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Music History

               Music History Film Clips

Maestro Toscanini on the Home Front (Pathfinder and Coronet, 1943)

"Unlike most other musicians in Italy, Arturo Toscanini (1867 1957) refused to scramble onto the Fascist bandwagon. He refused to preface his concerts with the Fascist anthem and eventually was made a virtual prisoner at his home. When he was permitted to leave his country, he vowed never to revisit it so long as Fascism held it in bondage."

"Nowhere has the magic baton of Toscanini been more acclaimed than in the United States. Under its spell, the Metropolitan Opera made its highest artistic mark, and the New York Philharmonic became the world's greatest symphonic ensemble."


Otto Klemperer Conducts Stravinsky (Rob Wagner's Script, 1947)

A printable music review by Lawrence Morton (1904 - 1987), long time advocate of modern music and habitual contributor to MUSICAL QUARTERLY and MODERN MUSIC. One of Morton's greatest interests was the music of Stravinsky, and it is Stravinsky's "Symphony in Three Movements" that was discussed in this 1947 review:

"The symphony opens in full orchestra with a mighty affirmation of confidence and resolution. Then the horns state the main problem with which the composer would confront us: other instruments reiterate it, as if to show it to us from new angles and with new perspectives..."

This particular performance was conducted in Los Angeles by Otto Klemperer (1885 - 1973), who was singled out for high praise in this article.


Igor Stravinsky and the Player Piano (The Independent, 1925)

"Igor Stravinsky (1882 1971), acclaimed as the most distinguished, if not the greatest, of living composers, now sojourning in America after an absence of ten years, ardently advocates and practices the composition of mechanical music - of not merely piano music, that is, which can be played on an automatic instrument, but music composed without purpose of performance by hand, designed for the player-piano solely, and intended to take advantage of characteristics and limitations inherent in an instrument operated by a perforated roll of paper."

"There is anew polyphonic truth in the player-piano. There are new possibilities. It is something more. It is not the same thing as a piano..."


Jascha Heifetz' First New York Recital (Vanity Fair, 1918)

Here is an enthusiastic review of Jascha Heifetz' (1900 - 1987) first Carnegie Hall performance. The journalist relays how fully loaded the concert hall seemed to be with the finest violinists in the Western world all sitting in rapt attention; and how joyously they all applauded following his first number:

"Here, mark you, were the masters of the guild giving an ovation to a slim, eighteen year-old boy and acknowledging him as one of the master violinists of the world."


Sweet Words for Maestro Toscanini (Stage Magazine, 1938)

Arturo Toscanini (1867 1957) is believed to have been the greatest conductor of the Twentieth Century. He was bestowed with a 'Palm Award' by the well-meaning swells at the now defunct "Stage Magazine" during the summer of 1938. This article appeared during a time when a "Palm Award", granted by such a crew was a reliable form of social currency and would actually serve the highly favored recipients in such a grand manner as to allow them brief respites at dining tables found at such watering holes as New York's Stork Club. Nowadays, one "Palm Award" and one dollar and fifty cents will afford you a ride on the Los Angeles City subway system (one way).
The attached article explains why Maestro Toscanini had met all requirements for this award.


Ignaz Paderewski (Stage Magazine, 1939)

Here is an article on the last American concert tour of Polish pianist (and composer, diplomat and politician) Ignaz Jan Paderewski (1860 - 1941). The article concentrates on the amount of money pulled-in by the performer, both on this tour as well as previous ones; his legendary generosity and his monumental reputation.

Click here to read more about Paderewski and other pianists of 1915...

Click here to see what the first car radios look like.


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