|The Philhamonic Years
Why the passion in compiling lists of Toscanini concerts? Isn't the music the thing? Those of us who struggled in seeking out the Toscanini music
had to start with the vague, WANTED: TOSCANINI BROADCASTS. Then the C. Marsh book, Toscanini and the Art of Orcbestral
Conducting appeared. Of more value than the text , this book provided an appendix which gave a fascinating glimpse of the wide range of repertoire
that was unknown to us who knew of Toscanini only from his commercial recordings and broadcasts of his final years.|
When the remarkable collection of Toscanini - New York Philharmonic broadcast from 1935 to 1936 turned up in California, a similar impetus was given to compiling a list of the Toscanini - Philharmonic years. The book, The Philharmonic - Symphony Society of New York by John Erskine seemed to have already covered most of the ground ( to 1936 ). But in checking the accuracy of the Erskine list with the Riverdale Archives compiled by Walter Toscanini some errors emerged. The concerts of October 27, 28, 30 of 1932 should have included the Beethoven Fidelio Overture There were also over 30 concerts conducted by Toscanini witch were completely omitted such as benefit concerts or concerts held in cities other than New York.
All of the above is not to slight the Erskine list or to claim that what follows is definitive. I am sure that errors may have crept in. Even checking prpgrams or that other " Official " sources is no real test for accuracy. A case in point is the NBC 1950 Tour concert of May 27, which, when I checked the NBC files in the summer of 1959, showed that Toscanini conducted among cther works, the Brahms Fourth Symphony but which B. H. Haggin in Conversations with Toscanini wrote of his disappointment in the fact that Toscanini performed the Brahms First Symphony instead. This last minute change was never corrected in the NBC files.
The reader looking over the following Toscanini - Philharmonic list will be gratified to know that the Arturo Toscanini Society has copies of the 1931 and 1933 broadcast of the Beethoven Fifth Symphony, a November 27, 1932 broacast of the Liebestod sung by Elsa Alsen, as well as such rare Toscanini performance as the Mozart Piano Concerto No. 27 with Serkin and probably the greatest version of a Toscanini - Beethoven Ninth Symphony. Also in the Society's collection are numerous concerts from 1935 and 1936.
It is the hope of Arturo Toscanini Society that eventually we can share these monuments of the Maestro's genius with our members. It is further hoped that others reading through the list, who may have copies of other Toscanini - Philhamonic broadcast will come forth, so that all of us can share the Toscanini genius of these prime years.