Wednesday, July 12, 2017

NBC Symphony Orchestra: Beethoven’s “Eroica”(1939)

Via Youtube (RS3D Archive)

The NBC Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Arturo Toscanini, perform Beethoven’s Symphony No 3 in E-flat major, opus 55Sinfonia Eroica (“Heroic Symphony”), which was first performed publicly in Vienna on April 7, 1805. This particular recording was as a live public performance before 1,400 people at NBC studio 8-H on October 28th, 1939; it was originally released on the Victor album M-765. This is a restored recording using RS3D technology.  For some background on how the NBC Orchestra was formed, there is a wonderful article in The New Yorker [here]. It also explains what this famous Italian conductor brought to the orchestra and to American audiences in New York. America’s gain was Europe’s loss, and a great loss it was when authoritarianism, and in particular fascism, overtook the continent. (Toscanini remarked: “Promises no longer exist. They don’t remember today what they said yesterday. It’s shameful!”). It always is when this takes place, when people begin the process of forgetting what is important, and replacing it with what is not. Once a way of thinking and seeing (and being) is lost, it is lost forever. This is the beginning of sadness.