Let me start by saying that I am an ardent admirer of Stokowski. He was truly a great conductor, both talented and creative. That said, these recordings are more like 1940's Hollywood film versions of these works than like the works themselves. The Hollywood Bowl and New York City Symphony Orchestras are NOT the Philadelphia Orchestra. The standard of ensemble playing here is entirely lower, and Stokowski has become more eccentric. Despite these shortcomings, the most important thing I can say about these renditions, is that they are not boring. I took the disc out of the box, with the intention of listening to a quick sample and moving on to other work, but I just couldn't turn it off. Whatever can be said about Stokowski, his recordings are always unique, and engaging. The sound is good for its age.
Update 04/17/2011: According to the liner notes, these recordings were taken from Victor Masterworks set M. 1105 recorded 25 July 1945 (Tchaikovsky) and set M. 1006 recorded 10 December 1944 (Strauss). There is no indication that these are live recordings. I believe they are studio recordings, and that this remastering was taken from the original 78 RPM shellac pressings. The original recordings are good for the mid-1940's, and the remastering is well done. These are not high fidelity recordings, but the sound is not bad.