Norman M. Schwartz replies to me:
>In addition to being the musician he was, and unlike numerous
>others,Toscanini took a stong stance against Fascism and Mussolini. I
>like to think that Mr. Sarnoff recognized the human being in addition
>to the musician and chose to reward him for his morality. (Morality
>being discussed here in different thread is not exactly something to
>blow your nose upon.)
While we are unlikely to ever know one way or the other, I too would
like to think that Sarnoff recognized the human being, but I rather think
he recognized the name.
>However even if radios didn't have a knob to off the power, the plug
>could still be yanked from the wall (which my parents would have certainly
>done), resulting in my never even having been exposed to any of the
Are you suggesting that if Toscanini had played Bartok, your parents
would have switched off the radio?
>>As to whether or not the idea was to pander to an elite, I cannot
>>say. I do wonder if there was some intent to create a false
>>elite...as was much of the marketing of classical music in those
>>days. Surely, part of the goal was to sell records...and those
>>records still sell well!
>Bravo!, all to better improve the chances for the survival of CM.
I am not sure I would make the same connection. Some have suggested
that for music to be a living art, it must evolve, and that we need to
keep it fresh and not hold up the perspectives of the past as encapsulated
in our recorded history. On the other hand, I am one who most often
prefers that recorded history over the perspectives of the present. I
still choose my Koussevitzky recordings of the standard repertoire over
any made today...even if the new recordings feature better sound quality.
I have also devoted a substantial amount of my professional life to
preserving the performance history of the past. But there are times
when I wonder if doing so was ultimately in the best interest of the
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