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Performed by José Serebrier and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

On June 21st, Naxos of America will release a new recording of orchestral transcriptions by legendary conductor Leopold Stokowski with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra conducted by Stokowski’s one-time protégé José Serebrier.  This CD, sponsored by the Leopold Stokowski Society, features arrangements of music by Modest Mussorgsky—including A Night on Bare Mountain and Pictures at an Exhibition—and Tchaikovsky as well as traditional Slavic Christmas music

The idea for this new Naxos disc originated from the Leopold Stokowski Society itself, which approached Serebrier in 2003 to bring the transcriptions into his repertoire and record them.  Serebrier enjoyed a close relationship with Stokowski, serving as the Associate Conductor for the American Symphony Orchestra, which Stokowski founded; Stokowski also premiered a number of Serebrier’s own compositions. 

According to Serebrier, Stokowski orchestrated his own rendition of A Night on Bare Mountain, featured in Fantasia, to “get closer to the original, bolder, wilder version, as opposed to Rimsky-Korsakov’s cleaner, westernized version.”   Serebrier attributes a similar motivation to the arrangement of Pictures at an Exhibition, noting that Stokowski found the famous orchestration by Ravel to be insufficiently “Russian.” 

Leopold Stokowski (1882-1977) was one of the 20th century’s greatest conductors.  In 1912 he became the Music Director of the Philadelphia Orchestra, a position that he held for over a quarter of a century.  His appearance in Fantasia in 1940 garnered him widespread fame and helped turn him into one of America’s most recognizable musical figures.  Stokowski founded the American Symphony Orchestra in New York City in 1962, returning to Great Britain, the country of his birth, a decade later.  Stokowski made over 200 orchestral transcriptions.

With this recording, Serebrier and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra continue their fruitful relationship with NaxosTheir recording of Ned Rorem’s Symphonies Nos. 1-3 (8559149) was nominated for three GRAMMY Awards in 2004 and their CD of William Schuman’s Violin Concerto with Philip Quint (8559083) was nominated for two GRAMMY Awards.  Serebrier’s own music is also available from Naxos: the GRAMMY-nominated recording of his Symphony No. 3 (8559183) was released in September 2003. 

MUSSORGSKY/STOKOWSKI: Pictures at an Exhibition; Night on Bare Mountain; Entr’acte to Act IV of Khovanshchina; Symphonic Synthesis of Boris Godunov

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

José Serebrier




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10:25:52 PM, 5 July 2015
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