Toscanini: Musician of Conscience

Author(s): Harvey Sachs


Arturo Toscanini (1867-1957) was famed for his dedication, photographic memory, explosive temper and impassioned performances. At times he dominated La Scala, the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, and the Bayreuth, Salzburg and Lucerne festivals. His reforms influenced generations of musicians, and his opposition to Nazism and Fascism made him a model for artists of conscience. With unprecedented access to the conductor's archives, Harvey Sachs has written a new biography positioning Toscanini's musical career and sometimes scandalous life against the currents of history. Set in Italy, across Europe, the Americas and in Palestine, with portraits of Verdi, Puccini, Caruso, Mussolini and others, Toscanini soars in its exploration of genius, music and moral courage.


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"This book of more than 900 pages, full of personal recollections and testimony... is vastly comprehensive, balanced and indispensable... Sachs' own dedication to this force of nature has been fulfilled in a book which ranks among the best of 2017." -- Classical Music "... magnificent biography... To read about him [Toscanini] at this length-and there will surely be no need for another biography-is to be simultaneously inspired and bewildered." -- The Spectator "It is without doubt the most engaging, the best-written and certainly the most comprehensive Toscanini biography yet to be published..." -- Gramophone "Harvey Sachs has written the definitive biography of this great, and colourful, character... [His] writing style is precise, fluent and gripping... As a study of the life and times of one of the greatest conductors of all time, this book will not soon be bettered." -- The Economist "'Monumental' is surely the mot juste to describe the book's length... but equally the combination of thoroughness, clarity, psychological perspicacity and deep human feeling which distinguishes every page... for all its massiveness the book proves unputdownable." -- BBC Music Magazine

Harvey Sachs is the author or coauthor of ten books and has written for The New Yorker, the New York Times, and the Times Literary Supplement, among others. He lives in New York, and is on the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.

General Fields

  • : 9781631492716
  • : WW Norton & Co
  • : Liveright Publishing Corporation
  • : June 2017
  • : 244mm X 165mm X 48mm
  • : United States
  • : July 2017
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 917
  • : 784.2092
  • : 944
  • : 80 photographs
  • : Harvey Sachs
  • : Hardback