As one can note from some of my other reviews, I am a life-long fan of Leopold Stokowski. Musically he was a wizard, a magician. He performed during the "Golden Age of Conducting" and he was always at the top. In that era, we had conductors with inate abilities and emotional feeling which they could impart to an orchestra. Nowadays, we have far too many conductors who only learned how to beat time at a university or musical conservatory and who seem to approach music more like mathematicians than artists.
During his long recording career which began in the 1920's, Stokowski made recordings for RCA Victor during every decade until his death. He did not always record exclusively for RCA, but much of his greatest work was done for that label. What we have here are all the stereo recordings made for RCA Victor. Most of them were made in Europe since he spent most of his later years there. Overall, the sound quality is excellent. Inasmuch as the Maestro was always very concerned about sound matters, one would expect no less.
Naturally, there will be those who will quibble with some of his orchestral manifestations, but more people, including a number of conductors today have come to appreciate what he did to enhance the composer's intentions. After all, music in its basic form is just a series of lines and dots on a piece of paper. It takes the musician to make it come alive and grab an audience. Most of the living composers whose work he conducted had nothing but high praise for his efforts. I would rather have their assessment than that of the critics. I believe it was Sibelius who said: "No one ever built a monument to a critic!"
The one disc in the set we could have probably done without is the Bach Toccata/orchestral rehearsal. It is of modest interest for one hearing, but I doubt anyone would care to hear it again. The other discs range from Bach to Mahler to Wagner to you name it. Generally, all are done in Stokowski's inimitable fashion - full bodied with musical values streaming at you.
Of particular note are the Russian composers (Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky, et al.). Stokowski has always had a way with their music and he does not disappoint us here. The Mahler is good, but there are better. The collaboration with Anna Moffo is downright sensuous. The Wagner is infused with great power. Etc., etc., etc.
All in all, this boxed set (now out of print) is a treasure.