The Stokowski Legacy

Including Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra - Their Story and Their Recordings 1917 to 1940


 1nL  Stokowski_Legacy

 

The Stokowski Legacy

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Among the great conductors of the twentieth century, Leopold Stokowski had a unique and fascinating career.

 

Unique in the variety and quantity of his performances and recordings of music, and especially of new music, from composers of all musical persuasions.

 

Unique in his role in disseminating music to the public and in particular, the American public (most of whom in 1920, before the advent of radio and orchestral gramophone recordings, had never heard a symphony).  This was accomplished through Stokowski's innovative repertoire, innovative concert formats, youth concerts, pioneering broadcast techniques and especially by his recordings.  This dissemination of music was aided by Stokowski's flair for promoting himself and his music and by the popularity of his stream of great recordings from 1917 to 1977.

 

Unique in his involvement with the development of recorded sound.  Stokowski was involved in orchestral recording from the acoustic to the quadraphonic eras, and in pioneering efforts in High Fidelity and stereophonic recording with the Bell Laboratories.

 

Record 1917 1974

1917 Acoustic recording of the Brahms Hungarian Dance no 5 and

1974 Quadraphonic recording of works of Tchaikovsky

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Themes of this stokowski.org Website

 

This site concentrates on Stokowski's recordings as a witness not only of Stokowski's career, but also of the evolution of sound recording during his era. This site further benefits from the extensive scholarship and efforts of a number of researchers and amateurs of the work of Stokowski, so generously shared with all of us who enjoy Stokowski's legacy.

 

Primary development of this site will be first, the acoustic recordings of Stokowski and the Philadelphians from 1917 to 1924, and second, the complete legacy of electrical recordings of Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra from 1925 to 1940.  Later, I hope to add examples of Stokowski's art that are less easily found or not found at all from current CD sources.

 

The music of Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra will include as many .mp3 recordings of this Stokowski - Philadelphia repertoire as will fit into the storage of the www.stokowski.org site.  These music tracks will allow those interested to hear Stokowski's many great recordings.  In addition, they will, hopefully, encourage visitors to this site to purchase some of the many excellent CDs available reproducing the historic Stokowski legacy.

 

A note on the .mp3 files included in this site:  I have not included material that has been published in the many excellent CDs containing restorations of the Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra recordings (about which you can read more at CDs of Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra ).  The reason is that I would not like to do anything which might potentially reduce the sales of these efforts by the leading restoration experts.  Also, I would not wish to reduce the (probably already small) sales of these recordings by the leading publishers who have commissioned the restoration of these recordings.

 

However, the corollary of this decision is that my examples of the recordings of Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra are not sonically as good as those produced by the leading restoration experts.  For example, I have used sparingly some software to de-click recordings, but found this degrades the orchestra sound in some cases.  Professional systems such as CEDAR are too expensive for this project, so the recordings here generally have a higher level of 'crackle' and clicks than the best commercial transcriptions.  However, I believe the Stokowski material on this site from my sources and from my friends is of a level from which likely you can appreciate Stokowski's art and enjoy the performances and the music, which give great pleasure today, even ninety years later.

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Organization of the www.stokowski.org site

Stokowski 1920   Stokowski in 1920

 

The contents of this site are organized below into three sections:

 

1.   Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra acoustic recordings from 1917 to 1924 and electrical recordings from 1925 to 1940.

 

2.   Information about the recordings and career of Leopold Stokowski beyond the Philadelphia Orchestra.

 

3.  Another project of this site is a biographical listing of the Musicians of Leading United States Orchestras, including complete musicians rosters of the Boston Symphony, the Chicago Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra from the beginnings of their organization.

 

In researching the 'Principal' or 'solo' musicians of the Philadelphia Orchestra, I was surprised to find how little information is available about the fascinating story of their careers.  Therefore, I have included pages which list the Principal musicians of the leading orchestras listed above from their beginnings, and also pages that seek to list all the musicians of each orchestra from their beginnings.  These are shown below:

 

Listings of Orchestra Musicians: Click on the link below

Boston Symphony Principal Musicians

Boston Symphony List All Musicians

Chicago Symphony Principal Musicians

Chicago Symphony List All Musicians

Cleveland Orchestra Principal Musicians

Cleveland Orchestra List All Musicians

Philadelphia Orchestra Principal Musicians

Philadelphia Orchestra List All Musicians

Metropolitan Opera Orchestra Musicians

Saint Louis Symphony Musicians

San Francisco Symphony Principal Musicians

San Francisco Symphony List All Musicians

 

In the paragraphs below, you will see links to all the pages of this site featuring the acoustic recordings, the electrical recordings, and other Stokowski material, plus the pages on the musicians of leading US orchestras.  Simply click on the links below.

