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Holst: The Planets; Schoenberg: Verklaerte Nacht; Bartok: Music for Strings, Percussion & Celesta; Loeffler: A Pagan Poem / Leopold Stokowski (rec. 1956-60)

Audio Samples

  1. Holst — The Planets, Op. 32: I. Mars, the Bringer of War $0.99 on iTunes
  2. Holst — The Planets, Op. 32: II. Venus, the Bringer of Peace $0.99 on iTunes
  3. Holst — The Planets, Op. 32: III. Mercury, the Winged Messenger $0.99 on iTunes
  4. Holst — The Planets, Op. 32: IV. Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity $0.99 on iTunes
  5. Holst — The Planets, Op. 32: V. Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age $0.99 on iTunes
  6. Holst — The Planets, Op. 32: VI. Uranus, the Magician $0.99 on iTunes
  7. Holst — The Planets, Op. 32: VII. Neptune, the Mystic $0.99 on iTunes
  8. Holst — Verklärte Nacht, Op. 4 (Version for String Orchestra): I. Sehr langsam $0.99 on iTunes
  9. Holst — Verklärte Nacht, Op. 4 (Version for String Orchestra): II. Etwas bewegter
  10. Holst — Verklärte Nacht, Op. 4 (Version for String Orchestra): III. Schwer betont $0.99 on iTunes
  11. Holst — Verklärte Nacht, Op. 4 (Version for String Orchestra): IV. Sehr breit und langsam $0.99 on iTunes
  12. Holst — Verklärte Nacht, Op. 4 (Version for String Orchestra): V. Sehr ruhig $0.99 on iTunes
  13. Holst — Music for Strings, Percussion & Celesta, Sz. 106: I. Andante tranquillo
  14. Holst — Music for Strings, Percussion & Celesta, Sz. 106: II. Allegro $0.99 on iTunes
  15. Holst — Music for Strings, Percussion & Celesta, Sz. 106: III. Adagio $0.99 on iTunes
  16. Holst — Music for Strings, Percussion & Celesta, Sz. 106: IV. Allegro molto $0.99 on iTunes
  17. Holst — A Pagan Poem, Op. 14
  18. Holst — La oración del torero, Op. 34 (Version for String Orchestra)
  19. Holst — Adagio for Strings, Op. 11 $0.99 on iTunes

Album Summary

>Holst, Gustav : The Planets, Op. 32/H 125
>Schoenberg, Arnold : Verklärte Nacht, for string orchestra (arr. from String Sextet, Op.4)
>Bartók, Béla : Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, Sz 106
>Loeffler, Charles Martin : A Pagan Poem (after Vergil), for piano & orchestra, Op. 14
>Turina, Joaquin : La Oración del torero, for lute quartet (or string quartet/string orchestra), Op. 34
>Barber, Samuel : Adagio for Strings
Conductor Ensembles Composers

Notes & Reviews:

Best known for his work with the Philadelphia Orchestra and his appearance on the film Fantasia, Leopold Stokowski (1882-1977) is one of the greatest names in conducting history. This release continues the series which has been devoted to the late-fifties Capitol-EMI recordings of Stokowski. The repertoire chosen for this set is dedicated to that of the twentieth century, including works by Holst, Schoenberg, Bartok, and Loeffler.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Hollywood, CA (02/19/1958); Manhattan Center, New York City (02/19/1958); Riverside Plaza Hotel, New York, NY (02/19/1958); Stage 7, Samuel goldwyn Studios, Hollywood, CA (02/19/1958); Hollywood, CA (09/02/1956-09/03/1956); Manhattan Center, New York City (09/02/1956-09/03/1956); Riverside Plaza Hotel, New York, NY (09/02/1956-09/03/1956); Stage 7, Samuel goldwyn Studios, Hollywood, CA (09/02/1956-09/03/1956); Hollywood, CA (12/18/1957-12/20/1957); Manhattan Center, New York City (12/18/1957-12/20/1957); Riverside Plaza Hotel, New York, NY (12/18/1957-12/20/1957); Stage 7, Samuel goldwyn Studios, Hollywood, CA (12/18/1957-12/20/1957); Hollywood, CA (1957-01-22&1957-01-29&1957-); Manhattan Center, New York City (1957-01-22&1957-01-29&1957-); Riverside Plaza Hotel, New York, NY (1957-01-22&1957-01-29&1957-); Stage 7, Samuel goldwyn Studios, Hollywood, CA (1957-01-22&1957-01-29&1957-); Hollywood, CA (1959); Manhattan Center, New York City (1959); Riverside Plaza Hotel, New York, NY (1959); Stage 7, Samuel goldwyn Studios, Hollywood, CA (1959); Hollywood, CA (1960); Manhattan Center, New York City (1960); Riverside Plaza Hotel, New York, NY (1960); Stage 7, Samuel goldwyn Studios, Hollywood, CA (1960).



