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Stokowski Conducts Russian Masterworks

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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  • Orchestra: NBC Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Leopold Stokowski
  • Composer: Nikolay Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov, Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky, Igor Stravinsky, Sergey Prokofiev
  • Audio CD (14 May 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Cala
  • ASIN: B00000FDJ8
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 591,366 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Thrilling performances (and some insanely fast tempos!) from Maestro Stokowski's golden era.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A rare miss from Cala--bad sound, erratic performances 22 Feb. 2006
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I was eager to hear recordings from the three seasons, beginning in 1941, when Stokowski shared the podium of the NBC Sym. with Toscanini. They were uneasy years and bad ones sonically because of material shortages during the war. Sadly, that affects these mostly dim, scratchy transfers. Beneath the bad sonics one hears flashes of hope. Stokowski is volatile and vibrant in the Russian Easter Festival Over., and the Firebird Suite, which is in the best sound (except for a few iffy sides) is extroverted and colorful.

But the main work here, a Tchaikovsky Fourth from 1941, is musically erratic, even for Stokowski. He races through the first movement, supplying various swoops and impulsive souping up, after which the next two movements are routine and the finale a slam bang of crude brass and cramped, boxy sound. For some reason Tchaikovsky symphonies brought out Stokowski's worst excesses, and even during his amazing autumnal career in the late Sixties when he was well past 85, he was capable of a horrific Fifth Sym. on Decca. This whole enterprise is best forgotten except as a historical souvenir.
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