Born in 1882 into a working-class London family, conductor Leopold Stokowski attended the Royal College of Music, where he was trained as an organist and choir master. He emigrated to the US in 1905, first working as an organist, at a church in New York, before landing his first conductorship, four years later.
Stokowski's performances were characterizd by a strong, steady rhythmic beat. The unique sound he produced was a lush, warm highly sensuous sound. Among his more unorthodox experiments, were his changing of the orchestra's seating arrangements to change tonal balances. He also introduced non-uniform string bowing and woodwind blowing as a means of extending smooth "singing" effects.
He was fond of extreme dynamic contrasts ; his phrasing was often individualistic, following no established tradition but the dictates of his feelings of the moment. He was, also, more faithful to the spirit of the works, that he conducted, rather than the letter. This places him within the Romantic tradition of conducting, which began with Richard Wagner, himself ...
1) Piano Sonata in C-Sharp "Moonlight" op.27, by Beethoven (rec.Mar 1947 ; 5:53)
Symphony No.9 in D "Choral" op.125, by Beethoven (rec.Apr 1934 ; 65:15 ) :-
2) I Allegro ma non troppo, un poco maestoso
3) II Molto vivace - Presto - Molto vivace Presto
4) III Adagio molto e cantabile - Andante Moderato - Tempo I - Andante moderato - Adagio
5) IV Presto - Allegro man non troppo - Tempo I - Vivace ; Tempo I - Adagio cantabile - Tempo I , Allegro - Allegro assai - Tempo I. Allegro - Allegro assai
6) Presto- Recitativo - Allegro assai
7) Allegro assai vivace. Alla Marcia
8) Andante maestoso - Adagio ma non troppo, ma divoro
9) Allegro energico, sempre ben marcato
10) Allegro ma non tanto - Poco adagio - Tempo I - Poco adagio
11) Poco allegro, stringendo il tempo, sempre piu allegro ; Prestissimo - Maestoso - Prestissimo
The CD is in EX- condition.