CD transfers of Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra
(note: all recordings are by Stokowski with the Philadelphia
Orchestra, unless otherwise indicated)
There are many good CD restorations of the original Victor Red Seal
recordings of Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
However, given the quality and variety of the original disks,
it is surprising that there are not more such restorations, nor has there been,
up until now, a concerted effort by any label to present an organized series of
Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra recordings.
Nearly all of the Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra recordings
have appeared on CD at one time or another. In fact, Mark
Obert-Thorn in 2006 released on Music & Arts Programs of America
a 4 CD set of virtually all of the Stokowski - Philadelphia
Orchestra Victor recordings which had not previously been issued
in the CD format. [Note: this is excepting the acoustic recordings
of Stokowski and the Philadelphians availble on
Pristine Classical PASC 192 - The Acoustic Recordings of Stokowski -
These Mark Obert-Thorn restorations of the Victor Red Seal
recordings are, as usual when done by him a revelation
as to the what quality can be rediscovered in the original recordings.
In particular, as well as using the finest sources, Mark Obert-Thorn
achieves a transparency, and a satisfying bass reproduction, without
being in any way 'boomy' or heavy. Highly recommended.
Music & Arts CD-1173
The contents as listed by Music & Arts is:
CD 1 (58:42): VIVALDI (arr. Stokowski): Concerto Grosso in D minor (from L’estro armonico,
Op. 3, No. 11) ; PALESTRINA (orch. Stokowski): Adoramus te ; FRESCOBALDI
(orch. Stokowski): Gagliarda ; LULLY (arr. Stokowski): Le Triomphe de l’Amour –
Nocturne, Alceste—Prelude, Thesée ; BYRD (orch. Stokowski): Pavane and Gigue ;
HANDEL (arr. Stokowski): Overture in D minor (Chandos Anthem No. 2) ;
Messiah—Pastoral Symphony - March ; Music – Suite . CD 2 (75:54):
BACH (orch. Stokowski): Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV565 ;Ich ruf ’ zu dir,
Herr Jesu Christ (Chorale Prelude, BWV639); Es ist Vollbracht (from the St. John
Passion, BWV245) ; Ein’ feste Burg (from Cantata No. 80, BWV80)
; Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, BWV582 ; BOCCHERINI
(arr. Stokowski): Minuet (from Quartet in E major, Op. 13, No. 5)
; HAYDN (orch. Stokowski): Andante cantabile (from String Quartet in
E major, Op. 3, No. 4) ; BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67
. CD 3(73:27): Outline of Themes for the Franck Symphony ;
FRANCK: Symphony in D minor ; DEBUSSY: Nocturnes [1928, 1929, 1927];
Clair de lune (from Suite Bergamasque) (orch. Stokowski) ; Prelude
to the Afternoon of a Faun . CD 4(74:52): WEBER(orch. Berlioz/Stokowski):
Invitation to the Dance ; BRAHMS: Symphony No. 4 in e, Op. 98 ;
Hungarian Dance No. 1 (orch. Stokowski) ; STRAUSS II: Blue Danube—Waltz,
Op. 314 ; Vienna Woods—Waltz, Op. 325 ; STRAUSS: Salome—Dance of the
Seven Veils ; SOUSA: El Capitan—March ; The Stars and Stripes
Perhaps Naxos will eventually decide that a complete Stokowski -
Philadelphia Orchestra recording restoration series is a next
project for them. Certainly, their other historic
restorations, done by such leaders as Ward Marston and Mark
Obert-Thorne and with excellent liner notes have
been of the first quality.
This listing, created and regularly updated by the leading
Stokowski scholar Robert M. Stumpf II describes and evaluates
all the CDs issued containing the recordings of Leopold Stokowski.
Robert M. Stumpf, II is the President, and a key motivator of the
Leopold Stokowski Society of America. Mr. Stumpf offers
a thoughtful and comprehensive review of an amazing variety of CD
issues, including some that may now be difficult to locate.
