EMI Icon: Stokowski - The Maverick Conductor (10 CD box set, FLAC)
EMI Icon: Stokowski - The Maverick Conductor (10 CD box set, FLAC)

Performer: Guy Gardner
Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach, Bela Bartok, Jacques Ibert, Frank Martin, Harold Farberman, et al.
Audio CD
Number of Discs: 10
Label: EMI Classics
Size: 3.32 GB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: no

Disc: 1
01. Passacaglia. – Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor BWV582 (1997 Digital Remaster)
02. Fugue. – Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor BWV582 (1997 Digital Remaster)
03. Komm, süsser Tod BWV478 (1997 Digital Remaster)
04. Bourrée from Suite No. 2 in A minor BWV807. – English Suites BWV806-11 (1997 Digital Remaster)
05. Sarabande. – Violin Partita No. 1 in B minor BWV1002 (arr. Stokowski) (1997 Digital Remaster)
06. Ein’ feste Burg ist unser Gott [not from BWV80] (1997 Digital Remaster)
07. Sinfonia. – Christmas Oratorio BWV248 (arr. Stokowski) (1997 Digital Remaster)
08. ‘Little’ Fugue in G minor BWV578 (1997 Digital Remaster)
09. Air on the G string from Suite No. 3 in D BWV1068. – Orchestral Suites BWV1066-9 (1997 Digital Remaster)
10. Mein Jesu, was vor Seelenweh BWV487 (1997 Digital Remaster)
11. Preludio. – Violin Partita No. 3 in E BWV1006 (1997 Digital Remaster)
12. Toccata. – Toccata and Fugue in D minor BWV565 (arr. Stokowski) (1997 Digital Remaster)
13. Fugue. – Toccata and Fugue in D minor BWV565 (arr. Stokowski) (1997 Digital Remaster)

Disc: 2
01. I Andante tranquillo. – Music for Strings, Percussion & Celesta, Sz106 (1986 Digital Remaster)
02. II Allegro. – Music for Strings, Percussion & Celesta, Sz106 (1986 Digital Remaster)
03. III Adagio. – Music for Strings, Percussion & Celesta, Sz106 (1986 Digital Remaster)
04. IV Allegro molto. – Music for Strings, Percussion & Celesta, Sz106 (1986 Digital Remaster)
05. Rome-Palermo. – Escales (2002 Digital Remaster)
06. Tunis-Nefia. – Escales (2002 Digital Remaster)
07. Valencia. – Escales (2002 Digital Remaster)
08. I. Adagio – Allegro Con Moto. – Petite Symphonie Concertante (1996 Digital Remaster)
09. II. Adagio. – Petite Symphonie Concertante (1996 Digital Remaster)
10. III. Allegretto Alla Marcia. – Petite Symphonie Concertante (1996 Digital Remaster)
11. Evolution (Part 1) (1995 Digital Remaster)
12. March (from Divertimento for band) (1995 Digital Remaster)

Disc: 3
01. Prelude a L’Apres-midi d’un Faune (2000 Digital Remaster)
02. I. Nuages. – Trios Nocturnes (2000 Digital Remaster)
03. II. Fetes. – Trios Nocturnes (2000 Digital Remaster)
04. III. Sirenes. – Trios Nocturnes (2000 Digital Remaster)
05. Clair de lune (from Suite Bergamasque) (2000 Digital Remaster)
06. I – Par Les Rues At Par Les Chemins. – Iberia – Images Pour Orchestra No. 2 (2000 Digital Remaster)
07. II – Les Parfums De La Nuit. – Iberia – Images Pour Orchestra No. 2 (2000 Digital Remaster)
08. III – Le Matin D’Un Jour De Fete. – Iberia – Images Pour Orchestra No. 2 (2000 Digital Remaster)

Disc: 4
01. The Palace Square (Adagio). – Symphony No. 11 in G minor, (“The Year 1905”) Op. 103 (1994 Digital Remaster)
02. January 9th (Allegro). – Symphony No. 11 in G minor, (“The Year 1905”) Op. 103 (1994 Digital Remaster)
03. Eternal Memory (Adagio). – Symphony No. 11 in G minor, (“The Year 1905”) Op. 103 (1994 Digital Remaster)
04. Alarm (Allegro non troppo). – Symphony No. 11 in G minor, (“The Year 1905”) Op. 103 (1994 Digital Remaster)

