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Music: More Peppy Here

2 minute read

Arturo Toscanini, 85, had his summer all mapped out, and the map called for a long rest in Italy. A methodical man, Conductor Toscanini settled down to it three months ago : he spent most of his time in his beloved Milan, varying his routine with short visits to his villa on cool Lake Maggiore. Last week — summer plans drastically revised— Toscanini was back in Manhattan and at work.

Why? Toscanini offered no explanation, but Samuel Chotzinoff, NBC’s musical director and the Maestro’s longtime friend, made an authoritative guess: “Frankly, I think he was bored. Most of his old friends in Italy are dead now. And he missed TV; he loves to watch prizefights and all the shows and concerts. It’s just a more peppy life here. Then, I think he sort of missed the amenities of living in America. Over there, things are apt to go wrong. Here, everything works smoothly— the phones and the radio and everything . . . But most of all, I think he just missed working.” At week’s end, the Maestro was back on his own podium, leading the NBC Summer Symphony in the Dance of the Hours and a couple of other old Toscanini favorites which he seldom, if ever, gets a chance to conduct in regular season.

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