Leopold Stokowski (London18 april 1882 – Nether Wallop (Hampshire), 13 september 1977) was an American Chief conductor, Orchestra trainer, pioneer in stereo recordings, arranger of Bach's music and women lover. He was nicknamed "Charlatan or Orchestral Playing".


[hide]*1 Biography


Leopold Stokowski (pronounced was the son) is a child of Polish-Irish parents. He went on to study music at the age of 13 at the Royal College of Music in London. He sang in various choirs (boys). Already in 1900 he was Assistantorganist of Sir Henry Walford Davies in the Temple Church. He succeeded ' with honors ' in 1902 on Queen's College,Oxford and was appointed that same year ' Choirmaster at St. James's Church, Piccadilly. '

In 1905 he undertook a trip to New York City and became organist of St. Bartholomew's Church. From 1909 he went direct and got more and more work offered in Paris and London.

In that same year he was appointed the youngest Chief conductor of the Cincinnati Orchestra which one there had ever appointed. He spent 25 years in Cincinnati and built this when Provincial Orchestra to create one of America's best ensembles.

He was a great supporter of music of living or, for that time, unknown composers. He broke a lance for Gustav MahlerSergei RachmaninoffArnold SchoenbergAlban Berg and Jean Sibelius.

He conducted the American premieres of Mahler's eighth Symphony, Schoenberg's Gurrelieder and Stravinsky's Le Sacre du printemps (spring sacrifice or Rite of Spring).

He achieved his greatest fame with the Philadelphia Orchestra of which he was Chief conductor between 1925 and 1938. In that time, the gossip that he would have a relationship with Greta Garbo . He created there the so-called "Stokowski Sound"; an orchestra that sultry, big, saturated and virtuoso organ played and sounded like a. Recordings from that time show a form of making music hear those in the current time in the concert hall in terms of timbre no longer falls download.

At the end of the 1930s he founded the all-American Youth Orchestra, and he conducted the NBC Symphony Orchestra with Arturo Toscanini. He has performed in numerous films of which the most famous isDisneys Fantasia .

In this movie spoke Stokowski, challenging facility, with Mickey Mouse and shook his hand. A part of that conversation is in Fantasia yet to hear.

After the Second World War formed Stokowski the New York City Orchestra and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra in Los Angeles. He undertook many tours to European cities and conducted many orchestras there.Especially in London he was popular and created a cult around his person.

From 1955 to 1961 he was Chief conductor of the Houston Symphony Orchestra and in 1963, he made his debut, with Mahler's Second Symphony , "resurrection" at the LondonPromsconcerts ". Stokowski failed as an opera conductor. In his early career he conducted opera arias, only occasionally or never concertante performance of a single act. He edited many parts from operas (eg. Wagners ' Ring ' and ' Symphonic syntheses orchestrated Arias from other operas or '). He got hard criticism of his unsuccessful performances of Puccini's Turandot in 1961 in New York and defended themselves with the fact that he had gotten far too little rehearsal time. [1the well-known conductor Erich Leinsdorf saw it like this: ' Stokowski held at the opera stuck to conducting without baton and the beautiful float of his hands through the air. Because both drawn up different singers, different positions of members of the choir and orchestra members were in confusion down him thereby – it just wasn't clear enough what a claim is at opera – sang one on ' Chicago Time ' and the orchestra played on ' Eastern Standard Time '. ' [2in addition to the criticism that Stokowski got in the interpretation of the great symphonic works (as Nadia Boulanger denounced him because he the last bars of Beethoven's 9th Symphony herorkestreerde) he was a celebrated interpreter of new music to the letter. For the premiere of the orchestral work Edgar Varèse 's Amériques early and he got 14 rehearsals. [3With the American Symphony Orchestra founded by Stokowski, which consisted of strictly selected and freelancende young top players from American orchestras, he created on april 26, 1965, withDavid Katz help conductors José Serebrier and the premiere of the 4th symphony of Charles Ives. Of the Rockefeller Foundation had Stokowski the financial managed to take two months rehearsal time. It was a triumph for the already then 82-year-old conductor.