This difficultly to locate some former Stokowski issues should remind
us to strike now (purchase now), or run the risk that some of the
fine recordings we may wish to appreciate are 'gone with the wind'.
Labels to Avoid:
There are, unfortunately, a number of labels that seem to me to simply take
certain restorations of historic recordings and re-issue them under their
own label. These companies may add some added processing, perhaps
with CEDAR or other processes, change equalization, sometimes drastically,
with a result that usually degrading the quality of the original restoration.
In some cases, buyers may be tempted by these companies,
particularly when the CD is available, and perhaps in their
hands, whereas the CD from the companies of quality and integrity
are sometimes less easily available. Also, the price of these
'knock-off' discs may be considerably less, since they have almost no
expenses in the creation of the original content of the CD.
In any case, in my opinion, these are often simply processed copies of
the work of others.  If my opinion is correct, then these labels
should not be supported. Here is a list of labels which
I judge to be in this category:
Availability of Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra Recordings
The modern CD restorations of historic 78 RPM material tend to remain
available longer than the seemingly ephemeral life of many
modern classical music recordings on the major
labels (themselves becoming more and more rare).
However, as time goes on, some of the CDs listed
here will inevitably no longer be available from the
manufacturer. In such cases, we will need to seek
them from eBay, from Amazon, or other sources where used or
deleted CDs of interest are sometimes sold.
Lovers of the art of Stokowski should seek to acquire these CDs from
the sources listed below while they may yet be available. As they
say on television, "...this offer is for a limited time only!..."
A partial list of sources for these CDs:
CALA Records and the Leopold Stokowski Society
During the last two decades, the worthy Leopold Stokowski Society
(www.stokowskisociety.net ) has produced, in cooperation with with
CALA Records Ltd. (www.calarecords.com ) several tens
of excellent CDs, many of them including material from the eminent Stokowski scholar
Edward Johnson. Cala disks include a number of important recordings of
Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra, all
beautifully restored, usually by Ward Marston or Mark
Obert-Thorn (or them cooperating together), and all
with excellent notes and production. As well as
Philadelphia Orchestra recordings, CALA and the Stokowski
Society have produced a number of recordings of Stokowki with
other orchestras, such as 'His Symphony Orchestra', the NBC and
New York Philharmonic orchestras, and other fascinating recordings.
Cala CDs may be ordered directly by visiting their web site at
Stokowski conducts Philadelphia Rarities
beautifully restored by Ward Marston
Arr. Stokowski - Two Ancient Liturgical Melodies - 'Veni
Creator Spiritus', 'Veni Emmanuel'
- Spanish Dance from La Vida Breve
Gypsy Dance, Opus 55 no 5 'Sacred Mountain'
- Poe's 'The Raven'
Konoye - Etenraku - Ceremonial Japanese Prelude
- The Legend of the Arkansas Traveler
- Dance of the Workers from The Festival of the
- Symphony no 2 - Rhumba
- Oriental Impressions - Japanese Nocturne
Andante (or, as they present their logo: 'andante')
is a company founded by Alain Coblence, a lawyer and the head
of the European Mozart Foundation, and with funding
by Pierre Bergé (of Yves Saint Laurent and the Paris Opera)
which has produced a series of innovative CD albums having the
highest production standards. As well as rewarding to listen
to, Andante albums are beautiful to read and to handle. All
recordings, including a series of Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra
albums are carefully restored. Each album is presented something
like a hard-bound book, but the size of a compact disk. Each such
book contains many illustrations, often original, and program notes
by the leading annotators, such as Tim Page.
These are some of the
most enjoyable such productions. I recommend you buy now, since all
too often in the past, such quality has eventually disappeared, and afterward
was available only to a few collectors. Andante also has an excellent
web site, one of the richest in content, which may be visited at
Note that since the above paragraph was written, the andante web site has
closed, in spite of its excellent quality. I have not rewritten the
paragraph, above, and leave it as another example of the fleeting nature
of many of the reproductions of the great music of the past. So, take
advantage of what is available today, including purchasing of the CDs featured
on this page, before they are 'gone with the wind'.
