A collection of American recordings that brings together all but one post-acoustic era Stokowski recording that's never yet appeared on CD or any other digital format, in brand new transfers by Mark Obert-Thorn - including two Wagner sides being published for the very first time.
"For all the various arrangements of music from Tristan that Stokowski recorded over his career, it is remarkable that he made only a single published version of the “standard” Prelude and Liebestod, and that only in 1973, toward the end of his career. The previously unissued recording presented here was made with the New York City Symphony, an ensemble that Stokowski created in 1944. Only the first and last sides of the set survive in test pressings, but they are enough to indicate the white-hot intensity of Stokowski’s performance."
- Sleevenotes (excerpt)
Music by PROKOFIEV, PURCELL, TCHAIKOVSKY, WAGNER
Leopold Stokowski, conductor
His Symphony Orchestra ∙ New York Symphony Orchestra ∙ NBC Symphony Orchestra
In these new XR remasters we have aimed to delve deeper into those 1930s grooves than ever before in order to illuminate Cortot's finer nuances. The focus here is, first and foremost on the piano. In all three cases we've been not just delighted, but truly astonished by the detail within these recordings - each one can now be heard afresh and anew, and each is truly special.
"Cortot’s capacity to be free and ecstatic yet bracingly unsentimental was one of his most exhilarating qualities, and his rubato at the start of the Saint-Saëns makes modern rivals such as Rogé and Collard pale in comparison. Cortot’s famous or infamous scrambles and skirmishes are never at the expense of the music’s innate elegance and style, and who else has spun off the Concerto’s closing cascades with such glitter and aplomb? Cortot’s playing may not have been note-perfect but there is no doubt that he was every inch the virtuoso."
RAVEL Piano Concerto for the Left Hand
CHOPIN Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor
SAINT-SAËNS Piano Concerto No. 4 in C minor
Alfred Cortot, piano
Orchestras conducted by Charles Munch and John Barbirolli
Recorded 1935 and 1939
Pioneering early recordings by Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra are brought back to life in these astonishingly vivid XR remasters by Andrew Rose.
"The last Stokowski acoustic recording of a French work was also the most difficult to record, given the technical limitations of the acoustic recording process. This was the beautiful, ethereal, and wide ranging Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune by Claude Debussy.
Stokowski and the orchestra had unsuccessfully attempted to record the Prélude during their initial 1917 sessions, and again in 1921, but neither were released by Stokowski. Then, on April 28, 1924 in the Camden Church Studio the Philadelphians, with star soloists Marcel Tabuteau, oboe and William Kincaid, flute succeeded. This performance was released in January, 1925 on a double sided 12 inch Victor Red Seal record..."
DEBUSSY Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune
SCHUBERT "Unfinished" Symphony, No. 8
WAGNER Orchestral excerpts
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphonic movements and short pieces
Leopold Stokowski, conductor
The Philadelphia Orchestra
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