On 94 signed Stokowski a 6-year-old contract with CBS Records. Only one year of that contract he could finish and in the latter year he took music by Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Sibelius, Bizet and even some of his own transcriptions of Bach on. until a year before his death he conducted and there are some movies that have been preserved on some dvd's.

Publicity and controversies[Edit]Edit

Like many Broadway and Hollywood entertainers, flirted openly with Stokowksi publicity. Something for a conductor in the time he started with it was not common. Already in 1912, on his thirtieth, when he was responsible for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, he left a portrait of him in circulation for use in newspapers and on posters. Halina Rodzinski (the wife of the conductor Arthur Rodzinski) called him ' a showmanon stage, and a proper exhibitionist outside '. [4all he undertook was based, in order to draw more and more public. His first Gramophone recording was from the years 1917 and 1930 he played a role in three feature films: The Big Broadcast (1936) and A Hundred Men and a Girl (1937), in which Stokowski personally text added to the script: Tsjaikovksiduring a performance of the fifth Symphony in Carnegie Hall whispers to a man in a lodge in the ear of a woman – with a very sensual interpretation of the music-: ' Well Dear, that's the Stokowski-Sound! '. [5And Fantasia in 1940.

The controversies surrounding Stokowski helped him partly to its popularity and publicity. The criticism he got to the ' smoothing ' of passages from Stravinsky's Sacre du printemps in Fantasia was condoned by the English music critic Donald Francis Tovey. [6his marriages (with rich, beautiful women: Evangeline JohnsonOlga Samaroff and Gloria Vanderbilt) and overt, sprawls published romance with Greta Garbo, built its reputation To a quasi-Slavic positively to. to raise himself he lied about atmosphere around his hometown. He claimed that he in 1887 in KrakówPoland was born, that his family had fled to Vienna because of political problems and he then ended up in London . Only there he was registered in the birth register. [7Arthur Rodzinski doubted strongly to this story, also as to the authenticity of his strange English language use. In 1909, in an interview with a newspaper in Cincinnati, was his, well spoken English ' described. [8while the rest of his life servant of his strange quasi-Slavic accent. On his debut in Paris went the (unconfirmed) rumor that his wife bribed the conductor of the concert so he faked that he was sick and Stokowski could take his place. [9]

The Stokowski Sound[Edit]Edit

[1]Leopold Stokowski (1970)

At the time that Stokowski entered the stage of any Orchestra and the concert or the rehearsal started, took that Orchestra almost automatically the timbre to which Stokowski wanted to hear. He said nothing, did nothing-he conducted with his baton and never looked only and projected the timbre that he wanted to hear on the Orchestra.

Stokowski found that an orchestra driven, romantic, orgelend, sultry, passionate and just had to play. By his many years of relationship with the Philadelphia Orchestra got this Orchestra Stokowski's ideal so driven that now is still something to hear thereof. It was known as "The Philadelphia Sound".

One of the secrets that Stokowski had success, and what led to those warm timbre, was the principle of "free ironing". This means that every string in the Orchestra encouraged his stick up and down to move as that suits him best. The up and down stroking-unlike any other orchestras-wrong. Because Stokowski the theory that their stick down moved adhered that strings power lost (and rose in power if they were ironed up) created a more evenly and sultry sound. The Americans called this "lush".

A second theory was experimenting with Orchestra setups. Because a flutist or oboist-naturally soft sounding instruments-sometimes at 60 had to blow, went as far as strings in Stokowski color lost. Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov had that already in his book on orchestration handled. Stokowski found this of the timpani also. Hereby he pursued a more open sound after instead of the usual dull roll.

The carriers, the Foundation of the Orchestra were for cellos and double basses, Stokowski. Instead of right he placed they preferably behind all the instruments on the place where now the percussion acts. In fact, this is the old so-called German setup which the Vienna Philharmonic still has it.

