (1938 Digital Remaster): OvertureBbc Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini 6:08£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Semiramide: OvertureBbc Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini12:00Album Only
Listen  4. A Midsummer Night's Dream: NocturneBbc Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini 5:40£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. A Midsummer Night's Dream: ScherzoBbc Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini 4:24£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Invitation to the Dance, 'Aufforderung zum Tanze' J260Bbc Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini 9:25£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Leonore Op. 72 (1986 - Remaster): Leonore Overture No. 1, Op. 138Arturo Toscanini/BBC Symphony Orchestra 8:00£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Die Geschöpfe des Prometheus, Op. 43Arturo Toscanini 4:47£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Tragic Overture, Op. 81 (1992 - Remaster)Arturo Toscanini/BBC Symphony Orchestra12:36Album Only


Disc 4:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Symphony No. 1 in C Op. 21: I. Adagio molto - Allegro con brioArturo Toscanini/BBC Symphony Orchestra 8:38£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Symphony No. 1 in C Op. 21: II. Andante cantabile con motoArturo Toscanini/BBC Symphony Orchestra 8:50£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Symphony No. 1 in C Op. 21: III. Menuetto (Allegro molto e vivace)Arturo Toscanini/BBC Symphony Orchestra 3:07£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Symphony No. 1 in C Op. 21: IV. Adagio - Allegro molto e vivaceArturo Toscanini/BBC Symphony Orchestra 5:49£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Symphony No. 6 in F 'Pastoral' Op. 68 (2004 - Remaster): I. Allegro ma non troppo (Awakening of cheerful feelings on arriving in the country)Bbc Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini 8:53£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Symphony No. 6 in F 'Pastoral' Op. 68 (2004 - Remaster): II. Andante molto moto (Scene by the brook)Bbc Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini11:36Album Only
Listen  7. Symphony No. 6 in F 'Pastoral' Op. 68 (2004 - Remaster): III. Allegro (Merry gathering of the country folk) -Bbc Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini 5:00£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Symphony No. 6 in F 'Pastoral' Op. 68 (2004 - Remaster): IV. Allegro (Storm and tempest) -Bbc Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini 3:27£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Symphony No. 6 in F 'Pastoral' Op. 68 (2004 - Remaster): V. Allegretto (Shepherds' Song. Happy and thankful feelings after the storm)Bbc Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini 8:58£0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 5:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Symphony No. 4 in B flat Op. 60: I. Adagio - Allegro vivaceArturo Toscanini/BBC Symphony Orchestra10:02£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Symphony No. 4 in B flat Op. 60: II. AdagioArturo Toscanini/BBC Symphony Orchestra 8:33£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Symphony No. 4 in B flat Op. 60: III. Allegro vivace - Trio (Un poco meno allegro)Arturo Toscanini/BBC Symphony Orchestra 5:03£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Symphony No. 4 in B flat Op. 60: IV. Allegro ma non troppoArturo Toscanini/BBC Symphony Orchestra 6:49£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Symphony No. 7 in A Op. 92: Poco sostenuto - VivaceArturo Toscanini11:55Album Only
Listen  6. Symphony No. 7 in A Op. 92: AllegrettoArturo Toscanini 8:38£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Symphony No. 7 in A Op. 92: Scherzo (Presto)Arturo Toscanini 7:12£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Symphony No. 7 in A Op. 92: Allegro con brioArturo Toscanini 6:56£0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 6:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73 (1989 - Remaster): Allegro ma non troppoArturo Toscanini/BBC Symphony Orchestra14:14Album Only
Listen  2. Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73 (1989 - Remaster): Adagio non troppoArturo Toscanini/BBC Symphony Orchestra 8:19£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73 (1989 - Remaster): Allegretto grazioso (quasi andantino)Arturo Toscanini/BBC Symphony Orchestra 5:24£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73 (1989 - Remaster): Allegro con SpiritoArturo Toscanini/BBC Symphony Orchestra 8:35£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Symphony No. 4 in E minor Op. 98: I. Allegro non troppoBbc Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini11:43Album Only
Listen  6. Symphony No. 4 in E minor Op. 98: II. Andante moderatoBbc Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini11:39Album Only
Listen  7. Symphony No. 4 in E minor Op. 98: III. Allegro giocosoBbc Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini 6:11£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Symphony No. 4 in E minor Op. 98: IV. Allegro energico e passionatoBbc Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini 9:27£0.99  Buy MP3 


