The Letters of Arturo Toscanini

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