“TOSCANINI CONDUCTING” - A Sketchbook by David Fredenthal

About this sketchbook

The circumstances under which David Fredenthal made the foregoing sketches of Toscanini were,

to say the least, hazardous. Some time ago the Maestro was making a series of recordings for RCA Victor.

When Toscanini records he tolerates the presence of the musicians and technicians - nobody else.

But a technician friend of Fredenthal's managed to sneak him into a glass booth in the studio.

Every time Toscanini hurled one of his quick glances toward the booth, Fredenthal ducked out of sight.

Then came, inevitably, the split second of reckoning one day when Toscanini glanced too quicky,

Fredenthal ducked too slowly. The Maestro had one comment to make: "Throw him out!" The order was

complied with, but by that time Fredenthal had accomplished what no artist before or since had accomplished.

For six weeks the world's most querulous, uncooperative, unposable genius had posed in every possible mood,

humor, attitude - exclusively for him. Fourteen of those moods are here.

(Vogue, August 1, 1949)