Product Description

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Toscanini 4 April 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Wonderful performances in reasonable sound, recorded from 1935 to 1939. The four Beethoven symphonies here (1,4,6 and 7) and the Brahms 2 and 3 are among the best performances ever recorded. Put this on your wind-up CD player and be exhilirated!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still much evidence of lost opportunities 11 Feb 2013
Format:Audio CD
I won't comment on the quality of the remasterings -except to point out that even in the case of the Sibelius Second Symphony, the original (live) recording is, as presented here, even if only slightly, superior to the transatlantic versions of the next year or two. Even as remastered here, this set is essential listening in at least one respect. I think it was Ernest Newman who pointed out that, when in performance listeners found Toscanini's Nimrod, in the Enigma variations, a little restrained, that was because Toscanini saw its reappearance in EDU, the finale, as the climax of the work, and that that was where it made its full effect. In the NBC recording (where Nimrod itself is phrased with the utmost sensitivity, as though it were an intimate movement by Schumann) you have to take this on trust, because by the time it got to EDU, RCA was more concerned about preventing vinyl wear than any musical effect and they were limiting accordingly. The NBC orchestra had to make a rapid forced march into the distance. Here, in 1935(!) in a live Queen's Hall recording, you hear what Toscanini, and Newman, meant. The recent RCA complete Toscanini box does nothing to improve the poor handling of this climax from over a decade and a half later. They couple it with the very compromised NBC "Pictures at an Exhibition" - and it's equally frustrating to find from the notes with the EMI box that Toscanini (who had been very canny before agreeing to work with HMV) had actually suggested recording this in London too. Of course, it's impossible to say how that might have turned out in the event.

One more point about the Sibelius, which I hadn't previously heard before this set arrived. I think I have now heard all Toscanini's surviving recordings of this work, and a good few others.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A missed opportunity 4 Feb 2013
By J. Gibbons TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
This issue, of course, does not include all the recordings made by Toscanini in London for EMI/HMV. It includes the items that were issued at the time - also to be found in the RCA 'complete recordings' collection. In addition, all the performances subsequently issued by EMI are here together with the contents of the Testament CD 'Unissued HMV Recordings' which was licensed by them and remastered at Abbey Road.

It does not include the 1937 Verdi Requiem and the 1952 Brahms cycle - both licensed by EMI to Testament. Also missing are the contents of the BBC double CD and the Geminiani Concerto Grosso which appears on the West Hill Radio Archives set. It is also worth mentioning that the Beethoven 7th that is included here is a different performance from that on the BBC issue.

However, the music making that is included here is of superlative quality. The Boult trained BBC orchestra was at its peak with a wind section among the finest in the world at that time. Toscanini was also at his finest during these years; it is a real joy to hear his perfectly chosen tempi, loving cantabile and wonderful forward drive. His Beethoven is especially impressive - all the symphonies included receive superlative performances which remain among the finest on record. The two Brahms symphonies are very memorable as is the Sibelius second.

Rather than being arranged in chronological order of performance the works have been grouped by composer/genre. The remastering quality is adequate - but not new and 'state of the art'. The booklet contains full discographical detail. This a first rate anthology which will give great pleasure. It is a pity though that it was not newly remastered and made more comprehensive. For this reason, I have deducted a star!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Queens Hall ablaze 25 July 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is a packaging exercise as much as anything else: the re-mastering is far from fresh, but the documentation is reasonably helpful - as it ought to be from the inheritors of the original masters and session records. Parts of the booklet essay seem reminiscent of Christopher Dyment's 'Toscanini in Britain', published in 2012.
Although a few of these recordings also appear in the RCA Toscanini collection, most don't. Some were recorded under 'studio' conditions in London's Queen's Hall others are 'live' / concert recordings from the same venue. In an age of coal fires, pea soup fogs and full-strength tobacco 1930s London certainly had its share of bronchitics, or maybe just coughers who didn't mind that their disruptive noises off were to be preserved for ever! Despite the implications of the box's title the private recordings of broadcast concerts made off air by the likes of Kenneth Leech have yet to reach the general domain: how long will ordinary mortals have to wait to hear Isobel Baillie in Brahms's German Requiem or Beethoven's 9th symphony?

