NBC Symphony Orchestra
conducted by Guido Cantelli Broadcast from Studio 8H, New York, 15th January, 1949
Note that there was some variation in sound quality throughout the source material, particularly during the second half of this concert.
Pristine Audio XR remastering by Andrew Rose, July 2007
Download ID: 331706/7/499939
Remastered using Pristine Audio's 32-bit XR technology
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Cantelli's American Debut Concert, January 15th, 1949
Haydn: Symphony No. 93 in D major
Hindemith: Mathis der Maler - Sinfonie
Concert programme presented with announcements and applause as broadcast.
"... his absolutely luminous reading of Paul Hindemith’s Mathis der Maler symphony obviously held the audience spellbound. All of the deep humanity of the music is there, and Cantelli even manages to imbue the somewhat sour passages with elegance and great depth of inner feeling. Toscanini is said to have understood this music for the first time after hearing Cantelli conduct it. I think that this audience on a chilly January night felt the glow, as well. Following the final peroration, they burst into a frenzy of applause to equal some of the ovations they gave Toscanini himself...
Andrew Rose of Pristine Classical had his work cut out for him in restoring this concert, particularly the Hindemith, which was recorded at a much softer volume, resulting in greater hiss and far less clarity. The mere fact that he was able to extract a listenable sound from these discs is wonder enough, but the highest compliment I can pay them is that they sound very much like the commercial recordings." - Fanfare, March/April 2008
This XR-remastered recording is available in mono and Ambient Stereo. For more information on Ambient Stereo click here.
Notes on the restoration: The source material for these restorations appears to have been assembled from at least two different disc recordings - it was presented to me as tape dubs of these discs. Of these, the second half of the concert (Hindemith) was of noticeably lower frequency range and fidelity than the first - I have done what I can to try and alleviate this, but the difference will remain apparent to the listener.
During the restoration of the Hindemith I became somewhat concerned by the apparent absence of coughing and other audience noises (something I'd worked on reducing or removing from the Haydn). However, other aspects of regular disc surface noise which could be heard towards the end of the final movement and which continued unabated into the immediate, spontaneous and ecstatic applause and final announcements convinced me of the likely authenticity of this part of the recording.
Cantelli with the NBC Symphony Orchestra
Guido Cantelli's debut with the NBC Symphony Orchestra, on 15th January 1949, was the first of four guest concerts the 28-year-old conducted with the orchestra that year - a number later expanded to eight concerts per year. Toscanini had been searching for a younger conductor to take over the orchestra created for him by NBC in 1938 during his absences (he was now into his eighties), and during an off-season concert at La Scala conducted by Cantelli, his is said to have commented, partway through, "that is me directing this concert".
The reception to this first concert can be heard at the end of the Hindemith - rapturous applause, cheering, whistles - something not then regularly associated with New York audiences. Similarly the press response was glowing, likening the young conductor physically to Frank Sinatra and musically to Toscanini.
There is little doubt that Cantelli was being groomed to take over Toscanini's mantle in due course. However the tragic death of the younger conductor in a plane crash in 1956, just two months before Toscanini's own death, put paid to an astonishing early career. Much of what is preserved of Cantelli's work is in the form of broadcast recordings such as those presented here, often in less than perfect condition. But it is a remarkable legacy of superb musicianship that surely deserves wider exposure and recognition.
Haydn Symphony No 93 4. Finale - Presto ma non troppo