(Vittorio Gui - pigeon holed as an Opera Conductor but so much more)
Vittorio Gui is probably best known for his classic opera recordings with, among others, Maria Callas. But Gui was infinitely more than only an opera conductor. As founder of the Florence May Festival in the late 1920s, Gui did a lot to bring about awareness of composers whose works had either fallen into neglect or were never performed and just not familiar to Italian audiences. And it was him, along with his fellow countryman Arturo Toscanini who brought an awareness of Brahms and certainly Richard Strauss to the concert halls of Rome and Milan and Florence.
So this recording of Richard Strauss' Tone Poem Til Eulensgpiegel's Lustige Strieche, gives a good idea of what Gui was exposing Italian audiences to. It was made just after the War, around 1946-1947 (I don't have the exact session dates - if someone does please let me know) and recorded for the Parlophone Company and eventually issued on the small Tempo Records label as an early lp around 1951. It features the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (Florence May Festival) Orchestra led by their music director and founder, Vittorio Gui.
In the event you've been glued to the TV, watching the Superbowl and are taking a break, hit the play button and spend 14 minutes decompressing.
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