Disc: 5
01. I. Mars, The Bringer Of War. – Holst. The Planets, Op. 32 (2000 Digital Remaster)
02. II. Venus, The Bringer Of Peace. – Holst. The Planets, Op. 32 (2000 Digital Remaster)
03. III. Mercury, The Winged Messenger. – Holst. The Planets, Op. 32 (2000 Digital Remaster)
04. IV. Jupiter, The Bringer Of Jollity. – Holst. The Planets, Op. 32 (2000 Digital Remaster)
05. V. Saturn, The Bringer Of Old Age. – Holst. The Planets, Op. 32 (2000 Digital Remaster)
06. VI. Uranus, The Magician. – Holst. The Planets, Op. 32 (2000 Digital Remaster)
07. VII. Neptune, The Mystic. – Holst. The Planets, Op. 32 (2000 Digital Remaster)
08. Sehr Langsam. – Schoenberg. Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night), Op.4 (2000 Digital Remaster)
09. Etwas bewegter. – Schoenberg. Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night), Op.4 (2000 Digital Remaster)
10. Schwer betont. – Schoenberg. Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night), Op.4 (2000 Digital Remaster)
11. Sehr breit und langsam. – Schoenberg. Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night), Op.4 (2000 Digital Remaster)
12. Sehr ruhig. – Schoenberg. Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night), Op.4 (2000 Digital Remaster)

Also available:  Vladimir Horowitz - Recordings 1930-1951 (3 CD box set, FLAC)

Disc: 6
01. I. Ilya Murometz and Svyatogor, the Mighty Hero. – Symphony No. 3 in B minor, Op. 42 “Ilya Murometz”
02. II. Ilya Murometz and Solvei, the Brigand. – Symphony No. 3 in B minor, Op. 42 “Ilya Murometz”
03. III. Ilya Murometz and Prince Vladimir. – Symphony No. 3 in B minor, Op. 42 “Ilya Murometz”
04. IV. The Heroic Deeds and Petrification of Ilya Murometz. – Symphony No. 3 in B minor, Op. 42 “Ilya Murometz”
05. 1. Russian Dance. – Petrushka – Suite (1987 Digital Remaster)
06. 2. The Shrove-tide Fair (near evening). – Petrushka – Suite (1987 Digital Remaster)
07. 3. Dance of the Wet Nurses. – Petrushka – Suite (1987 Digital Remaster)
08. 4. Dance of the Peasant and the Bear. – Petrushka – Suite (1987 Digital Remaster)
09. 5. Dance of the Gypsy Girls. – Petrushka – Suite (1987 Digital Remaster)
10. 6. Dance of the Coachmen and Grooms. – Petrushka – Suite (1987 Digital Remaster)
11. 7. The Masqueraders. – Petrushka – Suite (1987 Digital Remaster)
12. Introduction. – The Firebird Suite (1987 Digital Remaster)
13. The Firebird and its dance. – The Firebird Suite (1987 Digital Remaster)
14. Variation of the Firebird. – The Firebird Suite (1987 Digital Remaster)
15. The princesses’ khorovod. – The Firebird Suite (1987 Digital Remaster)
16. Infernal dance of King Kashchei. – The Firebird Suite (1987 Digital Remaster)
17. Lullaby. – The Firebird Suite (1987 Digital Remaster)
18. Finale. – The Firebird Suite (1987 Digital Remaster)

Disc: 7
01. Fanfare to Le Peri (1995 Digital Remaster)
02. La Oración del torero Op. 34 (2002 Digital Remaster)
03. A Pagan Poem, Op. 14 (1994 Digital Remaster)
04. Alborada del gracioso (1994 Digital Remaster)
05. I. Prélude à la nuit. – Rapsodie espagnole (1994 Digital Remaster)
06. II. Malagueña. – Rapsodie espagnole (1994 Digital Remaster)
07. III. Habanera. – Rapsodie espagnole (1994 Digital Remaster)
08. IV. Feria. – Rapsodie espagnole (1994 Digital Remaster)
09. The Swan of Tuonela (from Four Legends, Op. 22) (1995 Digital Remaster)
10. Finlandia, Op. 26 (1995 Digital Remaster)

