Stokowski: The Maverick Conductor

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Uncle Dave Lewis
EMI, of course, is based in England, and apparently didn't pay too much attention to the 2008 American presidential election, otherwise it might have thought twice about naming this 10-CD box set Leopold Stokowski: The Maverick Conductor. Ironically, the word maverick -- in its traditional sense -- certainly fits Stokowski; he was probably the figure who more than any other established the symphony conductor as a superhuman entity, able to conquer the weakest orchestra in a single bound and get his patented string sound from it. He was a tireless advocate of modern music who gave first performances of composers such as Edgard Varèse and Charles Ives in Philadelphia in ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Uncle Dave Lewis
EMI, of course, is based in England, and apparently didn't pay too much attention to the 2008 American presidential election, otherwise it might have thought twice about naming this 10-CD box set Leopold Stokowski: The Maverick Conductor. Ironically, the word maverick -- in its traditional sense -- certainly fits Stokowski; he was probably the figure who more than any other established the symphony conductor as a superhuman entity, able to conquer the weakest orchestra in a single bound and get his patented string sound from it. He was a tireless advocate of modern music who gave first performances of composers such as Edgard Varèse and Charles Ives in Philadelphia in the 1920s. He was a prolific recording artist who was very active in attempting to improve the technology of recordings and a pioneer in many stereophonic sessions going back into the 1930s. His career as conductor is one of the longest on record, stretching from his 1909 debut with the Cincinnati Symphony to his last recording session, made within days of his death, with the London Symphony in 1977. Thus, Stokowski's activity as conductor encompasses nearly the entire twentieth century. The 10 CDs included in Leopold Stokowski: The Maverick Conductor features recordings made between 1956 and 1960 and basically encompasses all of the compact discs EMI previously released either as single discs or as smaller sets. That comes as excellent news for those who missed the short-lived three-CD EMI set devoted to his United Artists' recordings of the Symphony of the Air, containing Stokowski's electrifying recordings of Respighi's "The Pines of Rome" and Khachaturian's "Symphony No. 1, The Bell." On the downside, it also incorporates his Capitol recording The Orchestra, which once was accompanied by a deluxe booklet illustrating the different instruments of the orchestra and necessarily consisted of excepts. So instead of a full version of Mussorgsky/Ravel's "Pictures at an Exhibition" you get just the last two movements; of course, he did record that elsewhere, but it's not the sort of thing that makes for the most attractive filler. The portion of Stokowski's output that EMI owns belongs to the latter stages of a long, wandering period where he was without a standing position with a major orchestra, and this did not end until he was appointed to serve as the conductor of the Houston Symphony in 1958. The group identified as the "Leopold Stokowski Symphony Orchestra" was the Symphony of the Air, the reorganized NBC Symphony after Toscanini retired; Stokowski recorded both under that name and his own. There are also some guest situations with the ORTF Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and even the Berlin Philharmonic, and the front tip of his work in Houston, the rest being captured by Belock Labs i.e., Everest. Interestingly, there is a stray recording, from 1957, of Ravel's "Rhapsodie espagnole" made with the London Symphony, an organization to which Stokowski would later get appointed and with whom he made many of his final recordings. In sum, during these years Stokowski was still a name, but was not entirely in control of his destiny as far as recording was concerned; Stokowski: The Maverick Conductor is partly a collection of curios, a grab bag of dates he was able to secure in those years. Orff's "Carmina Burana" shares its disc with the Scherzo from Tchaikovsky's "Fourth Symphony." However, it's a very reasonably priced box set, and the recordings -- especially the ones made by United Artists, which were mastered on 35mm film -- still sound great overall. Those who bought these discs in their original form, as single items, might not be so pleased that this represents such a price break over having obtained them that way, but everyone else is likely to find at least three to four discs in the set that are worth their while, even if they never get around to listening to all 10.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/20/2009
