LEOPOLD STOKOWSKI COLUMBIA RECORDINGS
This splendid set. an important element in the famed conductor's discography, was issued several years ago. It contains his recordings made with the Philadelphia Orchestra after he returned as a guest conductor in 1960 (I was fortunate to be there!). The program featured El Amor Brujo with Shirley Verrett, The Pines of Rome and Shostakovich Symphony No. 5. Columbia recorded the Falla and works of Bach during that period. This set also includes a number of stereo recordings made with the American Symphony Orchestra, particularly music of Ives and Beethoven's Emperor with Glenn Gould. His final recordings for the label, all with the National Philharmonic and included here. Stokowski was in his 90's at the time, but there surely is no lack of energy in these splendid performances. The Stokowski magic is particularly evident in the Sibelius symphony and a group of shorter works. The Maestro had recorded all of these previously , but now, with modern digital recording we are able to truly appreciate the unique orchestral sonorities he created. This is an essential set in any collection, and for whatever reason, it sells for a ridiculously low price. Get it!.
R.E.B. (February 2018)