[Haydn, Joseph. (1732–1809)] [Toscanini, Arturo. (1867–1957)] Fredenthal, David. (1914–1958)
"Toscanini Conducting" – Collection of Drawings
Striking collection of four candid drawings by the American artist, capturing the acclaimed Italian conductor during recording sessions for RCA Victor in 1949. One sheet is inscribed "Haydn" in ink along the bottom margin, and numbered "70" to the top right corner on the verso; the other inscribed "Toscanini singing? Haydn's 99th" in pen across the top margin, and numbered "75" to the top right corner on the verso. Pen, ink, and watercolor on two separate sheets of watercolor paper (drawings on rectos and versos of each sheet). Unsigned. Deckled edges with slight toning and wear, each with two small adhesive remnants at the top margin of one side. Overall in fine condition. Each 5.5 x 8 inches (13.9 x 20.3 cm.).
As the story goes, Arturo Toscanini was fiercely protective of his studio sessions and rehearsals. Fredenthal, a friend of one of the recording technicians at RCA, snuck in and was allowed to observe the rehearsals from the booth. Over the course of six weeks, he was able to produce a dynamic series of drawings of the notoriously private conductor totally unguarded and engrossed in his craft -- that is, until Toscanini spotted Fredenthal and had him summarily removed. With Toscanini at his peak fame, Vogue published several of Fredenthal's drawings, August 1, 1949 "Toscanini: Six rehearsal sketches of the Maestro."