GHCD 2223 – TOSCANINI – Rossini – Strauss – Beethoven – 1938

NBC Symphony Orchestra, Arturo Toscanini – Conductor, Don Quixote – Emanuel Feuermann, cello – Carlton Cooley, viola

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From Guild comes the concert of October 22, 1938 with Toscanini and the NBC Symphony which includes, as its thrilling and often witty central attraction, Strauss’s Don Quixote with Emannuel Feuermann as cello soloist (tonally gorgeous if not always totally in tune). That recording has enjoyed previous incarnations but, as far as I’m aware, a memorable Rossini Cenerentola Overture (wonderful closing crescendo) hasn’t, and neither has an electrifying Beethoven Fifth which at times drives so hard and fast that the players can barely keep up. But for most of the time they do, and the performance has a fresh, open feel it, quite unlike – and not a whit inferior to – various Toscanini-led alternatives. The hard-hitting sound sources thrive on transfers that are free of generalised noise reduction.