  • Label: Emi Classics
  • EAN: 5099969855528
  • Catalog Number: 98555
  • Sales rank: 141,478

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–2 Passacaglia and Fugue, for organ in C minor, BWV 582 (BC J79) - Johann Sebastian Bach & Leopold Stokowski (14:48)
  2. 2 Komm, süsser Tod, for voice & continuo (Schemelli Gesangbuch No. 868), BWV 478 (BC F227) - Johann Sebastian Bach & Leopold Stokowski (5:56)
  3. 3 English Suite, for keyboard No. 2 in A minor, BWV 807 (BC L14): Bourrée - Johann Sebastian Bach & Leopold Stokowski (3:29)
  4. 4 English Suite, for keyboard No. 2 in A minor, BWV 807 (BC L14): Sarabande - Johann Sebastian Bach & Leopold Stokowski (4:36)
  5. 5 Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott, chorale prelude for organ (by Johann Michael Bach, not JSB), BWV 720 (BC K103) - Johann Sebastian Bach & Leopold Stokowski (3:00)
  6. 6 Weihnachtsoratorium (Christmas Oratorio), in six parts, BWV 248 (BC D7): Sinfonia - Johann Sebastian Bach & Leopold Stokowski (9:32)
  7. 7 Fugue for organ in G minor ("Little"), BWV 578 (BC J66) - Johann Sebastian Bach & Leopold Stokowski (3:56)
  8. 8 Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068: Air - Johann Sebastian Bach & Leopold Stokowski (7:02)
  9. 9 Mein Jesu! was für Seelenweh, for voice & continuo (Schemelli Gesangbuch No. 283), BWV 487 (BC F237) - Johann Sebastian Bach & Leopold Stokowski (5:08)
  10. 10 Partita for solo violin No. 3 in E major, BWV 1006: Prelude - Johann Sebastian Bach & Leopold Stokowski (3:48)
  11. 12–13 Toccata and Fugue, for organ in D minor, BWV 565 (BC J37) - Johann Sebastian Bach & Leopold Stokowski (9:37)
Disc 2
  1. 1–4 Music for Strings, Percussion & Celesta, Sz. 106, BB 114 - Béla Bartók & Leopold Stokowski (33:15)
  2. 5–7 Escales (Ports of Call), suite for orchestra - Jacques Ibert & Leopold Stokowski (14:10)
  3. 8–10 Petite symphonie concertante, for harp, harpsichord and piano and 2 string orchestras - Frank Martin & Leopold Stokowski (21:55)
  4. 9 Evolution (Part 1): [Part 1] - Harold Farberman & Leopold Stokowski (5:00)
  5. 10 Divertimento, for band Op. 42: March - Leopold Stokowski & Vincent Persichetti (2:09)
Disc 3
  1. 1 Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune (Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun), for orchestra, L. 86 - Leopold Stokowski & Claude Debussy (11:25)
  2. 2–4 Nocturnes, for female chorus & orchestra, L. 91 - Leopold Stokowski & Claude Debussy (25:02)
  3. 3 Suite bergamasque, for piano, L. 75: Clair de lune - Leopold Stokowski & Claude Debussy (5:27)
  4. 6–8 Ibéria, for orchestra, L. 122/2 - Leopold Stokowski & Claude Debussy (19:58)
Disc 4
  1. 1–4 Symphony No. 11 in G minor, Op. 103 (The Year 1905) - Leopold Stokowski & Dmitry Shostakovich (62:34)
  2. 2 Adagio for strings (or string quartet; arr. from 2nd mvt. of String Quartet), Op. 11 - Leopold Stokowski & Samuel Barber (6:35)
Disc 5
  1. 1–7 The Planets, suite for orchestra & female chorus, Op. 32, H. 125 - Leopold Stokowski & Gustav Holst (46:34)
  2. 8–12 Verklärte Nacht, for string sextet, Op. 4 - Arnold Schoenberg & Leopold Stokowski (28:23)
Disc 6
  1. 1–4 Symphony No. 3 in B minor ("Il'ya Muromets"), Op. 42 - Leopold Stokowski & Reinhold Glière (38:13)
  2. 2 Petrushka, ballet (burlesque) in 4 scenes for orchestra (1947 version): 1. Russian Dance - Leopold Stokowski & Igor Stravinsky (7:00)
  3. 3 Petrushka, ballet (burlesque) in 4 scenes for orchestra (1947 version): 2. The Shrovetide Fair (near evening) - Leopold Stokowski & Igor Stravinsky (0:55)
  4. 4 Petrushka, ballet (burlesque) in 4 scenes for orchestra (1947 version): 3. Dance of the Wet Nurses - Leopold Stokowski & Igor Stravinsky (2:24)
  5. 5 Petrushka, ballet (burlesque) in 4 scenes for orchestra (1947 version): 4. Dance of the Peasant and the Bear - Leopold Stokowski & Igor Stravinsky (1:17)