Disc: 8
01. No. 1 – O Fortuna. – Carmina Burana (1994 Digital Remaster), Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi
02. No. 2 – Fortune Plango Vulnera. – Carmina Burana (1994 Digital Remaster), Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi
03. No. 3 – Veris Ieta Facies. – Carmina Burana (1994 Digital Remaster), I – Primo Vere
04. No. 4 – Omnia Sol Temperat. – Carmina Burana (1994 Digital Remaster), I – Primo Vere
05. No. 5 – Ecce Gratum. – Carmina Burana (1994 Digital Remaster), I – Primo Vere
06. No. 6 – Tanz. – Carmina Burana (1994 Digital Remaster), Uf Dem Anger
07. No. 7 – Floret Silva. – Carmina Burana (1994 Digital Remaster), Uf Dem Anger
08. No. 8 – Chramer, Gip Die Varwe Mir. – Carmina Burana (1994 Digital Remaster), Uf Dem Anger
09. No. 9 – Reie. – Carmina Burana (1994 Digital Remaster), Uf Dem Anger
10. No. 10 – Were Diu Werlt Alle Min. – Carmina Burana (1994 Digital Remaster), Uf Dem Anger
11. No. 11 – Estuans Interius. – Carmina Burana (1994 Digital Remaster), II – In Taberna
12. No. 12 – Olim Lacus Colueram. – Carmina Burana (1994 Digital Remaster), II – In Taberna
13. No. 13 – Ego Sum Abbas. – Carmina Burana (1994 Digital Remaster), II – In Taberna
14. No. 14 – In Taberna Quando Sumus. – Carmina Burana (1994 Digital Remaster), II – In Taberna
15. No.15 – Amor Volat Undique. – Carmina Burana (1994 Digital Remaster), III – Cours D’Amour
16. No. 16 – Dies, Nox Et Omnia. – Carmina Burana (1994 Digital Remaster), III – Cours D’Amour
17. No. 17 – Stetit Puella. – Carmina Burana (1994 Digital Remaster), III – Cours D’Amour
18. No. 18 – Circa Mea Pectora. – Carmina Burana (1994 Digital Remaster), III – Cours D’Amour
19. No. 19 – Si Puer Cum Puellula. – Carmina Burana (1994 Digital Remaster), III – Cours D’Amour
20. No. 20 – Veni, Veni, Venias. – Carmina Burana (1994 Digital Remaster), III – Cours D’Amour
21. No. 21 – In Trutina. – Carmina Burana (1994 Digital Remaster), III – Cours D’Amour
22. No. 22 – Tempus Est Iocundum. – Carmina Burana (1994 Digital Remaster), III – Cours D’Amour
23. No. 23 – Dulcissime. – Carmina Burana (1994 Digital Remaster), III – Cours D’Amour
24. No. 24 – Ave Formosissima. – Carmina Burana (1994 Digital Remaster), Blanziflor Et Helena
25. No. 25 – O Fortuna. – Carmina Burana (1994 Digital Remaster), Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi
26. Gavotte (from Suite for Wind Instruments in B-flat, Op 4) (1995 Digital Remaster)
27. Scherzo (from Symphony No. 8 in D Minor) (1995 Digital Remaster)
28. Scherzo (from Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36) (1995 Digital Remaster)
29. The Hut on Fowl’s Legs (Pictures at an Exhibition) (1995 Digital Remaster)
30. The Great Gate of Kiev (Pictures at an Exhibition) (1995 Digital Remaster)

Also available:  Gould: Bach - The Six Partitas (SACD ISO)

Disc: 9
01. I. I pini di Villa Borghese
02. II. Pini presso una catacomba
03. III. I pini del Gianiclo
04. IV. I pini di Via Appia
05. I. Andante maestoso – Allegro agitato
06. II. Allegro risoluto
07. III. Andante sostenuto
08. IV. Andante mosso – Allegro sostenuto, Maestoso
09. Gagliarda (1994 Digital Remaster)
10. Adoramus Te (1994 Digital Remaster)