Reviews

Revelations
Revelations: Stokowski on Urania
Gustav Holst (1874-1934) The Planets
Los Angeles Philharmonic 1956

Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951) Verklarte Nacht
Leopold Stokowski Symphony Orchestra (LSSO) 1960

Bela Bartok (1881-1945) Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta
LSSO 1959

Charles Martin Loeffler (1861-1935) A Pagan Poem
LSSO 1957)

Joaquin Turina ( 1882-1949) La Oracion del torero
LSSO 1958

Samuel Barber (1910-1981) Adagio for Strings
LSSO 1957

Leopold Stokowski

Urania WS 121-158 (2 CDs)

Since all of these recordings have been issued on CD already, in fact in different releases, including a complete EMI set, the only real question is: why? The only answer that suggests itself is that even if you have these in your collection, you might want to add these two. The answer is: yeah, they are definitely worth the modest outlay. I wrote and asked them what their source material was, etc. Unfortunately all I heard back is that it was from European Capitol LPs which "underwent careful restoration of them on the basis of our standards." I asked for further details:"It has been expanded the sound spectrum of the stereo source without the addition of any type of reverb and then maintaining the original condition of the place where the recording was made. As for equalization we have decreased slightly the midrange, which at the time was emphasized to make brighter the sound of LP. This tended to bring up a whole range of
instruments that in reality are not in the foreground. Then we have increased slightly medium-high frequency to make the string softer. Finally, to offset the loss of medium frequencies, we have expanded the low-mid frequencies, which in this case have made the sound of brass
instruments and percussion softer, natural and present." So, now I know what they did but not how. So, the results are what are important, as any good pragmatist knows.
Okay, so much for that. I started with the Holst recording. This always struck me as thin sounding, lacking The Stokowski Sound, both on the LP and the CD. What they have achieved is amazing. The previous releases also had a glare to the sound. This has all been replaced with a deep, rich sound, the double basses are strong and timpani is clear and forward, not almost nonexistent like the others.
Okay, the Holst always struck me as thin sounding on LP and CD. It certainly was not The Stokowski Sound. I attributed it to the LAPO and the venue they used. This release is a metamorphosis. We now have the Stokowski Sound in spades. The rich, firm bass line is there, the timpani is forward and not recessed. There are inner details that simply do not exist on the previous incarnations. It caused me to completely change my opinion of the recording and has become one of my favorites. I gave the initial release two stars and griped about the sound. I also panned the release that included the Turina. This, too, has a much fuller sound with rich details missing from that one.
The Schoenberg. Bartok and Barber items were on a better remastering but even here I hear things I didn't in those recordings. Nice little details here and there that are buried in the previous release. I won't bother with details and have saved you the time of comparing them yourself.
The other thing that is nice about this set is that it demonstrated Stokowski's commitment to 'modern' music. All of these composers were contemporaries of Stokowski and he knew many of them personally. Strongly recommended.


Submitted on 06/02/16 by Stumpf 
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Works Details

>Holst, Gustav : The Planets, Op. 32/H 125
  • Conductor: Leopold Stokowski
  • Ensemble: Leopold Stokowski Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Stage 7, Samuel goldwyn Studios, Hollywood, CA (09/02/1956-09/03/1956)
  • Running Time: 45 min. 15 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1914-1916

>Schoenberg, Arnold : Verklärte Nacht, for string orchestra (arr. from String Sextet, Op.4)
  • Conductor: Leopold Stokowski
  • Ensemble: Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 27 min. 44 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1917

>Bartók, Béla : Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, Sz 106
  • Conductor: Leopold Stokowski
  • Running Time: 33 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1936

>Loeffler, Charles Martin : A Pagan Poem (after Vergil), for piano & orchestra, Op. 14
  • Conductor: Leopold Stokowski
  • Notes: Hollywood, CA (12/18/1957-12/20/1957)
  • Running Time: 23 min. 45 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Concerto

>Turina, Joaquin : La Oración del torero, for lute quartet (or string quartet/string orchestra), Op. 34
  • Conductor: Leopold Stokowski
  • Running Time: 11 min. 21 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1925

>Barber, Samuel : Adagio for Strings
  • Conductor: Leopold Stokowski
  • Notes: Riverside Plaza Hotel, New York, NY (1957-01-22&1957-01-29&1957-)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 36 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1936