Holiday Shop


WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Stokowski: Symphonic Transcriptions / Serebrier, Bournemouth SO


Release Date: 06/20/2006 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8557883   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian BachLeopold StokowskiGeorge Frideric HandelHenry Purcell
Conductor:  José Serebrier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 8 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews


Stokowski's Bach transcriptions have received a great deal of attention on disc lately, but this is one of the very few recordings that has the genuine flavor that Stoki himself brought to them. The obvious first question is: How do these versions compare to the "originals"? Can they be as good? The answer, quite simply, is "Yes, they can." Serebrier doesn't try to duplicate every gesture that Stokowski made. That would be impossible in any case, given the wide range of tempos and other variations among his own numerous recordings of these pieces. Take the Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor: Stoki's own timings varied between about 12 minutes (in Philadelphia) to more than 14 in a
Read more later rendition. Serebrier takes about 13, which is similar to the tempo Stokowski adopted in his 1940s All-American Youth Orchestra reading (on Cala).


In general Serebrier is a bit swifter than his late mentor, particularly in such numbers as Komm süsser Tod and Nun komm' der Heiden Heiland, but speed isn't really the issue with Stokowski. What matters more is sonority, that special "Stokowski sound". The fact is, these orchestrations are not particularly original or imaginative. They are almost uniformly (indeed formulaically) based on strings as the principal voices, with woodwind and brass reinforcement as necessary. Heard in quantity, they risk sounding quite monochrome. Some, like the "Little" Fugue in G minor, use the winds in imitation of the organ, but there's nothing special in that. What makes them work is not how they are written, but rather how they are played. Take the famous Air from the Orchestral Suite No. 3. Listen to Serebrier summon that rich vibrato from the cellos, the shimmering texture of the seraphic violins, and the discreet touches of portamento: this is the true "Stokowski sound"--sensual, luminous, and warm.


Or take the almost apocalyptic entry of the full orchestra toward the end of the "Little" Fugue: Serebrier understands that theatrical flair, even bordering on vulgarity, makes these arrangements come to life. There's a sense of danger here--of almost, but never quite, crossing over the "bad taste" line--that makes listening so much more fun. The same sense of nearly garish drama characterizes this powerful performance of the Passacaglia and Fugue. It's worth pointing out, by the way, that it probably was a smart move to omit the Toccata and Fugue in D minor, for two reasons. First, it eliminates the temptation to make obvious and facile comparisons to Stokowski's half-dozen recordings of the most famous of all his Bach transcriptions; and second, it leaves hope that another disc may be forthcoming containing an equally rewarding mixture of the familiar and unfamiliar.


