Leopold Stokowski Orchestrations


Click here to go to the Home Page of www.stokowski.org

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

Aller à la Page d'accueil - Héritage de Stokowski

Aller au menu de navigation principal


Leopold Stokowski Orchestrations

Navigation of Stokowski - Philadelphia recordings pages

Stokowski - Philadelphia acoustic recordings 1917-1924

click here to go to all Stokowski - Philadelphia acoustic recordings

Stokowski - Philadelphia electrical recordings 1925-1940 click on the date below

1925 First Electrical Recording

1925 other electricals


1927 - part 1

1927 - part 2







1934 - part 1

1934 - part 2




no recordings 1938


Listings of the Musicians of some Famous Orchestras: 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's Orchestration of Debussy's Prélude pour piano number 10 "La cathédrale engloutie"


Stokowski, Orchestrations, and Musical Arrangements


In addition to the notes, below, please visit the excellent Transcriptions of Leopold Stokowski page having an extensive commentary by Leopold Stokowski's student and colleague Maestro José Serebrier by clicking HERE.


Stokowski's First Organ Transcriptions


As described in the short Biography of Leopold Stokowski , as an organist in New York, prior to his conducting career, Stokowski transcribed many instrumental works for the organ.  The 1907 advertisement for a Wagner - Palestrina concert, below, is one example.


These transcriptions were, of course, instrumental scores transcribed for the organ.   Transcription of Stokowski's favorite organ and other keyboard works for symphony orchestra were a natural counterpart.  Stokowski seems to have wanted to present his favorite music in whatever medium in which he happened to be working.


Stokowski Orchestration of Music of Johann Sebastian Bach


Stokowski's love and understanding of Bach is of course not surprising, given his ten years as a church organist.  Stokowski made at least 37 orchestrations or transcriptions of the music of Bach.   His first transcription seems to have been prepared in the Summer of 1914 during Leopold and Olga Stokowski's stay at their villa in Munich.  This was of the aria from Saint John's Passion Es ist vollbracht, BWV 245, which Stokowski eventually recorded with the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1934 on a double sided 10 inch Victor Red Seal disk Victor 1985.


The first Stokowski orchestration of a Bach organ work for full symphony orchestra which Stokowski performed seems to have been of the Passacaglia and Fugue in c minor BWV 582, which Stokowski first performed with the orchestra on February 10, 1922 2.  Stokowski later recorded the Passacaglia in 1929 (click on 1929 Bach Passacaglia and Fugue to read about and listen to this transcription.)  He also performed it several times during every Philadelphia Orchestra season he conducted from 1922 to 1940, excepting only in 1928 and 1933.


In a later interview, Stokowski stated that the first Bach work he orchestrated was the Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 582.  However, the first Bach orchestration, or perhaps better described as an arrangement seems to have been the Wachet auf portion of the famous cantata of 1731 ('Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme', or 'Sleepers Awake!', BWV 140), which John Hunt's Leopold Stokowski Discography and Concert Register (1996) with additonal information from Robert M. Stumpf, II, lists as being performed March 19 and 20, 1915.  The famous transcription of the Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565 was performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra in February 1926.  Also, at the concerts of December 8 and 9, 1926, Stokowski gave the first performance of his Bach transcription of Komm Susser Tod.  This was arranged for viola and string orchestra.


There have been a number of authors seeking to demonstrate that Stokowski did not orchestrate these works, in particular claiming that Lucien Cailliet of the Philadelphia Orchestra conceived and created the orchestrations.  However, contemporary accounts give support to Stokowski as the originator of these transcriptions, even if Cailliet prepared the score.  The image below of the Stokowski manuscript of BWV 565 from the University of Pennsylvania Library archives shows the orchestration with Stokowski's labeling and notes.


