Don't let the early-50s dates of these recordings dissuade you from buying this disk (get the whole thing, not piecemeal "songs") -- the sound is resplendently remastered, the performances heart-stopping - no, make that heartbreaking, in their beauty; bass Nicola Rossi-Lemeni produces chills in at least this reviewer, the San Francisco Chorus is thrilling in its/their sympathetic response to their conductor and his approach. The Boris selections are Mussorgsky filtered through Rimsky-Korsakov (his version was the prevailing performance choice at the time of this recording), and some touch-ups from Stokowski himself. In this day of "correct" museum piece fussy puritan purist conducting, Stokowski is beginning to shine brighter and brighter as the truly bold, powerful and deeply-respectful-of-composers Maestro he was. The last awkwardly compounded quality may raise some eyebrows, but for all his FabulousFoniness (staged affairs with women and skinny-dipping with Garbo, the wacky mid-Europen accent covering the British working class reality - who among us can't call to mind with mixed horror and delight his "Gooodbyee, Mickee..."?), he is The Real Deal among musicians who don't simply know how to read and count and translate those actions into sound, but who also know how to find the heart of the music in the notes and how SING them. The Wagner selections on this recording, Stokowski conducting his own orchestra in the Good Friday music from "Parsifal" and his own arrangement of a "symphonic synthesis" of Act III of that opera, are every bit as stunning as the Mussorgsky. Man, does Stokie ever "get" Wagner here! An example of Stokowski's true musicianship comes at the end of the synthesis where he cuts a few chords since, beautiful as they are and possible of exploitation to full "Stokowski" dramatic effect, would skew the balance of his transcription - i.e., makes for the perfect ending to the full opera, but is too much music for a piece of this length and architecture. A total megalomaniac - as Stokowski has often accused of being - would not hesitate to use anything big and overblown to show his stuff, but Stokowski understood what was right for this composition and reined in, just a tad, the apotheosis at the finish. But that last shimmering chord is as lush and overwhelming as I've ever heard it, and when it dies the listener can only sit in awed silence until shouting YIPPEE and dashing off this review.