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Tchaikovsky:Symphony No.6 / Strauss: Death And Transfiguration

Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky , Richard Strauss , Leopold Stokowski , Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra , New York City Symphony Orchestra Audio CD

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting and entertaining account of these works... 14 Nov 2002
By Some Guy from Ohio - Published on
Format:Audio CD
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.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pure Stokie 29 Aug 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Leopold Stokowski excelled in the romantic Russian repertoire, and his interpretation of Tchaikovsky's Symphony no. 6 "Pathétique" is blazing : the first movement is simply one of the best on record. Nowhere else will you find such a passionate, desperately romantic view. Even though Tchaikovsky is not my favourite composer, I had to surrender !
Stokowski is not one of the conductors one usually associates to the music of Richard Strauss : the names of Clemens Krauss, Willem Mengelberg or Rudolf Kempe come first. But Stokowski's interpretation of "Death and Transfiguration" is a good surprise.
The recordings on this disc are live and were made in 1944 and 1945. They were transferred from vinyls, which accounts for the light surface noise heard at the beginning of "Death and Transfiguration". But those vinyls were pretty clean and, most of the time, sound is very clear, especially in the symphony. Their old age shouldn't prevent any serious music-lover to get these recordings fast.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good but not great Stokowski Pathetique 11 Jun 2013
By Charles F. O'Connell - Published on
Verified Purchase
For some reason, Stokowski seemed to take this Pathetique at a gallop. I didn't time it, so maybe it's not really so, but he creates that sensation.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Pathetique 2 April 2012
By D. R. Schryer - Published on
In my opinion, Leopold Stokowski was one of the two or three greatest conductors of the 20th century. I especially loved his recordings for the unrestrained passion he was willing to express. Stokowski's performance of Tchaikovsky's Pathetique Symphony is heart-wrenching in it's intensity -- unsurpassed by any more modern recording. Since this CD is a remastered version of recordings Stokowski made in the 1940s, the sonics are not state of the art but, nevertheless, are quite acceptable -- and the performances are outstanding.
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