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Click here to go to the Navigation Table for www.stokowski.org

 

1.  Stokowski Acoustic and Electrical Recordings.

 

Stokowski 1917
  Stokowski in 1917 just before his first acoustic recordings

 

Stokowski - Philadelphia Acoustic Recordings

 

From its first recordings, Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra inaugurated a period of recording made possible by the development of the acoustic recording process, invented by Edison, and further improved by the Victor Talking Machine Company.  To explore this era, click below to go to the appropriate web page:

 

The Development of Acoustic Recording

 

1917 - 1924 The Acoustic Recordings of Leopold Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra

 

1917 - first 78 RPM Acoustic Victor recordings of Leopold Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra

 

Leopold Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra Other Acoustic Recordings from 1917 and 1919

 

Leopold Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra Other Acoustic Recordings of 1920 and 1921

 

Leopold Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra Other Acoustic Recordings from 1922 - 1924

 

Leopold Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra Acoustic Recordings of Russian Music 1919 - 1924

 

Leopold Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra French Acoustic Recordings 1920 to 1924

 

Leopold Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra Wagner Acoustic Recordings of 1921 and 1924

 

Leopold Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra Tchaikovsky Acoustic Recordings 1921 - 1924

 

Leopold Stokowski - Serge Rachmaninoff and the Philadelphia Orchestra - 1924

 

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Stokowski Academy

  Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra recording in the Academy of Music 1936 (Western Electric 394 condenser microphone suspended above)

 

Stokowski - Philadelphia Electrical Recordings

Beginning in 1925, Stokowski and the Philadelphians made the first electrical recordings of a symphony orchestra in the United States (and, in fact, the first in the world).  Click on the links below to read about and hear these superb and historic recordings:

 

Bell Laboratories and the Development of Electrical Recording

 

Licensing the Bell - Westrex Electrical Recording System

 

1925 - First Electrical Recording - Leopold Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra

 

1925 - Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra Other Electrical Recordings

 

1926 - Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra Recordings

 

1927 Leopold Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra Recordings - Part 1

 

1927 Leopold Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra Recordings - Part 2

 

1928 - Stokowski Philadelphia Recordings       1929 - Stokowski Philadelphia Recordings

 

1930 - Stokowski Philadelphia Recordings       1931 - Stokowski Philadelphia Recordings

 

1932 - Stokowski Philadelphia Recordings       1933 - Stokowski Philadelphia Recordings

 

1934 - Stokowski Philadelphia Recordings       More 1934 - Stokowski Philadelphia Recordings

 

1935 - Stokowski Philadelphia Recordings       1936 - Stokowski Philadelphia Recordings

 

1937 - Stokowski Philadelphia Recordings       1939 - 1940 - Stokowski Philadelphia Recordings

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2. Recordings and Career of Leopold Stokowski

 

In addition, on this site, there are a number of pages of information related to the career and recordings of Leopold Stokowski. 

 

This information is being updated frequently, and just added are three interesting new articles:

 

-  an article about the Transcriptions of Leopold Stokowski by Maestro José Serebrier , featuring the story of his superb new recordings of Leopold Stokowski Transcriptions performed by the Bournemouth Symphony.

Serebrier Wagner

 

-  an appreciation by the music scholar and Stokowski expert Edward Johnson writing about:

Leopold Stokowski and British Music

 

Vaughan Williams Stokowski

 

-  Edward Johnson also writes about the long association between:

Leopold Stokowski and Ralph Vaughan Williams

 

-  also, a selection of the letters to Stokowski on his 90th Birthday in 1972 from the many composers championed by Stokowski - from the collection of Edward Johnson.

Lou Harrison

 

More Stokowski information is included in the pages below.  Click the link below to read and hear more about Stokowski and his legacy:

 

Leopold Stokowski Biography

 

Interviews with Leopold Stokowski

 

Leopold Stokowski Acoustic Discography

 

Leopold Stokowski Electrical Discography

 

Leopold Stokowski, Harvey Fletcher and the Bell Laboratories Experimental Recordings

 

Masters of the Modern Restoration of Historic Disks

 

Leopold Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra Chronological Discography

 

Camden Church Studio - Victor Talking Machine Recording Location

 

Leopold Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra Recording in the Academy of Music Philadelphia

 

Further Material on Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra

 

CDs of Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra

 

Leopold Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra Bibliography, Sources and Credits

 

Also newly added is a Fritz Reiner Discography which seeks to document all the commercial and private recordings of Fritz Reiner.

