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 third week of #ClassicsaDay #Stokowski.
04/19/21 The Big Broadcast of 1937
Stokowski’s film debut featured him conducting two of his Bach arrangements: “Ein Feste Burg” and the “Little Fugue” in G minor.
04/20/21 Schumann – Symphony No. 2
This is a live performance of Stokowski conducting the American Symphony Orchestra from 1966. He founded the ASO at age 80, with the goal of making orchestral music more accessible and affordable to all.
04/21/21 Werner Josten – Jungle (1928)
Stokowski conducted his American Symphony Orchestra in this 1971 Carnegie Hall performance. This is one of two works by Josten that Stokowski presented to the public.
04/22/21 Sibelius – Finlandia (1930)
Stokowski recorded his own arrangement of this work with the Philadelphia Orchestra in April 1930 for RCA Red Seal. They had previously recorded this modern work in 1921.
04/23/21 Paul Lavalle – Symphonic Rhumba (1942)
Stokowski and the NBC Symphony Orchestra premiered Lavalle’s in a December 6, 1942 radio broadcast. Lavalle was a conductor at Radio City Music Hall and founded the McDonald’s All-American High School Band (seen in Macy’s parades).