Toscanini: Musician of Conscience

Toscanini: Musician of Conscience

by Harvey Sachs


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A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice Selection

Named one of the Best Books of the Year by the Economist and Kirkus Reviews

An “extraordinary” biography that “in its breadth . . . reminds me of nothing so much as Robert A. Caro’s The Power Broker” (New York Review of Books).

Harvey Sachs’s “monumental” (Alex Ross) biography recounts the sixty-eight-year career of conductor Arturo Toscanini (1867–1957), an artist celebrated for his fierce dedication, photographic memory, explosive temper, impassioned performances, and uncompromising work ethic. Toscanini collaborated with Verdi, Puccini, Debussy, and Richard Strauss; undertook major reforms at La Scala and the Metropolitan Opera; and eventually pioneered the radio and television broadcasts of the NBC Symphony. His monumental achievements inspired generations, while his opposition to Nazism and fascism made him a model for artists of conscience. In this “persuasive and compelling” new biography, Sachs illuminates the “crucial—the central—role Toscanini played in our musical culture for well over 60 years” (New York Times Book Review). Set against the roiling currents of twentieth-century Europe and the Americas, Toscanini is a “necessary” portrait of this “complex, flawed, but noble human being and towering artist” (Wall Street Journal) whose peerless influence reverberates today.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781631494901
Publisher: Liveright Publishing Corporation
Publication date: 11/06/2018
Pages: 944
Sales rank: 507,808
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.80(d)

About the Author

Harvey Sachs is the author or coauthor of ten books and has written for The New Yorker, the New York Times, and the Times Literary Supplement, among others. He lives in New York, and is on the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.

Table of Contents

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xv

Author's Notes xix

I Indeterminate and Determinate Sounds 1

II Beardless Maestro 29

III Turin 81

IV La Scala Reformed 111

V The Metropolitan 209

VI Interlude 301

VII La Scala Re-Created 349

VIII The New York Philharmonic and New Horizons 469

IX Clear as Crystal and Just as Cutting 621

X Exile and Return 715

XI Finale 783

Coda 859

Credits 865

Index 867

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