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Orchestral Masterpieces [Import]

Stokowski , Wagner , London Symphony Orchestra Audio CD

Price: CDN$ 62.06
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Product Details

1. The Ride of the Valkyries - Die Walkure
2. Dawn and Siegfried's Rhine Journey - Barry Tuckwell/Gotterdammerung
3. Siegfried's Death and Funeral Music - Gotterdammerung
4. Entrance of the gods into Valhalla - Das Rheingoldi
5. Forest Murmurs - Siegfried
6. Prelude - Die Meistersinger

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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great if you're here for thrills and not subtlety Dec 17 2005
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Did anyone approach Stokowski for prolific recordings? There are currently 16 CDs sitll in print of his Wagner. This Phase 4 collection gathers an hour's worth of familiar excerpts from 1966, when the conductor was 84, plus an added 1972 Meistersinger Prelude that is live. The results are broad, romantic, and thrilling. I went for the cinematic sound (except in the Ride of the Valkyries, where the piccolo hovers like a giant banshee). Would Wagner have objected to hearing his music twice as large as life?

The prevailing style here is extroverted and unsubtle, but Stokowski was a serious Wagnerian, and his unthrottled conducting stays musically in bounds (barely). The 1972 Meistersinger excerpt, made at age 90, brings us back to realistic orchestral sound, and I must say Stokowski acquits himself magnificently. Hats off and a smile for the old rogue.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly played excerpts from Wagner's Ring Dec 16 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Stokowski was the ultimate Wagner conductor. He made no attempt to tame Wagner's music but presented it in all of it's almost superhuman glory. Stokowski's Wagner is beautifully lyrical, thrilling, even bombastic -- whatever each individual excerpt calls for. I would suggest that anyone who hasn't heard Wagner's music conducted by Stokowski hasn't really heard it in its full glory. This collection of excerpts from the Ring is a good place to start.
5.0 out of 5 stars So many versions.... Jan. 18 2014
By stoploss - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
There are so many versions of Siegfried's Rhine Journey, but I've always favored this one since it was released decades ago on vinyl record. The arrangement, the sound acoustic, and the conductor's pace are perfect. A good conductor makes a piece like this sound like the dramatic narrative it is intended to be, rather than just a "performance". Valkyries is also good, but Eugene Ormandy does better.

The cd is a bargain at $8.87 (used).
2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Superficial interpretations in garish sound March 3 2008
By dv_forever - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
The opening Ride of the Valkyries is exciting and fun even with the over the top highlighting of the piccolo. But as we move on, this Wagner program becomes just more and more garish, at times there is hideous spotlighting of the inner details while the main musical line takes a back seat.

Stokowski is also his own man when it comes to "bleeding chunks", surgically cutting and pasting musical passages, skipping others in the opera. The Rhine Journey from Gotterdammerung in particular skips about a minute or so of music from one passage to the next and it's done completely unconvincingly. Why? No other conductor makes such a hack job of Wagner.

A lot of the fault of this program does lie with the Phase 4 stereo sound which is all over the place at times like I mentioned. And we also must blame Stokowski for his cheap parlor tricks.

Furtwangler, Karajan and Solti are far more intuitive Wagner conductors and they know how to pace the music and lead to natural climaxes. Stokowski just seems to trip over himself in many places. His Meistersinger Overture is nowhere near as exciting as Karajan.

This CD is strictly for Stokowski fans. Wagner fans might get a good laugh out of this enterprise, but that's it. If you crave to hear Wagner played like a circus freakshow without any musical value, this is close to what you want. If you prefer musical substance instead, stick to Furtwangler, Karajan and Solti.

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