Newsletter of the Jussi Björling Societies of the USA & UK


David Cutler


Toscanini, Te Deum, The Bjorling Sound


It has been thought by some that, of all Toscanini’s performances of the Verdi Requiem, this was the most dispensable of them. This reaction is hard to believe, as it is still a vastly imposing performance with some excellent singing from voices that can easily cope with the demands, especially Jussi Björling and Zinka Milanov. Stephen Hastings, in his book The Björling Sound, describes the “spiritual concentration” of an earlier performance from Lucerne, Switzerland, recorded in the Jesuitenkirche. However that 1939 performance has, as far as I know, not been issued and it is also incomplete.

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