During the 1930s Arturo Toscanini conducted many concerts broadcast by the BBC from London's Queen's Hall, where he also made some unsurpassed recordings. Drawing on newly researched material in British and American archives, Christopher Dyment reveals how the most renowned and influential conductor of the twentieth century, notoriously microphone-shy though he was, came to conduct so frequently in London, a tale replete with unexpected twists, turns and ingenious stratagems. Toscanini's dominating influence on London critics and audiences in the period covered by the narrative, extending through to his final appearances at the Royal Festival Hall in 1952, is copiously documented from contemporary sources. Dyment also presents fresh evidence showing how the remarkable combination of passionate conviction and architectural mastery that characterised Toscanini's conducting was grounded not only in his obsessive study of the score but also in his awareness of performing traditions dating back to the mid-nineteenth century. This book will fascinate those with a particular interest in Toscanini's career and recorded legacy. It is also essential reading for anyone with an interest in the history of conducting and recording in the first half of the twentieth century, set against the vividly evoked backdrop of London's concert scene of the period. This comprehensive study includes both an annotated table of all Toscanini's London concerts and his EMI discography. CHRISTOPHER DYMENT has written extensively about historic conductors since the 1970s, particularly Felix Weingartner and Arturo Toscanini. His first book, on Weingartner, was published in 1976.
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