Andante 4978 - 4 CDs
Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra
beautifully restored by Ward Marston
Schoenberg: Gurrelieder (1932)
Dubensky: The Raven (1932)
Hindemith: Kammermusik number 2 (1932)
Rimsky-Korsakoff - Hunt and Storm from The Maid of Pskov (1939)
Mussorgsky: Khovantschina Entr'acte from Act 4 (1927)
Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov - Stokowski Symphonic Synthesis (1936)
Glière: Symphony no 3 'Ilya Murometz' (1940)
Glière: The Red Poppy - Russian Sailors' Dance (1934)
Debussy: 'Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune' (1927, 1940)
Debussy: Three Nocturnes (1937, 1939)
Debussy: 'Danses sacrée et profane' (1931)
Ravel: Rapsodie espagñole (1934)
This beautifully executed album includes Ward Marstons's superb restoration
of the April 11, 1932 live recording of Schoenberg's Gurrelieder. Ward
Marston has restored this famous recording using both the April 11, 1932 78
masters, and certain sections of the April 8, 1932 78 masters which still
survive in the Victor vaults. He has also corrected certain errors in
the performance. He also restores two works originally recorded optically
on film in 1932: Hindemith's Kammermusik no 2 and Dubensky's 'The Raven'.
A number of other rarities are restored in remarkable quality. Highly
recommended, and buy it now, before it eventually disappears.
All works by Richard Wagner:
Rienzi Overture (18 November 1926 and 6 January 1927)
Lohengrin - Prélude to Act 1 (13 October 1927)
Lohengrin - Prélude to Act 3 (27 March 1940)
Das Rheingold Synthesis (4 March 1833)
Die Walküre - Excerpts (30 April 1934)
Die Walküre - 'Magic Fire Music ' Orchestral Version (9 April 1939)
Siegfried - Excerpts (10 December 1934)
Götterdämmerung - Excerpts (25 March, 29 April and 28 October 1933)
Götterdämmerung - Finale (6 January 1927)
Tannhäuser - Overture and 'Venusberg Music' (23 September 1929, 14
March and 20 April 1930)
Tannhäuser - Overture and 'Venusberg Music' (12 December 1937)
Tannhäuser - Prélude to Act 3 (arranged Stokowski) (15 January 1936)
Tannhäuser - Overture Dresden Version (7 November and 5 December 1921
Tannhäuser - Fest March 'Entry of the Guests ' (28 April 1924)
Tristan und Isolde - Symphonic Synthesis First Version (16 and 23 April 1932)
Tristan und Isolde - Symphonic Synthesis Second Version
Wesendonck Lieder - 3 Songs (22 December 1940)
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg - Prélude to Act 1 (15 January 1936)
Die Meistersinger - Prélude to Act 3 (17 March 1931)
Parsifal - Prélude to Act 1 (28 November 1936)
Parsifal - Prélude to Act 3, 'Good Friday Spell' (28 November 1936)
Parsifal - Symphonic Synthesis from Act 3 (7 April 1934)
Leopold Stokowski - Conductor (all Philadelphia Orchestra, unless indicated)
Restoration by Art & Son, Paris
Nicolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908) - Scheherazade, Op. 35, 8 October 1934,
Alexander BORODIN (1833-1887) - Prince Igor - Polovtsian Dances, 7 April 1937,
Piotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) - Solitude, opus 73 no 6 (orchestrated by
Stokowski, 19 April 1937,
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) - Toccata and Fugue in D Minor BWV 565, 6 April 1927,
Georges BIZET (1838-1875) - L'Arlésienne, 3-4 May 1929,
Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) - Carnaval des animaux, 26-27 September 1929,
P. I. TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) - The Nutcracker Suite no 1, 4, 10 November 1926,
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) - Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, 16 November 1936,
Franz LISZT (1811-1886) - Hungarian Rhapsody no 2, 16 November 1936,
Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) - The Swan of Tuonela, 3 May 1929,
Incidental Music to Kuolema - Valse triste, 15 January 1936,
Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915) - Poem of Ecstasy, Prometheus - The Poem of Fire,
both recorded 19 March 1932,
Antonin Dvorak (1841-1904) - Symphony no 9 in e minor, 'From the New World', 22 October 1934,
Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) - Death and Transfiguration, All American Youth Orchestra, 4 July 1941,
Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) - Prelude in e-flat minor, All American Youth Orchestra,
14 November 1940,
Among collectors of historic recordings, Biddulph has a respected
place. The Biddulph site gives the following information
about their activities: "...Biddulph Recordings was first founded
in 1989 by renowned violin dealer Peter Biddulph and violinist and
former editor of the The Musical Times and The Strad, Eric Wen.
