Stokowski Conducts Klemperer, Vaughan Williams, Ravel, Brahms, Novácek

Stokowski Conducts Klemperer, Vaughan Williams, Ravel, Brahms, Novácek

by Leopold Stokowski
     
 

What a typically cool -- and typically weird -- Stokowski disc. What other conductor would start a concert with a lighthearted and gay "Merry Waltz" by Otto Klemperer -- yes, that Otto Klemperer, the iron-handed conductor of stern recordings of Beethoven's "Missa Solemnis" and BrahmsSee more details below

Overview

What a typically cool -- and typically weird -- Stokowski disc. What other conductor would start a concert with a lighthearted and gay "Merry Waltz" by Otto Klemperer -- yes, that Otto Klemperer, the iron-handed conductor of stern recordings of Beethoven's "Missa Solemnis" and Brahms' "Ein deutsches Requiem"? Who else would follow that curtain raiser with a solemnly ecstatic "Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis" by Ralph Vaughan Williams and a brilliantly colorful "Rhapsodie espagnole" by Maurice Ravel and then close with the dour and demanding "E minor Symphony" by Johannes Brahms? No one, that's who. And the really amazing thing is that Stokowski was an incredible 92 years old when this 1974 performance with the New Philharmonia Orchestra was recorded. Not that you'd ever guess it from his music-making: his "Merry Waltz" is robustly vigorous, his "Tallis Fantasia" is richly luminous, his "Rhapsodie espagnole" is deftly nimble, and his "E minor Symphony" is simply magnificent. True, the performances are typically Stokowski: lines are highlighted, rhythms are accented, colors are dazzling, and shapes are sculpted. But these were things Stokowski had been doing for decades, and they work as effectively here as ever. Adding an unusual encore -- a 1964 recording with the London Symphony of Ottokar Novácek's glittering orchestral showpiece "Perpetuum mobile" -- is surely something the conductor would have done. Anyone who relishes Stokowski's conducting will surely enjoy this disc, especially since the live sound for both recordings is crisp and strong.

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Editorial Reviews

Philadelphia Inquirer - David Patrick Stearns
1/2 The Brahms Symphony No. 4, heard in one of his last public concerts (he was 92), is a major marvel, each musical idea emerging with such personality as to have its own tempo without taxing the piece's overall cohesion.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/24/2007
Label:
Bbc Legends
UPC:
0684911420524
catalogNumber:
4205
Rank:
176638

Tracks

  1. Merry Waltz for orchestra  - Otto Klemperer  - Leopold Stokowski  -  New Philharmonia Orchestra  - John Patrick
  2. Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, for 2 string orchestras  - Ralph Vaughan Williams  - Leopold Stokowski  -  New Philharmonia Orchestra  - John Patrick
  3. Rhapsodie espagnole, for orchestra (or 2 pianos)  - Maurice Ravel  - Leopold Stokowski  -  New Philharmonia Orchestra  - John Patrick
  4. Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98  - Johannes Brahms  - Leopold Stokowski  -  New Philharmonia Orchestra  - John Patrick
  5. Perpetuum Mobile, for violin & orchestra  - Ottokar Novacek  - Leopold Stokowski  -  London Symphony Orchestra  - John Patrick

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