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Leopold Stokowski (Great Conductors of the 20th Century) Original recording remastered

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, February 11, 2003
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. I. Andante, Ma Non Troppo - Allegro Energico - Leopold Stokowski
  2. II. Andante (Ma Non Troppo Lento) - Leopold Stokowski
  3. III. Scherzo. Allegro - Lento (Ma Non Troppo) - Tempo I - Leopold Stokowski
  4. IV. Finale (Quasi Una Fantasia). Andante - Allegro Molto - Leopold Stokowski
  5. I. Allegro Collerico - Danish State Radio
  6. II. Allegro Comodo E Flemmatico - Danish State Radio
  7. III. Andante Malincolico - Danish State Radio
  8. IV. Allegro Sanguineo - Danish State Radio
  9. Handel In The Strand - Percy Grainger
  10. Country Gardens - Percy Grainger
  11. Shepherd's Hey - Percy Grainger

Disc: 2

  1. No.1: Fanfare - Leopold Stokowski
  2. Tragic Overture, Op.81 - National Philharmonic Orchestra
  3. Hungarian Rhapsody In F Minor, S359 No.1 - Members Of The NBC Symphony Orchestra
  4. La Oracion Del Torero, Op.34 - His Symphony Orchestra
  5. I. Rome - Palermo. Calme - Leopold Stokowski
  6. II. Tunis - Nefta. Modere, Tres Rythme - Leopold Stokowski
  7. III. Valencia. Anime - Leopold Stokowski
  8. Tristan Und Isolde: Love Music - Philadelphia Orchestra
  9. The Red Poppy - Concert Suite, Op.70 No.6: Russian Sailor's Dance - His Symphony Orchestra

Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 11, 2003)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: EMI Classics
  • ASIN: B00006IGIP
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #227,515 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By Michael Brad Richman HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on March 26, 2003
Format: Audio CD
It's sad that the "Great Conductors of the 20th Century" reissue series has not gotten more notice on Amazon and in other places, because it has my vote for the best reissue program thus far of the 21st Century. Drawing from the archives of all the major classical labels (EMI, Sony, BMG, DG, Decca, Philips, Supraphon, etc.), EMI and IMG Artists have assembled a wonderful series of affordable two-disc sets by the leading conductors of the last century. And unlike its counterpart, "The Great Pianists of the 20th Century," which are basically compilations of material already available on other CDs, the "Great Conductors" features rare and, for the most part, previously unreleased performances!
This particular CD, Volume 23, features the great Leopold Stokowski, known to most as the conductor in Disney's "Fantasia." As the track information is not abundantly clear above, allow me to mention that these discs feature memorable stereo performances of Sibelius' Symphony No. 1, Nielsen's Symphony No. 2, Brahms' "Tragic Overture," Ibert's "Escales," Dukas' brief "La Peri - Fanfare," Turina's "La Oracion del Torero," and Stokowski's own arrangement of "Tristan und Isolde: Love Music." There are also classic mono recordings of three Grainger songs featuring the composer on piano, Liszt's "Hungarian Rhapsody No. 1," and the "Russian Sailor's Dance" from Gliere's "The Red Poppy - Concert Suite." The performances are with a variety of orchestras including the National Philharmonic, Danish State Radio, NBC Symphony, National de la Radiodiffusion Francaise, and Stokowski's own orchestra. The earliest recordings on this set are the Grainger pieces (1950) and the latest are from the mid-70s (Sibelius 1976 and Brahms 1977). The sound for all is excellent.
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Format: Audio CD
With the reissue of hundreds of Stokowski recordings, we have tangible proof that he was a great conductor and not simply the great showman shaking hands onscreen with Mickey Mouse in Fantasia. Stokowski began recording in the 1920s and didn't stop for six decades--that must be a record. The compilers of this 2-CD sampling in the Great Condcutors of the Century series couldn't possibly represent that whole span. They have chosen stuido recordings and live performances from the latter part of Stokowski's career. The earliest selection is some Percy Grainger from 1950, the latest a Brahms Tragic Over. from 1977, when the conductor was 95 (he would die later that year). The reviewer below lists all the items, making up for Amazon's neglect.

Two major works are included, the Sibelius First Sym. from 1976, in a vigorous reading that sometimes turns rackety (the conductor was in his 95th year!)and the Nielsen Second Sym., from 1967, which may not really be major but is at least long. The rest is bits and pieces, yet everything shows Stokowski's hallmarks: excellent ensemble, alert rhythm, lots of rubato and expressive underlining (the compilers haven't picked pieces where his tics become outrageously indulgent, as in Stoki's soupy Tchaikovsky Fifth on Decca), and an unbuttoned love for music. Stokowski, like Bernstein after him, brought common people to love what he loved. It would be fair to say that both conductors were possessed by music, and they gained massive public exposure as a result. We are very fortunate they weren't charlatans--despite the derisive critics who pasted that label on Stokowski during his low point in the Fifties and early Sixties, when he was a fallen star.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Leopold Stokowski was one of the most original conductors of the past century. Dedicated all his life to new music as well as neglected composers, his adventurous spirit put to shame many of the more traditional maestros of his era. He premiered some 800 new pieces of music! A staggering display of commitment to the music of his time. What conductor alive today can even begin to compare to his advocacy of non-traditional repertoire? Granted that Stokowski was more attracted to the flowery, perfumed exotic works than the meat and potatoes masterpieces that make up the catalogues of more conservative conductors. But I for one appreciate his willingness to go where others seldom ventured.

Here we have two discs in the Great Conductors series dedicated to him. We start off with Sibelius' Symphony 1, a popular work that I am not personally in love with. Stokowski makes great drama of it and it is sure to please. Sound quality is very fine stereo. Next up is the 2nd Symphony of Nielsen, a live performance from Danish radio. It has an ambience and a hot-blooded atmosphere that must have lit up the crowd that night. The sound is a tad strange, almost a half way house between stereo and mono. Sounds like it was made from a pirate tape by a concert goer. Still, such a ravenous account makes up for any lack of sound quality and it feels like you're in the hall reliving that evening. Percy Grainger's orchestral arrangements of some of his piano pieces make a nice fill up at the end of disc one.

Disc two is much more exotic as far as repertoire is concerned. A short piece by Dukas is followed by a highly combustible Brahms Tragic Overture. This is a piece I rarely listen to as I find it a chore to sit through.
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