Synopsis by Hal Erickson
For the second time within a single year (1956), impresario Sol Hurok gathered together an awesome assembly of musical talent for a lavish, full-color NBC TV special. Rather than overload the screen with performers as he'd done in his previous special, Hurok wisely decided to limit the repertoire to five acts, allowing the singers and musicians ample time to fully demonstrate their genius. The first number is act one of Verdi's La Traviata, featuring Metropolitan Opera stars Victoria de los Angeles and Richard Tucker. This is followed by the death scene from Mussorgsky's Boris Godunoff, a showcase for singers Boris Christoff and Nicola Moscona. Up next is a medley of spirituals, exquisitely sung by Marian Anderson. Classical guitarist Andres Segovia is up next with a selection of his own compositions, followed by pianist Artur Rubinstein, performing Rachmaninov's "Variations on a Theme of Paganini." Conductor Alfred Wallenstein and the Symphony of the Air provide backup for the stars of this special, which originally aired live.
classical-music, music-festival, opera, orchestra, pianist, singer, symphony, violinist