For April, 2021, the Classics a Day Team celebrates a legend — Leopold Stokowski. He was born in April (1882), and became a cultural icon. His recording legacy spans over 60 years. And whether he was conducting a premier orchestra or a group of studio musicians, the sound was unmistakable.
To share all of Stokowski’s recordings and arrangements would take far longer than a month. But that means there’s quite a lot to choose from for April! Here are my selections for the second week of #ClassicsaDay #Stokowski.
04/12/21 Carnagie Hall (1947)
This was Stokowski’s final film appearance. The movie also included performances by Jascha Heifetz, Ezio Pinza, Fritz Reiner, Arthur Rubinstein, Risë Stevens, Bruno Walter, and many others.
04/13/21 Saint-Saens – Danse Macabre
Stokowski made this 1975 recording at age 93. The “National Philharmonic Orchestra” was a studio group comprising top players from several London orchestras.
04/14/21 Handel – Hallelujah Chorus
Stokowski did this Phase 4 Stereo recording with the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in 1966 — and made it his own.
04/15/21 Music for Strings (Capitol, 1958)
This is one of many releases that featuring Stokowski and “His Symphony Orchestra.” The ensemble was comprised of top musicians from the New York Philharmonic, the Met Opera Orchestra, New York City Opera and Ballet, Julliard and Manhatten School of Music faculty, and others.
04/16/21 Stokowski: Symphony
Stokowski was a masterful arranger and orchestrator — and very early in his studies, he was also a composer. Only two movements of his symphony survive, reconstructed from the orchestra parts. It was premiered in 2009, over a century after its composition.