CD Premières of Their Rarest 78 RPM Recordings, 1927-1940

CD Premières of Their Rarest 78 RPM Recordings, 1927-1940

by Leopold Stokowski


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CD Premières of Their Rarest 78 RPM Recordings, 1927-1940

This set of heretofore unissued recordings from the late '20s and '30s with Leopold Stokowski leading the Philadelphia Orchestra isn't just for Stokowski cognoscenti. It's for anyone who wants to know what classical music was like in a time now nearly passed from living memory. As the repertoire on these discs demonstrates, those were very different times, times that happily embraced the notion of orchestral transcriptions. Here, the whole first disc, most of the second disc, and parts of the third and fourth discs feature orchestral transcriptions by Stokowski himself, most of them of what later became known as early music. Thus the first disc has his transcriptions of Handel, Vivaldi, Palestrina, Frescobaldi, Lully, and Byrd and the second disc includes not just his well-known Bach transcriptions, but also his arrangements of movements from Boccherini and Haydn's quartets. The third disc includes not just Stokowski's transcription of Debussy's "Claire de lune," but also a three-minute talk by the maestro on Franck's symphony. Even in the otherwise straight fourth disc, Stokowski can't resist the temptation to touch up Berlioz's transcription of Weber's "Invitation to the Dance." Stokowski's early music arrangements like his other arrangements are for full-blown nineteenth century orchestra with quadruple wind, expanded strings and brass, plus one or more harps, and his early music interpretations, like his other interpretations, are likewise heavy-duty late romantic with glissando, portamento, and molto vibrato. Embodied in the plushly textured, radiantly colored, and immensely sensuous playing of the Philadelphia Orchestra in its prime, these transcriptions will delight all but the most aesthetically austere. In the non-transcription repertoire, some may have difficulties with Stokowski's massive tempo rubato in Beethoven's "Fifth Symphony," Franck's symphony, and Debussy's "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun," but few would deny that he knew what he wanted to do, how to do it, how to convince an orchestra to follow him, and, most importantly, how to convince an audience he was right. For their time and place, these performances are compelling testimony to the rightness of Stokowski's transcriptions. Mark Obert-Thorn's transfers from RCA 78s are miraculously transparent, enabling contemporary listeners to hear these performances with the same clarity and fidelity as the original listeners.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/28/2006
Label: Music & Arts Program
UPC: 0017685117329
catalogNumber: 1173
Rank: 250497


Disc 1

  1. Concerto for 2 violins, cello, strings & continuo in D Minor ("L'estro armonico" No. 11), Op. 3/11, RV 565

    1. Allegro  (04:58)
    2. Intermezzo  (04:17)
    3. Allegro  (03:28)
  2. Adoramus te Christe, motet for 4 voices (from Motets Book II for 4 voices)  (03:12)
  3. Work(s): Gagliarda

    1. Gagliarda  (03:25)
  4. Le triomphe de l'amour, ballet, LWV 59: Nocturne

    1. Nocturne  (04:48)
  5. Alceste, ou Le triomphe d'Alcide, opera, LWV 50: Prelude

    1. Prelude  (01:25)
  6. Thésée, opera, LWV 51: March

    1. March  (01:00)
  7. Work(s): Pavane and Gigue

    1. Pavane and Gigue  (04:40)
  8. Chandos Anthem No.2 in D Minor, "In the Lord Put I My Trust", HWV 247  (06:25)
  9. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Pastoral Symphony

    1. Pastoral Symphony  (04:17)
  10. Water Music Suite No.1 for orchestra in F major, HWV 348: Allegro

    1. Allegro  (03:05)
  11. Water Music Suite No.1 for orchestra in F major, HWV 348: Air

    1. Air  (03:53)
  12. Water Music Suite No.1 for orchestra in F major, HWV 348: Bourée

    1. Bourée  (00:58)
  13. Water Music Suite No.1 for orchestra in F major, HWV 348: Hornpipe

    1. Hornpipe  (01:17)
  14. Water Music Suite No.1 for orchestra in F major, HWV 348: Andante

    1. Andante  (03:41)
  15. Water Music Suite No.1 for orchestra in F major, HWV 348: Allegro deciso

    1. Allegro deciso  (03:42)

Disc 2

  1. Toccata and Fugue, for organ in D minor, BWV 565 (BC J37)  (09:28)
  2. Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ (I), chorale prelude for organ (Orgel-Büchlein No. 41), BWV 639 (BC K68)  (08:01)
  3. St. John Passion (Johannespassion), BWV 245 (BC D2): Es ist Vollbracht

    1. Es ist Vollbracht  (04:17)
  4. Cantata No. 80, "Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott," BWV 80 (BC A183): Ein feste Burg

    1. Ein feste Burg  (01:47)
  5. Passacaglia and Fugue, for organ in C minor, BWV 582 (BC J79)  (14:19)
  6. String Quintet for 2 violins, viola & 2 cellos in A major, G. 281 (Op. 13/5): Minuet

    1. Minuet  (02:37)
  7. String Quartet in B flat major, Op. 3/4, H. 3/16 (spurious, possibly by Hoffstetter): Andante cantabile

    1. Andante cantabile  (03:31)
  8. Symphony No. 5 in C minor ("Fate"), Op. 67

    1. Allegro con brio  (06:24)
    2. Andante con moto  (11:24)
    3. Allegro  (05:40)
    4. Allegro  (08:19)

Disc 3

  1. Outline of Themes for the Franck Symphony  (02:56)
  2. Symphony, in D minor, Op. 48

    1. Lento  (16:59)
    2. Allegretto  (11:31)
    3. Allegro non troppo  (11:11)
  3. Nocturnes, for female chorus & orchestra, L. 91: Nuages

    1. Nuages  (09:06)
  4. Nocturnes, for female chorus & orchestra, L. 91: Fêtes

    1. Fêtes  (05:54)
  5. Clair de lune, for orchestra or various other arrangements (from "Suite Bergamasque" for piano), L. 75/3  (05:14)
  6. Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune (Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun), for orchestra, L. 86  (10:30)

Disc 4

  1. Invitation to the Dance (Aufforderung zum Tanze), for orchestra and various arrangements (orchestrated by Berlioz)  (08:01)
  2. Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98

    1. Allegro non troppo  (11:25)
    2. Andante moderato  (11:28)
    3. Allegro giocoso  (06:05)
    4. Allegro energico e passionate  (09:44)
  3. Hungarian Dances (21) for orchestra, WoO 1: Hungarian Dance No. 1

    1. Hungarian Dance No. 1  (03:25)
  4. An der schönen, blauen Donau (On the Beautiful, Blue Danube), waltz for orchestra (with chorus ad lib), Op. 314 (RV 314)  (04:28)
  5. Geschichten aus dem Wienerwald (Tales from the Vienna Woods), waltz for orchestra, Op. 325 (RV 325)  (04:48)
  6. Salome, opera, Op. 54 (TrV 215): Dance of the Seven Veils

    1. Dance of the Seven Veils  (09:41)
  7. El Capitan, march for band  (02:16)
  8. The Stars and Stripes Forever, march for band  (03:22)

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