Leopold Stokowski conducts
Wagner, Schoenberg and Vaughan Williams
Leopold Stokowski (1882-1977) was certainly one of the most celebrated conductors of his era, and, some would say, one of the most notorious also! His appearance in Hollywood films (with Deanna Durbin), and his collaboration with Walt Disney (Fantasia) took full advantage of his highly photogenic appearance, and quickly thrust the maestro into the limelight of pop culture.
Stokowski was a legendary interpreter, and his powers are heard to excellent advantage in the three works comprising this release. A leader in the performance of new music, Stokowski brought intensity of line and clarity of texture to his work- characteristics heard in abundance in this recording. Always interested in achieving better sound, Stokowski listened to rehearsal tapes before this concert, and requested re-positioning of the orchestra (including putting the basses on risers). This exciting in-concert recording was first released on the Library's own label. For the Bridge release, the original 1960 master tapes have undergone extensive sonic restoration and remastering.
“Given Stokowski’s reputation for souping up classics with neonlit timbral emphases and taffy-pulling phrasing, these warhorses emerge in fine trim, with a strong emotional pull from start to end. Many of today’s young hotshot conductors could learn from this disc.” - Village Voice (Grade: A)
Richard Wagner: Siegfried-Idyll