Stokowski conducts Tchaikovsky, Gliere, Enescu & Arnold | Cameo Classics CC9107

Stokowski conducts Tchaikovsky, Gliere, Enescu & Arnold


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Label: Cameo Classics

Cat No: CC9107

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Release Date: 7th September 2018



Leopold Stokowski was born in London of Polish/Irish ancestry in 1882 and showed such an early aptitude for music that he was able to enter the Royal College of Music at the tender age of 13, the youngest student at that time to do so. His first foreign tour took place in the spring of 1951 when, at the invitation of Sir Thomas Beecham, he took the Royal Philharmonic on a tour of England to coincide with the 'Festival of Britain' that year. It was during this tour that he also made his first appearance with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in a Royal Festival Hall concert that included Beethoven's Seventh Symphony and Stravinsky's Rite of Spring.

During the next couple of years Stokowski performed many works with the BBC Symphony in a Maida Vale studio programme which included two full-length radio broadcasts. One such broadcast was on 5 May 1954, consisting of Malcolm Arnold's Beckus the Dandipratt, Glière's Concerto for Coloratura Soprano and Orchestra, and the Enescu Romanian Rhapsody No.1. We must be grateful that Richard Itter recorded the three short works from the first concert, in particular in the case of the Arnold and Glière works, as Stokowski was performing both of them for the only time in his life.

It was Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony that he played the most, having conducted it for the first time in Cincinnati in 1910. The 1973 performance heard here has a certain historical interest as it was the very last time he conducted the work. A packed Royal Albert Hall responded with great enthusiasm to the nonagenarian maestro and indeed to the youthful band of players on the platform.

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