78rpm gramophone recordings were no substitute for a live concert although the Mozart Magic Flute overture recorded under 'studio' conditions in June, 1938 and the last sessions from June 1939 when Toscanini recorded Beethoven's 4th symphony can sound remarkably realistic. The BBC Symphony Orchestra responds generously throughout for a conductor to whom the players had warmed over half a decade, the building's warm, helpful acoustic puts a glow on the sound without muddling it and one can occasionally hear Toscanini crooning along with the music, inspired by the alertness of the Boult-trained musicians.
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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent snapshot of Toscanini at the height of his powers 11 Mar 2013
By John K. Gayley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is a great set at a bargian price, and I'd recommend it not only for Toscanini completists, but also for those who are sufficiently curious about "the Toscanini mystique" to want a decent symphonic survey of his output in the mid/late-1930s (or, 15-20 years before his last recordings for RCA with the NBC Symphony Orchestra.)

It is of course probably natural that most listeners would want to compare these performances with others by Toscanini...and that can easily be done, in comparison to (say) his 1950s recordings with the NBC symphony, or in comparison to his fall, 1939 Beethoven cycle with the NBC symphony, or his early 1950s Brahms cycle with the Philharmonia. I'm not sure I can generalize my reactions; there are plusses and minuses. For example, I much prefer this version of Sibelius' 2nd to the later (more driven) version on RCA. Similarly, there is tremendous excitement to this version of the Enigma variations, even if this isn't the only version I'd ever want. Also, Beethoven's "pastoral" symphony with the BBC is just simply....exquisite (especially the winds, which are so totally on their toes they took my breath away.) On the other hand, (sound aside) for the other Beethoven symphonies I marginally prefer the 1939 NBC Symphony renditions on Naxos. Brahms 2nd and 4th are a tossup between these versions and the ones Toscanini did in the '50s with the Philharmonia. The later Philharmonia versions probably win. On the other hands, Toscanini's Brahms on RCA isn't even in the running next to these.

But what is equally pertinent to me, however, is how well these performances stand up to others at the the time, most notably those of Felix Weingartner in the Beethoven and Brahms. These Toscanini recordings with the BBC clearly have points of view that distinguish them from the Weingartners of the world, but also from Toscanini's other recordings. As I alluded to earlier, there are plusses and minuses in comparison, but I am very grateful to have this set alongside the others.

Several reviewers (here and on Amazon UK) have commented on how Toscanini was able to take an orchestra with moderate strengths and get them to raise their own bar in performance. While I obviously can't speak to the state of the BBC orchestra at this early stage in their evolution, it is clear from these recordings that Toscanini was able to coax genuinely spectacular results from them in the midst of these performances. I don't have a "trained" ear, and am not a musician, bu to the casual (but serious) listener, mot of these performances were spectacular. The only places where I heard noticable slips were in the Brahms 2nd.

Lastly, a comment on recorded sound. I am not an audiophile, so I'll let other comments on this in due course. However, EMI appears to have cleaned up the sound as much as they could on these recordings. All are fully listenable, although there is clearly some variation from recording to recording. After all, these are going on 80 years old. Maybe I have grown too accustomed to the limitations of "historical" recordings, but these days I hardly notice unless the surface noise or contraints on the upper end of the sonic range are an inhibitor. No consistent problems here.

All in all, I can heartily recommend these. As the other reviewer pointed out, its a tremendous benefit to hear such a master as he evolves in his thinking on various works, and to capture, even in imperfect sound, a conductor at the height of his powers. These recordings were made fully a decade and a half before the relentless, almost ossified approach to standard warhorses that Toscanini took in the twilight years with RCA. All the more to our benefit. During the bulk of these BBC recordings, Toscanini would have been in his late '60s...think of the current generation of conductors at that age; for orchestra conductors, isn't mid-60s the new mid-40s?

For comparisons, try:

Brahms: The Four Symphonies / Toscanini, Philharmonia Orchestra

Beethoven: Symphony Number 5 & 7

Beethoven: Symphony Number 1 & 3; Fidelio Overture

Ludwig van Beethoven: The 9 Symphonies - Arturo Toscanini / NBC Symphony Orchestra

Enigma Variations / Pictures at an Exhibition (Arturo Toscanini Collection, Vol. 35)
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Toscanini in London 8 Feb 2013
By Hank Drake - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Most of these recordings, except for two CDs worth of material, are not included in last year's Toscanini Collection. All the recordings in this set, dating from 1935-1939, feature the British Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra.

