Madness in Great Ones
March 25 also marks the birthday of former Philharmonic Music Director Arturo Toscanini, who was at the helm of the Orchestra from 1928 to 1936 (and in that time gave more than 30 world premieres and 40 American premieres, including that of Ravel’s Boléro, which will be a part of our 2013–14 season opener).
One of the oldest scores in our Digital Archives is that of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7. The page represents a dialogue in markings between two of our former Music Directors, with Toscanini taking on Gustav Mahler, the latter of whom had notated some changes to the score for one of his Phil performances. His changes, dictated to and notated by Philharmonic librarian Henry G. Boewig, incited the wrath of Toscanini, who replied by scrawling that they were “unworthy of such a musician.” An anonymous third party later added “nomina stultorum sunt ubique locorum,” which in Latin means “the words of fools appear everywhere.”
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