  6. 6 Petrushka, ballet (burlesque) in 4 scenes for orchestra (1947 version): 5. Dance of the Gypsy Girls - Leopold Stokowski & Igor Stravinsky (1:05)
  7. 7 Petrushka, ballet (burlesque) in 4 scenes for orchestra (1947 version): 6. Dance of the Coachmen and Grooms - Leopold Stokowski & Igor Stravinsky (1:50)
  8. 8 Petrushka, ballet (burlesque) in 4 scenes for orchestra (1947 version): 7. The Masqueraders - Leopold Stokowski & Igor Stravinsky (1:59)
  9. 9 L'oiseau de feu (The Firebird), concert suite for orchestra No. 1: 1. Introduction - Leopold Stokowski & Igor Stravinsky (3:10)
  10. 10 L'oiseau de feu (The Firebird), concert suite for orchestra No. 1: 2. Dance of the Firebird - Leopold Stokowski & Igor Stravinsky (0:14)
  11. 11 L'oiseau de feu (The Firebird), concert suite for orchestra No. 1: 3. Variation of the Firebird - Leopold Stokowski & Igor Stravinsky (1:08)
  12. 12 L'oiseau de feu (The Firebird), concert suite for orchestra No. 1: 4. The Princesses' Khovorod - Leopold Stokowski & Igor Stravinsky (5:29)
  13. 13 L'oiseau de feu (The Firebird), concert suite for orchestra No. 1: 5. Infernal Dance of King Kashchei - Leopold Stokowski & Igor Stravinsky (3:51)
  14. 14 L'oiseau de feu (The Firebird), concert suite for orchestra No. 1: 6. Lullaby - Leopold Stokowski & Igor Stravinsky (3:48)
  15. 15 L'oiseau de feu (The Firebird), concert suite for orchestra No. 1: 7. Finale - Leopold Stokowski & Igor Stravinsky (3:32)
Disc 7
  1. 1 La Péri, fanfare to the ballet - Paul Dukas & Leopold Stokowski (2:27)
  2. 2 La Oración del torero, for lute quartet (or string quartet/string orchestra), Op. 34 - Leopold Stokowski & Joaquín Turina (11:22)
  3. 3 A Pagan Poem (after Vergil), for piano & orchestra, Op. 14 - Leopold Stokowski & Charles Martin Loeffler (23:46)
  4. 4 Alborada del Gracioso, for orchestra - Maurice Ravel & Leopold Stokowski (7:29)
  5. 5–8 Rhapsodie espagnole, for orchestra (or 2 pianos) - Maurice Ravel & Leopold Stokowski (14:33)
  6. 6 Lemminkäinen Suite: Four Legends from the Kalevala, for orchestra, Op. 22: 2. The Swan of Tuonela - Leopold Stokowski & Jean Sibelius (7:59)
  7. 7 Finlandia, tone poem for orchestra, Op. 26 - Leopold Stokowski & Jean Sibelius (7:36)
Disc 8
  1. 1–25 Carmina Burana, scenic cantata for soloists, choruses & orchestra - Carl Orff & Leopold Stokowski (51:41)
  2. 2 Suite for 13 wind instruments in B flat major, Op. 4 (TrV 132): Gavotte - Richard Strauss & Leopold Stokowski (3:10)
  3. 3 Symphony No. 8 in D minor: 2. Scherzo - Leopold Stokowski & Ralph Vaughan Williams (3:35)
  4. 4 Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36: 3. Scherzo - Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky & Leopold Stokowski (5:23)
  5. 5 Pictures at an Exhibition (Kartinki s vïstavski), for orchestra, orchestrated by Ravel: The Hut on Fowl's Legs - Maurice Ravel & Modest Mussorgsky (3:05)
  6. 6 Pictures at an Exhibition (Kartinki s vïstavski), for orchestra, orchestrated by Ravel: The Great Gate of Kiev - Maurice Ravel & Modest Mussorgsky (5:07)
Disc 9
  1. 1–4 Pini di Roma (The Pines of Rome), symphonic poem, P. 141 - Ottorino Respighi & Leopold Stokowski (20:07)
  2. 5–8 Symphony No.2 in A minor ("Symphony with Bells") - Leopold Stokowski & Aram Khachaturian (49:39)
  3. 6 Work(s): Gagliarda - Girolamo Frescobaldi & Leopold Stokowski (3:01)
  4. 7 Adoramus te Christe, motet for 4 voices (from Motets Book II for 4 voices) - Leopold Stokowski & Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (2:35)
Disc 10
  1. 1–4 Symphony No. 1 in F minor, Op. 10 - Leopold Stokowski & Dmitry Shostakovich (33:47)
  2. 2 Prelude & Fugue for piano No. 14 in E flat minor, Op. 87/14 - Leopold Stokowski & Dmitry Shostakovich (3:08)
  3. 3 Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, opera, Op. 29: Entr'acte - Leopold Stokowski & Dmitry Shostakovich (1:53)
  4. 4 Schelomo, rhapsody for cello & orchestra (or piano) - Leopold Stokowski & Ernest Bloch (21:40)
  5. 5 Tu mancavi a tormentarmi (aria arranged for strings & harp by L.Stokowski) - Leopold Stokowski & Antonio Cesti (6:42)
  6. 6 Sacrae Symphoniae: No. 6. Sonata pian e forte - Leopold Stokowski & Giovanni Gabrieli (5:34)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Leopold Stokowski Primary Artist
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