The repertoire here will be familiar to Toscanini enthusiasts: Beethoven's Symphonies 1, 4, 6, and 7; Brahms 2 and 4, along with selections by Wagner, Debussy, Sibelius, and a smattering of works by other composers. The Maestro recorded all these works later with the NBC Symphony. But these recordings with the BBC will come as a reminder that the most perceptive musicians change over time. The performances here reveal several traits that were not heard in Toscanini's later recordings: liberal use of portamento, a marked flexibility in tempo, and a more generally relaxed, even casual style. Many will characterize these performances as "warmer" than the more commonly known later recordings - and I can't disagree.

One of Toscanini's strengths was his ability to find the character of the various orchestras he worked with, enhance their strongest qualities while improving deficiencies - with the end result being an orchestra that still sounded like itself, yet also bore the Toscanini hallmarks of unanimity of attack, transparency, and rhythmic vitality. Such was the case with the Philadelphia Orchestra, where the famed Philadelphia sound was intact, and such is the case with these recordings with the BBC Orchestra. There is a certain lightness to the string playing that is missing from the NBC recordings, which affects the character of certain pieces. For example, the Scherzo of Beethoven's 7th Symphony projects a sense of merriment, rather than the frenetic atmosphere of the NBC version. The woodwinds, however, have a slightly whiny quality which is distracting in some portions of the Brahms 4th Symphony.

The set includes both live and studio recordings. All the performances in this set were recorded in London's Queens Hall - sadly destroyed by a German air raid in 1941. The acoustic is much more forgiving than NBC's Studio 8-H (where Saturday Night Live is now performed). Much of the remastering dates back to the original CD issues - as far back as the 1980s. But the sound is always listenable, to the extent that some of Toscanini's off key humming is clearly audible.

Considering its narrow scope in terms of repertoire and chronology I wouldn't want these six CDs to be all the Toscanini in my collection. But this set makes an excellent supplement to RCA's recent complete Toscanini reissue.

*Curiously, the cover art on my copy is slightly different than that shown on Amazon. The Amazon copy is described as the "Complete HMV Recordings" whereas my copy deletes the "Complete". Toscaniniphiles will already know that there are several items from these concerts, including the Geminiani Concerto Grosso and Cherubini's Anacreon Overture that have been issued elsewhere.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating but flawed 25 May 2013
By M. DuBroy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Most of these recordings were first issued on CD in the 80s and early 90s, the Beethoven dating to the early 80s and the others clustering around 1990. As the notes on this release acknowledge, this issue uses those digital masters. This does mean, unfortunately, that the sound is the same as it used to be. The extreme example is the Sibelius, which made aggressive use of the CEDAR process in its initial release; it has the worst sound of the lot. I sincerely wish that EMI had taken advantage of more than twenty years of progress in our understanding of sound and early recordings to produce new and better masters.

The performances themselves are generally outstanding, a reflection of a peak period in Toscanini's career. The Beethoven 6th has long been justly admired and sounds well here. Of equal distinction are the performances of the Enigma Variations and La Mer, both of which demonstrate the nonsense of the idea that only a true Englishman or Frenchman can do justice to "national" music. I admire the Brahms considerably: though the Philharmonia versions have better sound and better performances, it is interesting to hear what Toscanini did at this stage in his career with these works that he often rethought.

In sum, these discs offer a convenient and cheap way to pick up these excellent performances. If only EMI had applied the latest technology to the sound, they would have been brilliant.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who's Who 26 July 2013
By Roy Kristiansen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I've made it a point to own these recordings since the LP days of the 60s. Of course, they're excellent, and anyone who wishes to gain a more complete picture of the Maestro should collect as many of his earlier recordings as they can find, even if the recorded "sound" can only charitably be described as "historic." It should be mentioned that, at the time these HMV recordings were made, the great French horn virtuoso Dennis Brain was the leader of the BBCSO horn section. That must have been a dream come true for Toscanini, and there are times here when the horn section seems to exhibit (dare I say it?) almost *too much* personality! This is a set that should be in everybody's collection if they have an interest in Maestro Toscanini's contribution to the art of orchestral playing.
5.0 out of 5 stars Classical Classical Music 3 Jan 2014
By Thomas B. Kirsch - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
These are memorable recordings of music that people of my generation grew up with. Toscanini was the most famous conductor of his day. He was typically very emotional and hot tempered, and his tempi were considered very fast, but he was a marvelous conductor, and his NBC orchestra was heard on radio when there was no television. Great For Nostalgia
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