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 final week of #ClassicsaDay #Stokowski.
04/26/21 Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 (1929)
Rachmaninoff recorded his 2nd concerto with Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra in April, 1929. They had recorded it previously in 1924, though the first movement was never released. The 1929 version has remained continually in print.
04/27/21 Vaughan Williams – Dives and Laxarus (1954)
Ralph Vaughan Williams and Leopold Stokowski were fellow students at the Royal Academy of Music. This performance is with Stokowski and the CBS Radio Orchestra.
04/28/21 Franck – Symphony in D minor (1970)
Stokowski made this recording with the Hilversum Radio Philharmonic Orchestra in 1970. It was released as a London Phase 4 stereo release.
04/29/21 Webern – Passacaglia for Orchestra (1962)
Stokowski ranged far beyond basic rep. He conducted the Philadelphia Orchestra in this live performance in 1962 (when many audiences thought Webern was still too modern).
04/30/21 Beethoven – “Leonore” No. 3 (1968)
From a documentary released in 1970, Stokowski rehearses his American Symphony Orchestra in Madison Square Garden. He was 86 years old at the time.