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The Letters of Arturo Toscanini

Edited and Translated by Harvey Sachs
Fifty years after his death, Arturo Toscanini is still considered one of the greatest conductors in history, and probably the most influential. His letters, expertly collected, translated, and edited here by Harvey Sachs, will give readers a new depth of insight into his life and work. As Sachs puts it, they “reveal above all else a man whose psychological perceptions in general and self-knowledge in particular were much more acute than most people have thought likely.” They are sure to enthrall anyone interested in learning more about one of the great lives of the twentieth century.

“This is a major contribution to our understanding of Toscanini and of several entire eras of late nineteenth- and twentieth-century musical life, especially the almost improvisatory looseness of opera in Italy, the glamour of European festivals, and the concert life of the United States. It’s also a wonderful, sometimes downright salacious read.”—New York Times

“Toscanini’s large, cranky humanity comes alive throughout his letters, as it does in his best recordings.”—New York Review of Books
 
“Edited with scrupulous care and wide-ranging erudition.”—Wall Street Journal
 
“Sachs has served the conductor well . . . by editing this generously annotated and unprecedentedly revealing collection of letters that were written, usually in haste and often in fury, over the course of seventy years.”—Washington Post

Read an excerpt.


494 pages | 6 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2002

Biography and Letters

Music: General Music

Reviews

“A major contribution to our understanding of Toscanini and of several eras of late 19th- and 20th-century musical life. . . . It’s also a wonderful, sometimes downright salacious read.”

John Rockwell | New York Times

“There is hardly a love letter that does not sparkle with insights into music or politics. There is hardly a letter about music or politics that does not provide insight into [Toscanini’s] life. . . . Sachs’s editing is as meticulous as his biography and other writings about Toscanini have been. His notes after every letter provide the details we need to understand the context of the letter. With the notes, the book is almost an autobiography.”

Globe and Mail

“Sachs has served the conductor well . . . by editing this generously annotated and unprecedentedly revealing collection of letters that were written, usually in haste and often in fury, over the course of seventy years.”

Mortimer Frank | Washington Post

"While the business and public letters will be of greater interest to both musical and political historians, the personal correspondence better reveals the inner man."

Christopher Hatch | Notes: Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association

Table of Contents

Preface

Acknowledgments

Explanations and Abbreviations

Introduction


The Letters

Part One: January 1885– September 1897

Part Two: July 1898–May 1933

Part Three: June 1933–May 1936

Part Four: July 1936– September 1937

Part Five: September 1937– September 1939

Part Six: October 1939–March 1946

Part Seven: July 1946–November 1956


Index

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