Reiner 1945

Also added is a Fritz Reiner Biography which provides a brierf biography of the rich and varied career of Fritz Reiner.

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3.  Musicians of Major American Orchestras

 

Since there seems to be a surprising lack of historical information about the principal musicians of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and in general the principals of the other leading symphony orchestras of the United States, I have started, out of my own interest, to try to compile brief biographies of the musicians of the major orchestras listed below.  Often, it is difficult even to form an accurate historical listing of the first-chair musicians of the orchestra sections, let alone assembling brief biographical information. 

 

Below are links to the web pages covering the named orchestras.  Each orchestra is organized into two different listings:

 

-   A listing of all the Musicians of the Orchestra since its inception.

This list includes the names, country and date of birth and death, instruments, positions and dates of service of all known permanent musicians of the orchestra from its beginning.

 

-   A listing of the Principal or "solo" musicians of the Orchestra

This is a listing of all the Principal musicians of the Orchestra, chronologically during their histories, with a brief biographical sketches and photographs.

 

Listings of Orchestra Musicians: Click on the link below

Boston Symphony Principal Musicians

Boston Symphony List All Musicians

Chicago Symphony Principal Musicians

Chicago Symphony List All Musicians

Cleveland Orchestra Principal Musicians

Cleveland Orchestra List All Musicians

Philadelphia Orchestra Principal Musicians

Philadelphia Orchestra List All Musicians

Metropolitan Opera Orchestra Musicians

Saint Louis Symphony Musicians

San Francisco Symphony Principal Musicians

San Francisco Symphony List All Musicians

 

Stokowski 1913

            Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra in his first season in 1913

 

A Note on listening to the Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra Recordings

 

The recordings in this site are files in mp3 format (mostly, 128 kbps) encoded from my recordings.  Links to the mp3 files are located in two places:

 

First - in the page covering the year of the recording.  For example, links to a 1926 recording are found in the page:   1926 - Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra Recordings

 

Second - in the Chronological Discography page.  For example, links to a 1926 recording are also found in the electrical recordings chronological discography page:  Chronological Discography of Electrical Recordings   This Chronological Discography page lists all the electrical recordings from 1925 to 1940 made by the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Leopold Stokowski and issued by Victor, including of course the 1926 recordings.  For each recording listed in the Discography table, there is a MP3 link on the right-hand side which, when clicked, also will download the recording.

 

The mp3 files in this site are encoded usually at 128 kbps.  This means that the files are of different sizes, according to the length of the music.  For example, the second Stokowski electrical recording, the April 29, 1925 Borodin Polovetzki Dances is small (3.6 Mb).  In contrast, the 1929 Le Sacre du Printemps file is large.  Le Sacre part 1 is 14 Mb and Le Sacre part 2 is 16 Mb.

 

Consequently, a large file will take a longer time to download, depending on your internet connection speed.  Please keep this in mind when you click to listen to (which means to download) a particularly music file.  You may click the link to the music file, but need to wait a number of seconds or even minutes to listen to the file.

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Your added or corrected information on any of these musicians would be welcome simply by contacting this site as shown at the foot of this page .

Stokowski 1968   Stokowski in 1968

 


If you have any comments or questions about this Leopold Stokowski site, please e-mail me (Larry Huffman) at e-mail address: leopold.stokowski@gmail.com


1   Leopold Stokowski portrait by Elias Goldensky circa 1923

 

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Navigation Table - www.stokowski.org

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Navigation:

Acoustic Recordings of

Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra

(Click on the link below)

Navigation:

Electrical Recordings of

Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra

(Click on the link below)

Navigation:

Musicians of Leading US Orchestras

(Click on the link below)

Development of Acoustic Recording

Development of Electrical Recording

Boston Symphony Principal Musicians

1917-1924 Acoustic recordings

Licensing the Electrical System

Boston Symphony List All Musicians

1917 - first Acoustic Victor recordings

1925 - First Electrical Recording

Chicago Symphony Principal Musicians

1917-1919 Other Acoustic recordings

1925 - Other Electrical Recordings

Chicago Symphony List All Musicians

1920-1921 Other Acoustic recordings

1926 Recordings

Cleveland Orchestra Principal Musicians

1922-1924 Other Acoustic recordings

1927 Recordings - Part 1

Cleveland Orchestra List All Musicians

1919-1924 Russian Acoustic recordings

1927 Recordings - Part 2

Philadelphia Orchestra Principal Musicians

1920-1924 French Acoustic recordings

1928 Recordings

Philadelphia Orchestra List All Musicians

1921-1924 Wagner Acoustic recordings

1929 Recordings

Metropolitan Opera Orchestra Musicians

1921-1924 Tchaikovsky Acoustic recordings

1930 Recordings

Saint Louis Symphony Musicians

1924 Rachmaninoff - Stokowski Acoustic recordings

1931 Recordings

San Francisco Symphony Principal Musicians

Navigation: Other Stokowski Materials

(Click on the link below)