Stokowski orchestration of Bach Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565


Stokowski's Orchestration of French Music


In his orchestration of Debussy's tenth Prélude of Volume I, La cathédrale engloutie, Stokowski used a contrabass clarinet in his orchestration, perhaps inspired by his re-orchestration necessary with acoustic recordings where the contrabass clarinet was added to reinforce or in fact replace string bass instruments which did not record effectively. 


In fact during the mid 1920s, the Philadelphia Orchestra employed a full-time contrabass clarinet.  Frédéric Parme was the orchestra's contrabass clarinetist from 1925 to 1927, continuing Stokowski's practice of hiring predominantly French-trained wind players.


The Stokowski orchestration of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition


The Stokowski orchestration of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, is another famous transformation.  Source books indicate that Mikhail Tushmalov (1861-1896), a lesser Russian composer was the first to orchestrate Pictures in about 1891, but including only of 7 of the 10 pictures.  Sir Henry Wood also produced an orchestration of Pictures in 1915, but he apparently also made major changes to the original composition rather than a faithful orchestration of the piano composition.  Ravel produced his famous orchestration of the complete 10 pictures in 1922 under a commission by Serge Koussevitzky.


Stokowski introduced the Ravel orchestration of Mussorgsky's piano work in November, 1929, after Koussevitzky's performance exclusivity of the Ravel orchestration ended. 

Stokowski's score for 'Tableaux d'une Exposition' 1939


On November 17, 1939 Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra gave the premiere of Stokowski's orchestration of Modest Mussorgsky's ' Tableaux d'une Exposition' -  'Pictures at an Exhibition'.  Ten days later, on November 27, 1939, Victor recorded Stokowski and the Philadelphians performing this work in the Academy of Music.


The original composition was written by Mussorgsky in 1874 and were his musical impressions of 10 (or perhaps 11) pictures, or tableaux by Mussorgsky's friend Viktor Hartmann (1834–1873), shown at a retrospective exhibition of Hartmann's works.  Hartmann had died unexpectedly of an aneurysm the year before Mussorgsky wrote 'Pictures at an Exhibition'.  Hartmann's death is said to have made a deep impression on Mussorgsky, and Mussorgsky (who also died young 1839-1881) later recounted that he composed these piano pieces in only six weeks.


In his original piano composition of 1874, there are ten 'tableaux', linked by 'Promenades'.  Mussorgsky composed the promenade music to represent an exhibition visitor walking from picture to picture. 


The original piano score order, with the numbered paintings is:

1 'Gnomus', Promenade,

2 'Il vecchio castello' (Old Castle), Promenade,

3 'Tuileries',

4 'Bydlo' (a heavy Polish cart), Promenade,

5 'Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks',

6 'Samuel Goldenberg and Schmuyle', Promenade,

7 'Limoges, le marché' (Marketplace at Limoges),

8 'Catacombs',

9 'Baba-Yaga's Hut on Fowl's Legs',

10 'Great Gate of Kiev'.


The Stokowski orchestration is made up of 10 sections, counting both Promenades and Tableaux, but not exactly corresponding to Mussorgsky's original piano composition.  Stokowski left out two of the original piano tableaux:

3. 'Tuileries', depicting children fighting after games, and

7. 'Limoges, le marché' ('Marketplace at Limoges'). 


Stokowski is said not to be convinced that these two movements were in fact composed by Mussorgsky, but perhaps to have been added by Rimsky-Korsakov.  Stokowski further seems to have found these movements to be more French than Russian.  Both of these tableaux are lighter and more dance-like, unlike the dark, Slavic tone which characterized much of Mussorgsky's compositions.  Leopold Stokowski was one of the twentieth century conductors most in tune with the compositional style of Mussorgsky, and deeply read into Mussorgsky's scores.  Certainly, it is this dark Russian tone which Stokowski wanted to assure in his orchestration of in this music. 


Stokowski also revised sections of Mussorgsky's score to gain what he said in an interview was a more 'Slavic' musical tone.  Further, in his performance, the heavy old Polish wooden cart moves quite rapidly, while 'Catacombae' - Catacombs - is taken at a dramatically slow, and very effective pace.