These two have been joined in 2003 by Sarah Woodward who has been
running the Gramophone Award Winning Historical vocal label Romophone..."
Stokowski conducts Russian music (Volume 1)
Beautifully restored by Ward Marston
Reinhold Glière - Symphony no 3 in b minor 'Ilya Mourometz'
Ippolitov-Ivanov - Caucasian Sketchers no 2 'In the Village',
no. 4 'Procession of the Sardar'
Stokowski - The Complete 1925 Electrical Recordings
Beautifully restored by Mark Obert-Thorn
Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) - Danse Macabre, Alexander BORODIN (1833-1887) -
'Polovtzi Dance', Mikhail IPPOLITOV-IVANOV (1859-1935) - 'In the Village',
P. I. Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) - Marche Slave and Symphony no 6 'Pathétique',
- Andante Theme from the First Movement, Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) - Symphony no
9 in e minor 'From the New World'
Pearl Recordings, a prime source of excellent restorations of historic
performances, including of Stokowski, are a production of Pavilion
Records - website:
Pearl GEMM CD 9031
Stokowski Conducts Stravinsky and Liadov
Beautifully restored by Ward Marston
Liadov - Eight Russian Folk Dances
Stravinsky - Firebird Suite 1919, and Stravinsky - Pastorale
Pearl GEMM CDS 9098
Stokowski - Bach Transcriptions
Beautifully restored by Mark Obert-Thorn
All Stokowski transcriptions of music by Bach - Passacaglia & Fugue in c
(1936), Chorale Preludes: Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ
(1927), Nun komm der Heiden Heiland (1934), Wir Glauben all'
an einen Gott (1929), Christmas Oratorio - no 10 Sinfonia - Pastorale (1929),
Well-Tempered Clavier: Prelude in b (1929), Prelude in e b
(1927) and Fugue in c (1934), English Suite no 3 in g - Sarabande
(1934), English Suite no 2 in a - Bourée (1936),
Violin Partita no 1 in b - Sarabande (1936), Violin Sonata no 4 in c - Siciliano
(1933), Violin Partita no 2 in d - Chaconne (1934), 'Great' Fugue in g
(1934), Toccata, Adagio & Fugue in C - Adagio (1933), 'Little' Fugue
in g (1931), Orchestral Suite no 3 in D - Aria (1936), 'Mein
Jesu was für Seelenweh befällt Dich in Gethsemane'
(1936), St. Matthew Passion - 'O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden'
(1936), St. John's Passion - 'Es ist vollbracht' (1940),
Chorale Prelude - 'Christ lag in Todesbanden'
(1931) Cantata no 4 - 'Jesus Christus, Gottes Sohn' (1937),
Chorale Prelude - 'Aus der Tiefe rufe ich' (1930),
'Komm, süsser Tod' (1933), Trio Sonata no 1 in E
flat major - mvmt 1 (1939), Prelude and Fugue in e minor (1937),
Chorale Prelude 'Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott' (1939),
Toccata and Fugue in d (1927), Interview with Stokowski.
