Guido Cantelli

MP3: £3.99

Symphony No.4

Le Martyre de Saint Sébastien – Suite
La Mer
Philharmonia Orchestra/Cantelli

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The extraordinarily gifted Guido Cantelli (1920-56) was invited by Toscanini, who held him in the highest regard to be a guest conductor with the NBC orchestra in New York. From 1949 each year, Cantelli conducted the NBC, the New York Philharmonic and Boston Symphony orchestras. In 1950, he was at the Edinburgh Festival and in 1951 Lucerne, Salzburg and Venice Festivals. He started recording with the Philharmonia Orchestra for EMI but was tragically killed in an air crash in Paris in 1956. Walter Legge, EMI’s producer, wrote, ‘no other conductor in the history of the art has established, so early in life, so wide a fame.’ While studio recordings validate Legge’s assertion, none quite captured the incandescence of his live performances. These important and very rare ‘live’ recordings featuring the Philharmonia Orchestra derive from the Music Preserved archive and have never been released before. The Glasgow Herald stated that Cantelli’s Schumann nearly raised the roof with it’s excitement but it also noted ‘the plasticity of line and transparent textures’. Debussy’s Le martyre de Saint Sebastien was noted by the Glasgow Herald for ‘it’s breathtaking moments’ which held the audience in rapt silence. Similarly, As for La Mer, ‘There is no mistaking the greater impetuosity and attack in the Edinburgh account’ compared to the Kingsway Hall recording made four days later’. (Mark Kluge)

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