Music: Toscanini at Bayreuth

In the wings a substitute tenor (Lauritz Melchior) fidgeted, waiting to take over the title-role should sick Tenor Sigmund Pilinsky collapse. On the dais, the back of Conductor Arturo Toscanini's mind held worry for his wife, in the hospital all week with a broken leg. Frau Cosima was dead. Son Siegfried had pneumonia. Nearest of kin to great Wilhelm Richard Wagner, in charge of this first evening of the 1930 Bayreuth festival was Siegfried's anxious wife. Yet despite all difficulties Tannhauser soared sonorously, sublimely to its final great choral of pity and...

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