Aside from Bach, Serebrier includes Stokowski's own Two Ancient Liturgical Melodies, a sexy conflation of Veni Creator Spiritus and Veni Emmanuel, as well as the Handel and Purcell items. Dido's Lament sounds particularly dark and tragic in this performance. It's clear that the Bournemouth Symphony is having a great time reproducing these ultra-rich, Golden Age sonorities, and my only quibble concerns the principal oboe, whose clicking valves decorate his solos with excessive prominence. But then Stokowski himself made magic with every kind of orchestra and caliber of player, so this isn't a big issue. The engineering supports the interpretations particularly well, giving the strings the necessary sheen and allowing the climaxes to expand hugely. Like Serebrier's and Bournemouth's previous Stokowski project, dedicated to Mussorgsky, this new release is an unqualified triumph. [6/5/2006]
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Suite for Orchestra no 3 in D major, BWV 1068: Air by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  José Serebrier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1729-1731; Leipzig, Germany 
Venue:  The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, UK 
Length: 5 Minutes 36 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Leopold Stokowski.
The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, UK (06/29/2005 - 06/30/2005) 
2.
Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd!, BWV 208 "Hunt Cantata": Schafe können sicher weiden by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  José Serebrier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1713; Cöthen, Germany 
Venue:  The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, UK 
Length: 5 Minutes 39 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Leopold Stokowski.
The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, UK (06/29/2005 - 06/30/2005) 
3.
Fugue in G minor, BWV 578 "Little G minor" by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  José Serebrier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1706; Arnstadt, Germany 
Venue:  The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, UK 
Length: 3 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Leopold Stokowski.
The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, UK (06/29/2005 - 06/30/2005) 
4.
Komm, süsser Tod, komm, sel'ge Ruh'!, BWV 478 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  José Serebrier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1736; Leipzig, Germany 
Venue:  The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, UK 
Length: 4 Minutes 10 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Leopold Stokowski.
The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, UK (06/29/2005 - 06/30/2005) 
5.
Christ lag in Todesbanden, BWV 4: no 4, Jesus Christus, Gottes Sohn by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  José Serebrier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1708; Weimar, Germany 
Venue:  The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, UK 
Length: 3 Minutes 48 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Leopold Stokowski.
The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, UK (06/29/2005 - 06/30/2005) 
6.
Saint John Passion, BWV 245: no 58, Es ist vollbracht by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  José Serebrier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1724; Leipzig, Germany 
Venue:  The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, UK 
Length: 8 Minutes 46 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Leopold Stokowski.
The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, UK (06/29/2005 - 06/30/2005) 
7.
Wir gläuben all'an einen Gott, BWV 680 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  José Serebrier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1739; Leipzig, Germany 
Venue:  The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, UK 
Length: 3 Minutes 35 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Leopold Stokowski.
The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, UK (06/29/2005 - 06/30/2005) 
8.
Orgelbüchlein: Nun komm'der Heiden Heiland, BWV 599 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  José Serebrier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1713-1717; Weimar, Germany 
Venue:  The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, UK 
Length: 5 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Leopold Stokowski.
The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, UK (06/29/2005 - 06/30/2005) 
9.
Two Ancient Liturgical Melodies by Leopold Stokowski
Conductor:  José Serebrier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Venue:  The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, UK 
Length: 6 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Leopold Stokowski.
The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, UK (06/29/2005 - 06/30/2005) 
10.
Messiah, HWV 56: Pastoral Symphony "Pifa" by George Frideric Handel
Conductor:  José Serebrier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1742; London, England 
Venue:  The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, UK 
Length: 3 Minutes 47 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Leopold Stokowski.
The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, UK (06/29/2005 - 06/30/2005) 
11.
Dido and Aeneas, Z 626: Thy hand, Belinda...When I am laid in earth by Henry Purcell
Conductor:  José Serebrier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1689; England 
Venue:  The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, UK 
Length: 4 Minutes 23 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Leopold Stokowski.
The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, UK (06/29/2005 - 06/30/2005) 
12.
Passacaglia in C minor, BWV 582 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  José Serebrier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1708-1712; Arnstadt, Germany 
Venue:  The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, UK 
Length: 13 Minutes 12 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Leopold Stokowski.
The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, UK (06/29/2005 - 06/30/2005) 

Sound Samples

Overture (Suite) No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068: II. Air, "Air on a G String" (arr. L. Stokowski)
Was mir behagt, BWV 208, "Hunt Cantata": Aria: Sheep may safely graze (arr. by L. Stokowski): Was mir behagt, BWV 208, "Hunt Cantata": Aria: Sheep may safely graze (arr. L. Stokowski)
Fugue in G minor, BWV 578, "Little Fugue" (arr. L. Stokowski for orchestra): Fugue in G minor, BWV 578, "Little Fugue" (arr. L. Stokowski)
Komm, susser Tod, BWV 478 (arr. by L. Stokowski): Komm susser Tod, BWV 478 (arr. L. Stokowski)
Christ lag in Todesbanden, BWV 4: Chorale: Jesus Christus Gottes Sohn (arr. by L. Stokowski): Christ lag in Todesbanden, BWV 4: Jesus Christus Gottes Sohn (arr. L. Stokowski)
St. John Passion, BWV 245, Part II: Aria: Es ist vollbracht! (arr. L. Stokowski): St. John Passion, BWV 245: Aria: Es ist vollbracht! (arr. L. Stokowski)
Clavierubung III: Wir glauben all' an einem Gott, BWV 680 (arr. L. Stokowski for orchestra): Clavierubung III: Wir glauben all' an einem Gott, BWV 680 (arr. L. Stokowski)
Das Orgel-Buchlein: Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 599 (arr. L. Stokowski for orchestra): Orgelbuchlein: Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 599 (arr. L. Stokowski)
2 Ancient Liturgical Melodies (arr. L. Stokowski): Veni Creator Spiritus - Veni Emmanuel (arr. L. Stokowski)
Messiah, HWV 56 (arr. L. Stokowski): Messiah, HWV 56, Part I: Pastoral Symphony, "Pifa" (arr. L. Stokowski)
Dido and Aeneas, Z. 626 (arr. L. Stokowski): Dido and Aeneas, Z. 626: When I am laid in earth, "Dido's Lament" (arr. L. Stokowski)
Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 582 (arr. L. Stokowski for orchestra): Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 582 (arr. L. Stokowski)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN TO ARKIVMUSIC STREAMING.
TRY IT NOW FOR FREE!
Sign up now for two weeks of free access to the world's best classical music collection. Keep listening for only $19.95/month - thousands of classical albums for the price of one! Learn more about ArkivMusic Streaming
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In