Disc: 10
01. I. Allegretto
02. II. Allegro ma non troppo
03. III. Lento
04. IV. Allegro molto
05. Prelude in E-flat minor (1994 Digital Remaster)
06. Entr’acte from Lady Macbeth of Mzensk (1994 Digital Remaster)
07. Schelomo (Hebrew Rhapsody for Cello and Orchestra) (1994 Digital Remaster)
08. Tu Mancavi a Tormentarmi Crudelissma Speranza (1994 Digital Remaster)
09. Sonata Pian’ E Forte (1994 Digital Remaster)

A MAGICIAN AT WORK

Whatever his flaws, Stokowski could elicit the most magical sounds from almost any orchestra he stood in front of. The richness of the strings in his Philadelphia orchestra has arguably never been matched to this day. The distinctive colours and the sense of space he coaxed from winds, brass and strings alike probably derives at least in part from his time as organist at St. James, Piccadilly, in his youth.

Most of this excellent set showing off his unique conducting uses a largely ad hoc orchestra, put together for his personal use at a time in the late 50’s when his career was somewhat in the doldrums, when he was seen as something of an out-dated charlatan. He was, of course, indeed a charlatan. But only in the image in which he chose to clothe himself – that fake, vaguely Slav accent; the myth that he was born in Poland; he even made himself out to be 5 years younger than he was. Actually, he was born in Marylebone, trained at the Royal College where he was a contemporary of Vaughan Williams and, as I said, started out as a London church organist. He went to America and rapidly became one of the great conductors of the last century. And no faking about that.

He was also a great advocate of modern music, so it is no accident that this set of CD’s consists almost entirely of Twentieth Century music. His Bartok (Music for Strings, Percussion and Celeste) is riveting, especially the mysteriously twisting and turning fugal opening movement with a superb crowning climax: and his Schoenberg (Verklarte Nacht) is richly romantic in its post-Wagnerian harmony. He was always a bold supporter of Shostakovich. Here we have his Symphony No.11, recorded within a year of its premiere, and with an opening movement that lacks nothing in atmosphere despite being significantly faster than we’re used to nowadays; for the rest it is excitingly urgent with a still profound heart in the adagio. There’s also a wonderfully colourful First Symphony, an – at the time – rare piece of Lady Macbeth and his own orchestration of one of the Op.87 preludes and fugues.

The Planets are a revelation. There is real menace in Mars’s insistent 5/4 rhythms, great beauty in the perfectly balanced voicing of woodwind chords in Venus, superb fleetness of foot in Mercury and so it goes on, right through the piece. Of course he couldn’t resist the odd bit of tinkering with the score – the crescendo on the tam-tam over the last bars of Mars and the sustaining of the string chord at the end of Saturn are just two examples – but they really don’t interfere with the pleasures of conducting of such understanding (Holst, too, was a contemporary, remember).

That old warhorse, Carmina Burana, may well have you sitting up in your seat, too. The very first bars come as a shock with the `a’ of `Fortuna’ cut off extremely short by the choir. The crispness and clarity in the singing are characteristic of the whole performance: there are many caesuras used to great effect throughout and the tempi are often markedly different from what we’ve become used to. The rich upholstery of the strings under the soprano’s In trutina is almost worth the price of the discs alone. But it seems to me all absolutely honest to the faux naivete of Orff’s writing with the emphasis on clarity at all times.

For the rest, the Bach transcriptions are familiar from many other Stoki performances. His Debussy is richly impressionist, Stravinsky’s Firebird, with an electric Kashchei’s Dance, fares better than his Petrushka, his championship of Gliere’s lightweight Ilya Murometz Symphony still puzzles me, his Pines of Rome seems like one master orchestrator’s tribute to another and there is a wealth of other smaller pieces, all of which he illuminates as no other.

At such a knockdown price, I would urge anyone with a taste for thrilling sound-worlds to explore these 10 discs and marvel at a still underrated magician at work.

2 Comments

  1. Hello. Thanks for the post, is truly amazing. What oorchestra?? Thanks for sharing

Leave a Reply