Customer Reviews for: Leopold Stokowski - The Stereo Collection 1954-1975

7 Reviews in Total
5 Star: 4 Reviews
4 Star: 2 Reviews
3 Star: 1 Review
2 Star: 0 Reviews
1 Star: 0 Reviews

Average Review

4.5 Stars (7 Reviews)

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By P. Ledesma (Wellington, KS) -- See All My Reviews
I'd collected many of these vinyl issues as a teenager, and when I heard these remastered CD performances for the first I was absolutely astounded! Test your sound system with incomparable performance of the Liszt and Enescu rhapsodies! I never expected that these recordings could receive a sound upgrade like this! A true Stokowksi Spectacular!!! Some reviewers - like Martin Bookspan - have issues with the tempos and the intensity (or lack thereof) at times. For me, the Brahms 3rd Symphony was in NEED of a shake up. If you follow the score's specific directions the work is quite bland and predictable. Here Stokowski is trying to make it more vital, though he only makes it more palatable at best. The Mahler's 2nd is still among my favorites along with Walter's '58 recording with New York. Where he lacks the drive and flamboyance in passages where most expect it, he places it elsewhere, like in the closing bars of the opening movement (which I would argue is FAR from polite)! This performance features the big picture grandeur of the Resurrection symphony, and it was INTENDED to be different from everyone else's! If everyone performed the same music in identical tempos and styles, then why bother to purchase more than one recording? These are performances that - in general -offer a fresh and vital look at these works in that specific point in time. Whether they are timeless or not is up to the listening public to decide. I would argue that they ARE!!! Report Abuse

 Excellent collection September 6, 2012
By Harold C. (Arlington, VA) -- See All My Reviews
Although I'm a "fan" of Stokowski from his earlier mono recordings, I feel that this late-career compendium still represents the finest in orchestral performances and is well transferred as well. Fairly priced and highly recommended. Report Abuse

 Staccato Stokowski September 5, 2012
By J M Cunningham (Durham City, Durham) -- See All My Reviews

I was first exposed to the magic which was Leopold Stokowski when my parents took my two brothers and I to see Disney's Fantasia. Possibly because I was still a young boy, I was entranced by the cartoons, and only grew ever fonder of that fabulous music, and of the way that music was exploited by the famous conductor, as I grew in both stature and knowledge.

The sweep of the recordings, both in terms of time and of the composers, surprised me, as I was expecting less than I actually received, as the boxed set comprises some 14 CDs.

The music, pushed through a fairly decent amplifier and speaker set-up, does not disappoint, as the famous Stokowski treatment shines through with every note played.

Choose any one of these discs, sit back and let the Master weave his magic into the air around you!

Simply Superb!
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 Vintage Stokowski August 18, 2012
By V. Guernon (South Kingstown, RI) -- See All My Reviews
Stokowski was the last of the great Romantic conductors, in the style of Furtwangler and Mengelberg. Over the course of the twentieth century, conducting practice evolved into a more literal interpretation of the printed score. Stokowski, who began conducting in 1912, never completely bought into that change. He cut his teeth in a conducting style that allowed the conductor pretty much free rein in interpreting what he was conducting. The result was a great deal more use of rubato, gear-shifting, and point making that was is normally accepted today. He also made changes in orchestration and even recomposed sections of the music he was conducting.

The music on these discs is typical Stokowski. Most of the recordings date from the 1970's when the conductor was in his early nineties. Most listeners will find the performances of the symphonies in particular brilliant or maddening, depending on their perspective. I was quite taken by his performance of Scheherazade, Brahms Symphony #4, and the Mahler "Resurrection". I had more mixed feelings about the Dvorak Symphony #9 "From the New World" and the Tchaikovsky Symphony #6 "Pathetique". Both of the last two named works had beautiful movements juxtaposed by what I felt was needless and unconvincing point making.

The Bach transcriptions and the Wagner music were Stokowski staples, and are given the full-blown Stokowski treatment. Much of the remainder of the discs is dedicated to music in style popular in the 1950's and 60's. They make for an interesting curiosity, but sound rather dated dated.

The recorded sound afforded Stokowski ranges from good to excellent. The sound is more a product of the recording venue than anything else. The 1970's recordings were made in Walthamstow Town Hall in London, a locale known for its excellent acoustics, while the older recordings were made, for the most part, at the Manhattan Center in New York, which was known for its clear, but rather dry acoustic.

Despite what you may think of this or that performance, the whole is much greater than the sum of its parts, and the set is a worthy tribute to great and iconic musician. We will probably never see his like ever again.

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