Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Toscanini, The NBC Symphony Orchestra and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 (1948)


Arturo Toscanini conducts The NBC Symphony Orchestra in Ludwig van Beethoven’s [1770–1827] Symphony No.9 in D minor, opus 125, at NBC Studio 8-H, New York City, in a concert that was broadcast on April 3, 1948. In this concert are Anne McKnight (soprano); Jane Hobson (contralto); Erwin Dillon (tenor); Norman Scott (bass); as well as Members of the Collegiate Chorale.The Ninth Symphony premiered on May 7, 1824 in the Theater am Kärntnertor in Vienna. The soprano and alto parts were sung by Henriette Sontag and Caroline Unger. The fourth movement contains the famous “Ode to Joy,” taken from Friedrich Schiller’s poem of 1785. Two hundred years later (around 1979–80), Leonard Bernstein provides an informative and humane discussion on this wonderful symphony, touching on the meaning of love, joy and peace, and on King David’s Psalm 133: Hine ma tov u’ma-nayim. Deep thoughts, to be sure, but ones that are easily accessible by all humans. And for all humans. This symphony binds us together.

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