TOSCANINI CONDUCTS SIBELIUS
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"... this 1940 performance of the 4th Symphony penetrates to the very heart of
this icy score."
--Martin Bookspan in Prodigy
"Here is one of the most revealing and commanding of 'unofficial' Toscanini
releases. The prize of this CD is the conductor's only NBC presentation of the Fourth
Symphony... Toscanini's performance is a model of taste... Specifically, his avoidance of
excess--the sonority is lean and purged of ripeness, the emotional tone muted and made all
the more potent by sharply etched textures--heightens the music's austere gloom,
suggesting a kind of Scandinavian counterpart to the more southerly Mahlerian malaise that
is so much a part of the earlier twentieth-century ethos. As an example of Toscanini's
ability to grasp and sustain an implied mood, this performance is astonishing and adds
considerably to what we know of this interpretive range. ... For those interested in
either the conductor or composer, this CD is indispensable."
--Mortimer H. Frank in Fanfare
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