5 Classical Music Gems from the Pathé Newsreel Archive

Sunday, April 20, 2014 - 09:00 PM

Toscanini footage from the Pathe Newsreel Archive Toscanini footage from the Pathe Newsreel Archive

Film archive company British Pathé has uploaded its entire collection of historic films to YouTube, making more than 85,000 rare 20th century videos available to the public in high resolution.

Classical music alone offers rich pickings in the archive, from newsreel of Cold War cultural diplomacy visits to curiosities like a nine-year-old conductor. Here are a few of our favorites.

1. President Dwight D. Eisenhower grabs a shovel for the Lincoln Center Groundbreaking in 1959. Note the early rendering of the center's campus.

2. An 83-year-old Arturo Toscanini rides a Ski Lift in Idaho.

3. A Kubrick-esque portrait of a 1968 "Computer Orchestra." The computer nerd stereotype has already caught on.

4. A 76-year-old Leopold Stokowski Conducts Shostakovich's Symphony No. 11 in the USSR in 1958.

5. Van Cliburn plays Rachmaninoff's Third Piano Concerto with the USSR State Symphony Orchestra conducted by Kiril Kondrashin in 1960. The performance takes place in a Moscow sports arena.

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