Stokowski: Bach Transcriptions, Vol. 2

Stokowski: Bach Transcriptions, Vol. 2

by José Serebrier
     
 

It has only been since the turn of the twenty first century that Leopold Stokowski's transcriptions for orchestra -- particularly those of Johann Sebastian Bach's music -- are an important part of the orchestral literature. Before that, opinions regarding them mainly ranged from necessary evil, owing to the popularity of certain ones, to that of wholesale… See more details below

Overview

It has only been since the turn of the twenty first century that Leopold Stokowski's transcriptions for orchestra -- particularly those of Johann Sebastian Bach's music -- are an important part of the orchestral literature. Before that, opinions regarding them mainly ranged from necessary evil, owing to the popularity of certain ones, to that of wholesale bowdlerization, abuses committed against unwitting composers unable to object to such treatment because they were dead. However, the value of Stokowski's transcriptions as a kind of personal outlet of creativity for a great conductor -- who couldn't seem to get his game on as a composer himself -- is gradually being recognized; their worth from the perspective of pure, high-quality orchestration has never been in doubt. Conductor José Serebrier was one of Stokowski's rare followers among conductors and has never had a problem with reviving his master's orchestral transcriptions. Naxos' Stokowski: Bach Transcriptions 2 features Serebrier and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in what appears to be a comprehensive traversal of Stokowski's output in terms of transcriptions for orchestra, although if so, Naxos doesn't seem to be in a big hurry to get it all out; this 2009 release is separated from its predecessor by no less than three years. While the first volume combined some moderately familiar material with some highly specialized stuff, this one gets off the ground with the big guns: Stokowski's famous transcription of Bach's "Toccata and Fugue in D minor." It is a big, walloping performance, as well, and Naxos' sound matches the appropriate ambience, though one might wish it had a bit more power as it is going up against numerous audiophile quality recordings of this piece, including old ones by Stokowski himself rescued from the mothballs and souped up in new formats. The disc continues with nine more Bach transcriptions, with a further tenth tacked onto the end, along with a miscellany reserved for the second half: Palestrina, Byrd, Jeremiah Clarke, Boccherini, Mattheson, and Haydn all served up Stokowski style. It is a very rich, calorie-laden menu, and for those who insist on textual purity, historical accuracy, and period instruments in music of the Baroque and Classical eras, this will be like a peanut allergy. But for those who enjoy the rich tapestries of the orchestra and enjoy Stokowski's blend already, this should prove highly satisfying; one thing Serebrier does very well is to turn corners the way Stokowski did, a specific kind of rubato at the ends of phrases, which is partly intuitive and Serebrier knows how to finesse that well. Naxos' Stokowski: Bach Transcriptions 2 is a fitting homage from Serebrier to his mentor and, by virtue of its program, may prove more generally appealing than the first volume was.

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Product Details

Release Date:
01/27/2009
Label:
Naxos
UPC:
0747313205073
catalogNumber:
8572050
Rank:
219702

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Toccata and Fugue in D minor, transcription for orchestra (after Bach, BWV 565)  - Leopold Stokowski  - José Serebrier  - Leopold Stokowski  -  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
  2. Arioso, for orchestra (after the Largo from Bach's Concerto for Harpsichord and Strings in F minor, BWV 1056)  - Leopold Stokowski  - José Serebrier  - Leopold Stokowski  -  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
  3. Wachet auf! (Sleepers, awake!), transcription for orchestra (after Bach, Schüber Chorale Prelude for Organ, BWV 639)  - Leopold Stokowski  - José Serebrier  - Leopold Stokowski  -  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
  4. Ich ruf' zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, transcription for orchestra (after Bach, Chorale Prelude for Organ, BWV 639)  - Leopold Stokowski  - José Serebrier  - Leopold Stokowski  -  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
  5. Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C major, transcription for orchestra (after Bach, BWV 564): Adagio  - Leopold Stokowski  - José Serebrier  - Leopold Stokowski  -  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
  6. Mein Jesu, transcription for orchestra (after Schemelli, from the Musical Songbook)  - Leopold Stokowski  - José Serebrier  - Leopold Stokowski  -  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
  7. Ein' feste Burg, transcription for orchestra (after Bach, BWV 80)  - Leopold Stokowski  - José Serebrier  - Leopold Stokowski  -  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
  8. Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, transcription for orchestra (after Bach, Cantata No. 147, BWV 147)  - Leopold Stokowski  - José Serebrier  - Leopold Stokowski  -  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
  9. Prelude in B minor, transcription for orchestra (after Bach, BWV 869)  - Leopold Stokowski  - José Serebrier  - Leopold Stokowski  -  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
  10. Siciliano, transcription for orcestra (after Bach, from Violin Sonata No. 4 in C minor, BWV 1017)  - Leopold Stokowski  - José Serebrier  - Leopold Stokowski  -  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
  11. Adoramus te, transcription for orchestra (after Palestrina)  - Leopold Stokowski  - José Serebrier  - Leopold Stokowski  -  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
  12. Transcription for orchestra of Byrd's Pavane and Gigue  - Leopold Stokowski  - José Serebrier  - Leopold Stokowski  -  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
  13. Trumpet Prelude, transcription for orchestra (after Clarke, The Prince of Denmark's March)  - Leopold Stokowski  - José Serebrier  - Leopold Stokowski  -  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
  14. Minuet, transcription for orchestra (after Boccherini, from the Quintet in E major, Op. 13/5)  - Leopold Stokowski  - José Serebrier  - Leopold Stokowski  -  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
  15. Air, transcription for orchestra (after Mattheson, from Harpsichord Suite No. 5 in C minor)  - Leopold Stokowski  - José Serebrier  - Leopold Stokowski  -  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
  16. Andante cantabile, transcription for orchestra (after Haydn, from Quintet in F major, Op. 3, No. 5)  - Leopold Stokowski  - José Serebrier  - Leopold Stokowski  -  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
  17. Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, transcription for orchestra (after Bach, BWV 582): Fugue  - Leopold Stokowski  - José Serebrier  - Leopold Stokowski  -  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

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