Stokowski's orchestration, although not widely adopted as was the Ravel orchestration commissioned by Koussevitzky, is particularly effective.  Modest Mussorgsky was one of the composers with whom Stokowski seems in most artistic affinity.  Just as Stokowski was not particularly attracted to Mozart or Bruckner, his affinity for Mussorgsky and Brahms is manifest.  Also, Stokowski's orchestration is, to my ears more 'Slavic' or 'Russian', as he claimed.  It is also more dramatic and exciting than the Ravel version, and sometimes verges on being brutal (or perhaps dramatic is a better description).


Several modern restorations of this 1939 recording have appeared over the years, but none to my ears has been completely satisfying.  For this reason, we are particularly fortunate that Marcos Abreu, the recording engineer and restoration master has turned his skills to this performance.  The mp3 files below are in no doubt the finest restoration of this 1939 recording up until today.  Marcos's results provide an impact comparable to the modern sonic spectaculars to which we have become accustomed.  Marcos Abreu has brought these disks to life, yet without interfering with, or altering their original qualities. 


These are most satisfying restorations, which are now shared with us.  Thank you Marcos !    You can contact Marcos Abreu, audio mastering and restoration services, email address:  mastering@terra.com.br   


In the the mp3 recordings, below, Stokowski's movements are, for convenience, grouped into five parts, as follows:


Part 1:


1.   Gnomus  (The Gnome)


Part 2:


2.   'Il vecchio castello'  (The Old Castle)

(3.  'Les Tuileries' was not included by Stokowski)


Part 3:

4.   Bydlo (the Polish wooden cart)


5.   Ballet des poussins dans leur coque   (Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks)

    Hartmann's sketch for Unhatched Chicks


Part 4:

6.   Samuel Goldenberg and Schmuyle 

(7.   'Limoges, le marché' was not included by Stokowski)

8.   Catacombae, Cum mortuis in lingua mortua  (Catacombs)


Part 5:

9.   'La cabane sur des pattes de poule' ('Baba Yaga's Hut on Fowls' Legs')

10.  'La grande porte de Kiev' ('The Great Gate of Kiev')


Click here to list to (download) Mussorgsky-Stokowski 'Pictures at an Exhibition' Part 1


Click here to list to (download) Mussorgsky-Stokowski 'Pictures at an Exhibition' Part 2


Click here to list to (download) Mussorgsky-Stokowski 'Pictures at an Exhibition' Part 3


Click here to list to (download) Mussorgsky-Stokowski 'Pictures at an Exhibition' Part 4


Click here to list to (download) Mussorgsky-Stokowski 'Pictures at an Exhibition' Part 5




2   pages 146, 147. Smith, Rollin. Stokowski And The Organ. Pendragon Press. 2004. ISBN 157647103-9


You are now on the page LEOPOLD STOKOWSKI ORCHESTRATIONS Return to Top of this Page

Navigation Table - www.stokowski.org

Click here to return to

www.stokowski.org  Home Page


Acoustic Recordings of

Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra

(Click on the link below)


Electrical Recordings of

Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra

(Click on the link below)


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 Musicians

Navigation: Other Stokowski Materials

(Click on the link below)

1932 Recordings

Russian Symphony Orchestra of New York Musicians

Edward Johnson:

Leopold Stokowski and British Music

1933 Recordings

Germania Orchestra Musicians

Biography of Leopold Stokowski

1934 Recordings - Part 1

Navigation: Stokowski Discographies

(Click on the link below)

Interviews with Leopold Stokowski

1934 Recordings - Part 2

Description of Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra Discographies

Leopold Stokowski Orchestrations

1935 Recordings

Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra Chronological Acoustic Discography

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

1936 Recordings

Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra Chronological Electrical Discography

