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There follows a fiery performance of Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet with Stokowski's quiet ending similar to that suggested by Balakirev (Rimsky-Korsakov's wife had scratched out 'the bombastic series of final chords over a barrage of timpani' in her score). Stokowski gained the approval of Mrs R-K for his own quiet close [listen -- track 5, 18:00-19:01].

Mozart was indeed a rarity under Stokowski's direction, and the 1949 performance of the 'Haffner' Symphony is a commercial first! It is an eccentric performance with more vigour than we are accustomed to -- he takes a good seven seconds off most 'usual' performances of the first pages [listen -- track 6, 0:01-1:10].

The disc also contains a US Army V-Disc performance of Tom Jefferson Scott's hymn tune fantasy 'From the Sacred Harp', with a brief spoken introduction by the composer who died at the age of 50 in 1961, and a quite rough but entertaining performance of Weinberger's Polka and Fugue from Schwanda the Bagpiper, which is given a little of Stokowski's personal strengthening to the orchestration at the end!

Copyright © 28 December 2004 Patric Standford, Wakefield UK


Stokowski - The Classic 1947-1949 Columbias - Volume 3 - and Live Broadcasts

CACD0537 ADD Mono REISSUE 78'58" 2004 Cala Records Ltd

New York Philharmonic; Leopold Stokowski, conductor

Vaughan Williams: Symphony No 6 in E minor (world première recording); Tchaikovsky: Romeo and Juliet - Fantasy Overture; Mozart: Symphony No 35 in D 'Haffner'; Thomas Jefferson Scott: From the Sacred Harp (world première recording) (with introductory remarks by the composer, Tom Scott); Weinberger: Polka and Fugue from 'Schwanda the Bagpiper'


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