The Ensemble for
The Ensemble for the Romantic Century
Arturo Toscanini (1867-1957), the most celebrated conductor in history, was admired also for his opposition to Fascism and Nazism. His clashes with Mussolini and Hitler and his trips to Palestine to conduct an orchestra made up of Jewish refugees from Europe showed the world that artists can raise their voices against totalitarianism. During World War II he lived in exile in the United States, gave benefit concerts to further the war effort, and assisted other musicians to immigrate and find work. “Toscanini, Nel mio cuore troppo di assoluto”, is based mainly on the hundreds of passionate letters Toscanini wrote to his lover Ada Mainardi during the 1930’s, in which he discussed political, artistic, and personal matters, and on his letters to Mussolini, Hitler, Roosevelt, and others. They reveal the thoughts of an artist who had the courage to say no to the tyrants of his time. “Toscanini” will feature music by younger contemporaries of Toscanini who were forced to flee Italy as well as works by Verdi and Respighi and will incorporate some of the historical recordings of Toscanini in rehearsal and concert.