An example of an orchestra setup which this had to avoid problems of disappearing or veiled sound was as follows:

  • first violins links
  • violas for the conductor
  • second violins right
  • wood-brass right
  • timpanist cant right, at the place of the double basses
  • heavy brass (tuba and trombones) rear left
  • Cellos in a row right behind
  • double basses on a row at the very rear, on the site of the percussion

Of this theory are some practices remaining. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra still plays with the double basses against the back wall. Recordings of Stokowski's arrangements be included according to the principles of free ironing and some of his pupils-José Serebrier and the conductors Matthias Baba-apply the techniques still increasing.

The ' Philadelphia Years '[Edit]Edit

The wisdom of Stokowski's appointment in Philadelphia was questioned openly and long-lasting. He was assessed as too little experience because the Orchestra was (already) one of the most sophisticated orchestras of the United States and it was Darling pet of European conductors such as Richard Strauss and Felix Weingartner that there were regular guest. [10but when the successes of thePhiladelphians 'opstapelden ' under Stokowksi, subsided all criticism. In 1914 he conducted the premiere of Mahler's 8th Symphony (in Philadelphia and New York) with a chorus of 950 singers and an orchestra of 110 musicians.This event received worldwide attention in the newspapers and Stokowski was seen at a stroke as a guide to modern music. Other American premieres during the first years were works by Stravinsky, Schoenberg(Gurre Lieder), Edgar VarèseCowell, Kirchner, Riegger, Ruggles and Heitor Villa-Lobos. [11]

The acclaim for the Orchestra was universal. The Russian pianist and composer Serge Rachmaninov preferred the Orchestra over any other. [12What grabbed him, and many others, was the absolute sonority of the Orchestra. It was described as if it produced a silky shine and this became the ' Stokowski Sound '. Stokowski himself denied that he made and the sound that the Orchestra did it because ' there comes the sound come from? '. [13the strange thing was that Stokowski also in one way or another this sound tapped to other orchestras. Guest boards of Stokowski in the 1930s by the then conductor of the BaltimoreSymphony Orchestra Herman Adler described as if ' ... something happened during the rehearsal. Suddenly it was there that rich sound. It was impossible to explain, the Orchestra knew it but still it was there: mysterious and miraculous. ' [14The sound was based on two components: the cultivation of the freedom of movement of the bow (' free bowing ') for string instruments and the herarrangeren of the seating position of the musicians in the Orchestra. On the other hand was Stokowski interlinked with orchestra members to the work he constantly were imprinted them ' ... any of you must a poet and, at the same time a great player of your instrument, and by means of your poetic qualities can you bring forth each kind of music unique. ' And: '... allow yourself, as so often in this world, a standard player, so you will find all the same and does. […] be different, no two violins are the same, no two bows, no two hands, no two nervous systems, no two emotional characters. Be different! ' [15]

[2]Stokowski at Carnegie Hall

The movements of Stokowski and improvising on stage were the theatrical movements that he wanted to achieve. He wanted to direct the musicians and the public. He hit the size not in a traditional way and after 1929 he used no more  baton  . Standing, majestic, for the Orchestra he caressed the air with his hands in long, flowing, movements. He exploited his presence on the stage as a Hollywood star. both during concerts in Philadelphia's Academy of Music ' (Philadelphia's concert hall) as New York's Carnegie Hall, he let all the major lighting during the concert the deaf. The musicians had on their console a small light and a big spot shone from above on Stokowski's hands and on are nicely coiffed hair. [16]

Stokowski and J.S. Bach[Edit]Edit

As an organist was Stokowski a great admirer of Johann Sebastian Bach. By Toccata music has made more accessible for many Bach Stokowski.

Stokowski's support of Bach in the 20th century has been likened to the support that Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy for the St Matthew Passion in goods in the 19th century.