Pristine Audio began in 2001 with the activities of Andrew Rose, a music lover and (among
other things) a former BBC sound engineer. Andrew Rose has, over the years developed
techniques of restoration of historic recordings which are unique and proprietary (at least
I do not know how he does the magic). His techniques do not seem easily compared with
those of, for example, Ward Marston or Mark Obert-Thorn. In any case, the results,
to my ears are extraordinary and effective, and for me, the enjoyment of the results is
Like all of the best restorations, Andrew Rose begins with the best original source material
he can locate. In the case of Leopold Stokowski, the source material often comes from
the great Stokowski scholar and expert Edward Johnson.
Pristine Classical PASC 192 - The Acoustic Recordings of Stokowski -
Pristine Audio has many restorations of recordings of Leopold Stokowski, including those of the
Philadelphia Orchestra. One of particular note is the restoration of many of the
acoustic recordings of Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Pristine Classical PASC 192
This issue I would like in particular to recommend in particular - Pristine Classical
PASC 192. The issue is the first volume of restorations of acoustic recordings by
Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra. The transfers from 78 RPM disks has been
done expertly by Edward Johnson, and the further restoration by Andrew Rose, using his
skills and technology. The result is far better than the quality of the restorations
provided in the acoustic recoding pages of the www.stokowski.org site. I understand
that the sales of this reissue has been, like too many important historic re-issued,
of limited volume, and therefore a second volume completing the acoustic Stokowski -
Philadelphia Orchestra discs may not be forthcoming. I would recommend everyone
to purchase this and other such Pristine recordings so that demand will justify
Contents as listed on the recording:
- BRAHMS Hungarian Dance No. S in G minor (2:53) Recorded 21/10/1917.
- BRAHMS Hungarian Dance No. 6 in D (3:05) Recorded 24/10/1917
- GRIEG Anitra's Dance from 'Peer Gynt' Suite No.1, Op.16 (3:11) Recorded 8/11/1917
- MOZART 3. Menuetto, Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K550 (4:00) Recorded 9/5/1919
- WEBER Invitation to the Dance, J260 (arr. Weingartner) (4 :45) Recorded 9/5/1919
- BEETHOVEN 2. Allegretto Scherzando, Symphony No. 8 in F, Op. 93 (4:06) Recorded 20/5/1920
- WAGNER Overture to 'Tannhauser' (Dresden version) (13:03) Recorded 7/11 & 5/12/1921
- STRAVINSKY Fireworks, Op. 4 (3:35) Recorded 6/11/1922.
- THOMAS Gavotte from 'Mignon' (1:54) Recorded 613/1923.
- RIMSKY·KORSAKOV Dance of the Tumblers from 'Snow Maiden' (3:43) Recorded 1913/1923.
- GOUNOD Waltz from 'Faust' (3:07) Recorded 1/ 5/ 1923.
- WAGNER Festive March from 'Tannhauser' (4:18) Recorded 28/4/1924
- STRAVINSKY Firebird Suite
1. Introduction and Dance of the Firebird (4:20)
2. Round Dance of the Princesses (3:32)
3. Infernal Dance of Kashchei (3:43)
4. Bercellse and Finale (4:45)
- LIADOV Dance of the Amazon, Op. 65 (2:37) Recorded 13/10/1924
The Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Leopold Stokowski
Please visit Pristine Audio and support their persuit of excellence.
Theo van der Burg is a well known expert on Leopold Stokowski and his recordings,
and also offers CDs with music from his private collection. These include
recordings of the Philadelphia Orchestra, the NBC Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic,
the Hollywood Bowl, the American Symphony Orchestra, as well as many concert recordings
from Europe and North America. There is an amazing variety or recordings from
his extensive personal collection. You may visit his
site at: www.med.hro.nl/burtw/
All of the Guild recordings I have seen so far featuring Leopold Stokowski have been from his career
after departing the Philadelphia Orchestra. However, for Stokowski fans, there are some fine
concert performances agailable from Guild Historical. Click on the link above to explore.
Tahra is another quality issuer of historic recordings, well restored and in excellent productions.
At the time of writing, it does not have any Stokowski reissues, but its site is well worth visiting.
If you have any comments or questions about this Leopold Stokowski
site, please e-mail me (Larry Huffman) at e-mail