1932 Recordings

San Francisco Symphony List All Musicians

Leopold Stokowski Transcriptions

with Comments by José Serebrier

1933 Recordings

Russian Symphony Orchestra of New York Musicians

Edward Johnson:

Stokowski and Vaughan Williams

1934 Recordings - Part 1

Germania Orchestra Musicians

Edward Johnson:

Leopold Stokowski and British Music

1934 Recordings - Part 2

Navigation: Discographies and Biographies: Leopold Stokowski and Fritz Reiner

(Click on the link below)

Interviews with Leopold Stokowski

1935 Recordings

Biography of Leopold Stokowski

Leopold Stokowski Other Orchestrations

1936 Recordings

Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra Chronological Acoustic Discography

Stokowski, Dr. Harvey Fletcher and Experimental Recordings of Bell Laboratories

1937 Recordings

Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra Chronological Electrical Discography

Further Material about Leopold Stokowski

( No Recordings in 1938 )

Fritz Reiner Discography

Camden Church Studio and other Victor Talking Machine Recording Locations

1939 - 1940 Recordings

Fritz Reiner Biography

Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra Bibliography, Sources and Credits

CDs of Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra

Masters of Historic Disk Restoration

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Tableau de navigation: site www.stokowski.org

 

L'Héritage de Stokowski - Accueil français

Victor Talking Machine Company, Eldridge Johnson, et le développement de la technologie d'enregistrement acoustique

1917 - 1924 les enregistrements acoustique Victor de Leopold Stokowski et l'Orchestre de Philadelphie

1917 -  Premiers enregistrements acoustique de Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1917 - 1919 autres enregistrements acoustique Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1920 - 1921 autres enregistrements acoustique Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1922 - 1924 autres enregistrements acoustique Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1919 - 1924 enregistrements acoustique Russe Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1920 - 1924 enregistrements acoustique français - Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1921 -1924 enregistrements acoustique Tchaïkovski - Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1921 - 1924 enregistrements acoustique Wagner - Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1924 enregistrements acoustique Rachmaninov - Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

Développement de l'enregistrement électrique

Permis d'exploitation du système Westrex donné à Victor et Columbia

1925 Premier enregistrement électrique Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1925 autres enregistrements électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1926 enregistrements électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1927 enregistrements électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie - partie 1

1927 enregistrements électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie - partie 2

1928 enregistrements électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1929 enregistrements électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1930 enregistrements électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1931 enregistrements électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1932 enregistrements électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1933 enregistrements électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1934 enregistrements électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

Encore des enregistrements 1934 électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1935 enregistrements électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1936 enregistrements électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1937 enregistrements électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1939-1940 enregistrements électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

D'autres documents sur Stokowski et l'Orchestre de Philadelphie

Camden église studio - Victor Talking Machine studio d'enregistrement

Leopold Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie Enregistrement à l'Académie de musique de Philadelphie

Interviews avec Leopold Stokowski

Leopold Stokowski Orchestrations

Leopold Stokowski, Harvey Fletcher et les laboratoires Bell expérimental enregistrements

Maîtres de restauration moderne de disques historique

CDs de Stokowski et l'Orchestre de Philadelphie

Leopold Stokowski Discographies chronologique

Leopold Stokowski Discographie chronologique - enregistrements acoustique

Leopold Stokowski Discographie chronologique - enregistrements électriques

Leopold Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie bibliographie, des sources et crédits

L'Orchestre symphonique de Boston - musiciens principaux

L'Orchestre symphonique de Chicago - musiciens principaux

L'Orchestre de Cleveland - musiciens principaux

L'Orchestre du Metropolitan Opera de New York - musiciens principaux

L'Orchestre de Philadelphie - musiciens principaux

L'Orchestre symphonique Russe de New York - musiciens principaux

L'Orchestre symphonique de San Francisco - musiciens principaux

L'Orchestre symphonique de St. Louis - musiciens principaux