Stokowski edited organ music, violin Partitas, coral preludes and parts of the Orchestra suites for large Orchestra. By these practices, he was by the conservative part of the classic music lovers soon labeled as charlatan. Yet these operations opened, Stokowski called them transcripts, for many the first acquaintance with the music of Bach. Everyone knows the operation of Bach's Aria on G string from the third Orchestra suite (BWV 1068), "Schafe können sicher weiden" from Cantata # 208 (Was mir behagt) or the Toccata et Fugue in d minor, BWV 565.

See the article: Stokowski's transcription of Bach's Toccata and Fugue BWV565

The following transcriptions of Bach's music by Stokowski for large Orchestra (String-) edited. They are not all published:

  • From Cantata BWV 4: No. 4: "Jesus Christus, Gottes Sohn"
  • From Cantata BWV 147: No. 10: "Jesu bleibet meine Freude"
  • Arioso from Cantata BWV 156
  • From Cantata BWV 208: No. 9: "Schafe können sicher weiden"
  • "Aus der Tiefe rufe ich" Chorale prelude BWV 745
  • "Christ lag in Todesbanden" coral prelude BWV 718
  • Chorale prelude "Ein ' feste Burg ist unser Gott" BWV 720
  • Choral prelude "Ich ruf ' zu Dir, Herr Jesu Christ" BWV 639
  • Chorale prelude "Nun komm der Heiden Heiland" BWV 599
  • Chorale prelude "Wachet auf! ruft uns die Stimme "BWV 645
  • Chorale prelude Wir glauben all an einen Gott "BWV 680
  • From Christmas Oratorio BWV 248: # 10: Sinfonia Pastorale
  • From English Suite # 2 in a minor BWV 807: Bourrée
  • From English Suite # 3 in g minor BWV 808: Sarabande
  • Fantasia and Fugue in g minor BWV 542
  • From klavecimbeloncert # 5 in f minor BWV 1056: 2nd part: Largo
  • From "Johannes-Passion" BWV 245: # 58: "Es ist I extend"
  • "Komm, süßer Tod" from BWV 478
  • "Little Fugue" in g minor BWV 578
  • From "Matthäus-Passion" BWV 244: "O Haupt voll Blut und # 63: Wunden"
  • "Mein Jesu, was für Seelenweh" BWV 487
  • From Partita for violin BWV 1004: 5th part: Chaconne in d mineurr
  • Passacaglia and Fugue in c minor BWV 582
  • Prelude and Fugue in g minor BWV 542: "Grosse Fugue"
  • Prelude and Fugue # 3 in e minor BWV 555
  • From Sonata for violin and harpsichord # 4 in c minor, BWV 1017: 2nd part: Siciliano
  • From Suite # 3 in D major BWV 1068: 2nd part: Aria
  • Toccata and Fugue in d minor BWV 565
  • Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C major BWV 564: Adagio
  • From trio sonata for piano # 1 in E, BWV 525: 1st part minor
  • From violin partita in b minor BWV 1002: 5th part: Sarabande
  • From violin partita in a minor, BWV 1003: Andante sostenuto
  • From violin partita in E major BWV 1006: 1st part: Preludio
  • From "Das wohltemperierte Klavier": # 2: Prelude and Fugue in c minor BWV 847
  • From "Das wohltemperierte Klavier": # 8: Prelude in e minor BWV 853
  • From "Das wohltemperierte Klavier": # 24: Prelude in b minor BWV 869

Word joke of Mickey Mouse[Edit]Edit

During the production of the film Fantasia Mickey spoke with Stokowski. This scene was later cut out.

  • Mickey: "Hello, Mr. Stokowski, what do you do for a living?" (Mickey speaks the name as "Sto-cows-ki")
  • Stokowski: "Well Mickey, I conduct an orchestra."
  • Mickey: "An orchestra?! What's an orchestra Mr. Stokowski? "
  • Stokowski: "An orchestra plays music and let's you hear all child or instruments."
  • Mickey: "what's an instrument Mr. Stokowski?"
  • Stokowski: "A horn, a violin and even your voice Mickey!"
  • Mickey: "So I'm making music right now. Let me hear some other voices then Mr. Stokowski.. "

The Orchestra put in.

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.