There is yet more sheer delight for those who admire Stokowski's command and occasional impudences -- and the reissue of these performances remains technically impressive. This is another issue in the series commemorating the 125th anniversary of the great man's birth, and it is derived from his own selection of 'the most tuneful numbers from the most popular ballets ...', a series which began in the 1940s.
Almost all these recordings were made in May 1950 with the exception of Debussy's L'après-midi d'un faune in October 1949 (a beautifully clear and characteristically flexible performance) and the excerpts from Les Sylphides (orchestrated by Leroy Anderson and Peter Bodge, house arrangers for the Boston Pops Orchestra at the time) which dates from February 1951. Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite is complete; some nimble viola playing in the Overture ...
Listen -- Tchaikovsky: Overture (Nutcracker Suite)
(track 8, 1:32-2:17) © 2007 Cala Records Ltd
... exciting speed and clarity in the vigorous March ...
Listen -- Tchaikovsky: March (Nutcracker Suite)
(track 9, 0:54-1:34) © 2007 Cala Records Ltd
... and those audaciously held notes in the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.
Listen -- Tchaikovsky: Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy (Nutcracker Suite)
(track 10, 0:09-0:49) © 2007 Cala Records Ltd
He encourages the same effect in the Arabian Dance too. There is also a slowing down in the Dance of the Flutes which must have taken some careful rehearsal to achieve!
Listen -- Tchaikovsky: Dance of the Flutes (Nutcracker Suite)
(track 14, 0:03-0:45) © 2007 Cala Records Ltd
Weber's Le Spectre de la Rose (Berlioz) is included, two well known pieces from Sylvia (Delibes), two great dances from Swan Lake, and his 'encore', the Ballet des Sylphes from Berlioz Damnation of Faust. And, of course, we do not escape without Giselle!
Listen -- Adam: Act I finale (Giselle)
(track 1, 3:09-4:10) © 2007 Cala Records Ltd
Like it or not, it is great entertainment.
Copyright © 13 September 2008
Patric Standford, Wakefield UK
BUY CLASSICAL CDS ONLINE
STOKOWSKI CONDUCTS BIZET AND DEBUSSY
STOKOWSKI OPERA RECORDINGS
STOKOWSKI CONDUCTS VIVALDI AND HANDEL
STOKOWSKI AND THE CLASSIC COLUMBIAS
SCHUMANN, HAYDN, STRAUSS, HUMPERDINCK AND MOZART
BRAHMS AND MENDELSSOHN
Stokowski - The Heart of the Ballet
CACD0547 ADD REISSUE 72'44" 2007 Cala Records Ltd
Leopold Stokowski and his Symphony Orchestra
Adam (1803-1856): Giselle (Variation of Giselle; Mad Scene; Memory of the Love Scene; Despair of Löys; Finale Act I); Weber (1786-1826): Le Spectre de la Rose (Invitation to the Dance, orchestrated by Berlioz); Chopin (1810-1849): Les Sylphides (orchestrated by Leroy Anderson and Peter Bodge): Prelude in A Op 28 No 7; Valse in G flat Op 70 No 1; Mazurka in C Op 67 No 3; Grand Valse Brillante in E flat Op 18 No 1; Delibes (1836-1891): Sylvia (Valse lente; Pizzicato); Tchaikovsky (1840-1893): Swan Lake (Dance of the Swan Queen; Dance of the Little Swans); Nutcracker Suite (Overture Miniature; March; Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy; Russian Dance (Trépak); Arabian Dance; Chinese Dance; Dance of the Flutes; Waltz of the Flowers); Debussy (1862-1918): L'après-midi d'un faune; Berlioz (1803-1869): Ballet des Sylphes (Damnation of Faust)
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