The Playlist • Arturo Toscanini and Walter Damrosch — Acoustic Recordings (1921–1923)

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NEW YORK SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (WALTER DAMROSCH, conductor):
Norwegian Dances, Nos. 1 and 2 (Grieg, op. 35)

New York: May 1, 1923
Columbia 65001-D (mx. 98078 – 1)

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“The La Scala Orchestra was made up of green Italian musicians and we found it very difficult to make them comprehend just what we wanted them to do for record making, and we, the Recording Staff, were not sorry when the engagement terminated… The sailing of the steamship on which they had booked passage, for some cause, was delayed or postponed on two different occasions, which prolonged the recording engagement, as the Victor Company thought it better to keep them engaged, fearing if they had open time they might sell their services to some other recording company.”
Victor recording engineer Harry O. Sooy (Memoirs, David Sarnoff Collection)

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LA SCALA ORCHESTRA (ARTURO TOSCANINI, conductor):
Carmen (Bizet) — Prelude to Act 4 (Aragonaise)

Church Studio (114 N. Fifth Street, Camden NJ): March 31, 1921
Victor 64999 (mx. B 24750 – 6)

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LA SCALA ORCHESTRA (ARTURO TOSCANINI, conductor):
L’ Arlésienne (Bizet) — Suite, No. 2 (Farandole)

Church Studio (114 N. Fifth Street, Camden NJ): March 11, 1921
Victor 64986 (mx. B 24984 – 1)

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For a history of early attempts at symphonic recording, see A Phonograph in Every Home and Recording the ‘Twenties, both available from Mainspring Press and many major libraries.

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