[Verdi, Giuseppe. (1813–1901)] [Toscanini, Arturo. (1867–1957)] Fredenthal, David (1914–1958)
"Toscanini Conducting" – Original Drawings
Single sheet of two candid drawings by the American artist, capturing the acclaimed Italian conductor during recording sessions for RCA Victor in 1949. One drawing has been inscribed "Aida" in ink along the left margin, with the other numbered "78" in ink to the top left corner. Pen, ink, and watercolor on watercolor paper (drawings on recto and verso). Unsigned. Deckled edges with slight toning and wear, with two small adhesive remnants at the top margin of one side. Overall in fine condition. 5.5 x 8 inches (13.9 x 20.3 cm.).
Toscanini began his storied musical career as a cellist and participated as such in the world premiere of Verdi's Otello (La Scala, Milan, 1887) under the composer's supervision. Verdi, who habitually complained that conductors never seemed interested in directing his scores the way he had written them, was impressed by reports from Arrigo Boito about Toscanini's ability to interpret his scores. The composer was also impressed when Toscanini consulted him personally about Verdi's Te Deum, suggesting an allargando where it was not set out in the score. Verdi said that he had left it out for fear that "certain interpreters would have exaggerated the marking". Thus began his lifelong association with the composer.