Toscanini: Strauss Death & Transfiguration, etc. - RCA LM -1891, beautiful copy
Jacket: NM / Vinyl: EX / US pressing
This handsome LP from RCA Victor (LM-1891, US pressing, plum shaded dog, mono) features conductor Arturo Toscanini and the NBC Symphony Orchestra in a brilliant album pairing Richard Strauss’ Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche Op. 28 (Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks) with the same composer’s Tod und Verklärung Op. 24 (Death and Transfiguration).
Both are late recordings in the great conductor’s long career, though there is no slackening of control or intensity. Moreover, these remarkable performances were set down not in the dubious acoustics of Studio 8H, but in the rich enviorns of Carnegie Hall, New York City, in sessions held on 4 November 1952 and on 10 March 1952, respectively.
Does no one collect Toscanini any more? He was once among the best selling recorded artists of all time. Since his death more than a half-century ago, his reputation, and especially his recorded legacy, has been unjustly maligned, despite the efforts of such writers and critics as Mortimer H. Frank and Christopher Dyment. Some things in his discography are problematic, but there is much that is exceptionally fine, and this Richard Strauss album is certainly among his more treasurable additions to the catalog. Hear it!
Incidentally, the magnificent cover art is credited to Flora. There are superb liner notes on the reverse side of the jacket by Vincent Sheean, printed in English only.