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Book by Toobin, Jerome
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Described as a "romp" through the classical music scene of New York, Jerome Toobin's book shares an animated memoir of his years as the manager and would-be saviour of Toscanini's NBC Symphony of the Air during the '50's and '60's. Dowling conveys Toobin's boundless enthusiasm for the orchestra and his profound commitment to its continuing existence. Toobin's acquaintances with music luminaries, including Toscanini, Stokowski, Bernstein and others, make the memoir interesting to even the unmusical while the initiated will have particular appreciation for the nuances of the wheelings and dealings of keeping an orchestra alive. Dowling easily captures the mood swings of performers and producers, as well as expressing Toobin's disappointment at not being able to save one facet of New York's musical heritage. R.F.W. (c)AudioFile, Portland, MaineFrom Library Journal:
Artfully combining a bleak tale of failure with stinging humor, Toobin recalls his experience as the manager of the ill-fated NBC Symphony of the Air (circa 1955). Toobin assumed command just as the symphony was losing its famous conductor, Arturo Toscanini, and its life-giving NBC sponsorship. This work is largely his account of trying to save the orchestra. Ignoring the advice, "You can't run a symphony without money," his struggle enlisted some of the biggest names in classical music. But even the likes of Vladimir Horowitz and Maria Callas couldn't help as benefits turned into debacles. Narrator R.W. Dowling expertly conveys Toobin's self-deprecating wit. His listenable, avuncular voice guides us through the cutting depictions of characters that cross Toobin's path?from wealthy, deluded dilettantes to astonishingly childish conductors. Although a wide audience may not go for this now obscure and dated subject (Toobin's original work was released in 1975), those who do will laugh and applaud to the strains of Agitato.?Ben O'Sickey, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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