Toscanini, La Scala Orchestra in Buffalo

Review: Buffalo Courier, 30 January 1921

Masterful Art of Toscanini
Creates Furore at Elmwood

         The miracle has happened and Buffalo has been stirred to its very foundations with a superman as the magician who wrought the miracle. The great Toscanini and his wonderful symphony orchestra from La Scala theater, Milan, Italy, gave a concert in Elmwood Music hall last evening before a capacity house, many standing throughout the entire programme.
         Such a furore did this distinguished conductor, who lent such brilliant luster to the Metropolitan opera, and who is still the idol of New York music lovers, arouse last evening that the hall shook with acclaims, many rising and vociferously applauding this eminent son of Italy and his splendid musicians.
         Never perhaps in the history of the city has there been such a general and complete ovation rendered any orchestral conductor. This magic-master shook up the old dry bones of the classics and infusded into them new life, so that they glowed with warmth and vivid, pulsating emotional feeling. His Beethoven and his Brahms were offerings to conjure with, in fact it was this new presentation of these time honored works that brought Toscanini his biggest tributes.
         A tall distinguished and authoritative figure, Toscanini is imposing to a degree, and his conducting of a tremenously taxing programme without a score, and with utter absence of mannerisms of artificial strivings for effect, proved a fascinating spectacle.
         The Beethoven Seventh Symphony in A major was magnificent in its presentation, for the famous conductor visioned far below the surface and so electrified his musicians that they transmitted all its beauties through his inspired genius.
         There was an unearthly beauty in Allegretto of the second movement, and the entire work was a memorable performance.
         One of the radiant and loveliest of numbers was the "Villanella" of the sixteenth century that left it far removed from the usual orchestral offerings. The Brahms Variations on a Haydn Theme was a Brahms, illuminated, and shimmering with color.
         The symphonic poem "Juventus" by De Sabata, a modern work of dramatic scope and varied musical expression, won conductor and players another triumph. The Overture to "William Tell", a fitting climax, aroused further wild applause. Toscanini insisted upon the members of his orchestra rising to share every ovation.
         Following intermission, he signaled his orchestra and as the strains of Star Splangled Banner floated out, the vast audience rose and it was worth the price of admission to hear our national anthem given such an imposing rendition. Following it came the Italian National Hymn, which aroused great enthusiasm from the hundreds of Italians present. The concert was under the local management of Mrs. Mai Davis Smith.