Further Material about Leopold Stokowski

1937 Recordings

Fritz Reiner Discography

Camden Church Studio and other Victor Talking Machine Recording Locations

( No Recordings in 1938 )

CDs of Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra

Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra Bibliography, Sources and Credits

1939 - 1940 Recordings

Masters of Historic Disk Restoration

You are now on the page You are now on the page LEOPOLD STOKOWSKI ORCHESTRATIONS Return to Top of this Page

Contact Me

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 


Vous êtes sur la page CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA PRINCIPAL MUSICIANS       Haut de page

Navigation Table - www.stokowski.org

cliquez ici pour

www.stokowski.org   la page d'accueil


Enregistrements acoustiques de

Stokowski - l'Orchestre de Philadelphie

(Cliquez sur le titre ci-dessus)


Enregistrements électriques de

Stokowski - l'Orchestre de Philadelphie

(Cliquez sur le titre ci-dessus)


Musicians of Leading US Orchestras

(Cliquez sur le titre ci-dessus)

Développement de l'enregistrement acoustique

Développement de l'enregistrement électrique

l'Orchestre symphonique de Boston: musiciens principaux

1917-1924 enregistrements acoustiques

Permis d'exploitation du système Westrex

l'Orchestre symphonique de Boston: liste de tout les musiciens

1917 - Premiers enregistrements acoustiques

1925 - Premier enregistrement électrique

Chicago Symphony: musiciens principaux

1917-1919 Autres enregistrements acoustiques

1925 - Autres enregistrements électriques

Chicago Symphony: liste de tout les musiciens

1920-1921 Autres enregistrements acoustiques

1926 Enregistrements

l'Orchestre de Cleveland: musiciens principaux

1922-1924 Autres enregistrements acoustiques

1927 Enregistrements - 1ère partie

l'Orchestre de Cleveland: liste de tout les musiciens

1919-1924 enregistrements acoustiques Russe

1927 Enregistrements - 2ème partie

l'Orchestre de Philadelphie: musiciens principaux

1920-1924 enregistrements acoustiques françaises

1928 Enregistrements

l'Orchestre de Philadelphie: liste de tout les musiciens

1921-1924 Enregistrements acoustique de Wagner

1929 Enregistrements

Metropolitan Opera: les Musiciens

1921-1924 Enregistrements acoustique de Tchaïkovski

1930 Enregistrements

L'Orchestre symphonique de Saint Louis: les Musiciens

1924 Enregistrements acoustique de Rachmaninov - Stokowski

1931 Enregistrements

L'Orchestre symphonique de San Francisco: les Musiciens

Navigation: Other Stokowski Materials

(Click on the link below)

1932 Enregistrements

l'Orchestre symphonique Russe de New York: les Musiciens

Studio d'Eglise Camden - studio d'enregistrement de la Victor Talking Machine Company

1933 Enregistrements

l'Orchestra Germania: les Musiciens

Leopold Stokowski et Harvey Fletcher et les laboratoires Bell - les enregistrements expérimentaux

1934 Enregistrements - 1ère partie

Navigation: Stokowski Discographies

(Click on the link below)

Stokowski - Les interviews accordées

1934 Enregistrements - 2ème partie

Stokowski - Philadelphie Les Discographies Chronologiques

Biographie - Leopold Stokowski

1935 Enregistrements

Stokowski - Philadelphie Discographie des Enregistrements Acoustiques

Les orchestrations de Leopold Stokowski

1936 Enregistrements

Stokowski - Philadelphie Discographie des Enregistrements électriques

Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie Enregistrements à l'Académie de musique

1937 Enregistrements

CDs de Stokowski et l'Orchestre de Philadelphie

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

1939 - 1940 Enregistrements

Maîtres de restauration moderne des disques historique

cliquez ici pour

www.stokowski.org   la page d'accueil

Vous êtes sur la page CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA PRINCIPAL MUSICIANS       Haut de page