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WAGNER: Symphonic Syntheses by Stokowski

Composer(s):Wagner, Richard
Artist(s) Serebrier, Jose, Conductor • Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Period(s) Romantic
Genre Classical Music
Category Orchestral
Catalogue 8.570293
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps

When Leopold Stokowski began his conducting career, the music of Wagner featured in his very first concert and was to remain close to his heart for the rest of his life. In those early days, particularly through gramophone records, he introduced Wagner to a wide public with extended orchestral excerpts woven together as richly conceived tone poems and given the title “Symphonic Syntheses”. In these performances by José Serebrier and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, these tone poems have a unique sumptuousness of sound and for those who love this evocative music gloriously played, there is much here that will ravish the ear. – The Leopold Stokowski Society


Review By Marie Frances Hopkins,MUSO,February 2008

Hailed as one of the 20th century’s greatest conductors, Stokowski’s 70-year career included Wagner in programmes from his first performance in 1907 to his late appearances at the age of 95. In particular, he admired Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde for it’s ‘supreme expression’.

Stokowski was famed for his remarkable orchestral sound, so it seems fitting that José Serebrier—hailed by Stokowski as a ‘great master of orchestral balance’ at the age of only 21—should conduct Stokowski’s work.


Review By David Denton, Naxos,September 2007

When Leopold Stokowski became conductor of the Cincinnati Orchestra in 1909, the opportunity to hear a complete Wagner opera was afforded only to those who lived near to one of the world’s great opera houses. Many would have to settle for ‘bleeding chunks’ performed in symphony concerts, sometimes with singers, but more frequently in orchestral arrangements. It was Stokowski who went one stage further in his ‘Symphonic Synthesis’, substantial passages linked together to form a richly conceived tone poem. In the case of Tristan and Isolde his idea stretched to three linked movements that open with the slow prelude to the first act, through the impassioned love music in the second act, and finally to Isolde’s Liebestod. It



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