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Live from Carnegie Hall: Concert of the Century

The second in our new "live from Carnegie Hall" blog series turns the spotlight on a benefit concert featuring an unprecedented cast of classical music giants.

Album: Concert of the Century
Label: Sony
Artists: Rostropovich, Horowitz, Bernstein, Stern, Menuhin, Fischer-Dieskau, New York Philharmonic, Oratorio Society of New York.
Date Recorded: May 18, 1976
Fun Fact: Billboard reported that the double disc set carried "a special $15.98 list price tag to accommodate a contribution to support the hall." Sam Goody was selling it for $8.49.

It is astonishing that just 16 years after the building was on the verge of destruction the most iconic names in 20th century classical music gathered on the once-threatened stage to celebrate the 85th anniversary of the opening of Carnegie Hall in 1891.

Rostropovich. Horowitz. Bernstein. Stern. Menuhin. Fischer-Dieskau. Each one a collosal name in his own right. Together with the New York Philharmonic and the Oratorio Society of New York, for which Andrew Carnegie built the Hall, they performed to help ensure the continued survival and development of Carnegie Hall.

When soprano Martina Arroyo had to bow out of the concert because of an accident, Mstislav Rostropovich and Vladimir Horowitz 'filled in' by performing Rachmaninoff's Sonata in G minor for Cello and Piano.

Bernstein played the harpsichord and, having joined the chorus for Handel's "Hallelujah chorus", he, Stern, Menuhin, and Rostropovich are credited as singers in the concert archive.

Truly a once in a century event.

Related: Hall History

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