On January 10, Naxos releases the 4th and final recording in a series of orchestral transcriptions by Leopold Stokowski led by Stokowski’s protégé, the GRAMMY award-winning conductor and composer José Serebrier, and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.
Bach Transcriptions 2 (Naxos 8.572050) includes the most famous Bach orchestration of all: the celebrated Toccata and Fugue in D minor, which reached its widest public in Walt Disney’s film Fantasia. The recording also introduces a programme of sumptuous arrangements, including other music from the pre- and post-Baroque periods.
José Serebrier comments “Stokowski attempted to emulate the sound of the gigantic organ, using every available orchestral instrument, literally pulling out all the stops, as if he was still sitting at the organ. The BSO and I had so much fun recording these four volumes of Stokowski orchestrations, that we are sorry that the series is now finished, but I look forward to recording other repertoire with this wonderful orchestra”.
Serebrier goes on to explain the rationale behind the recordings: “The fourth CD includes works that were all time best sellers in the early part of the Twentieth Century. The Toccata and Fugue was included after we received numerous letters from listeners and critics asking for it. That is a very challenging work, and I had avoided it before because it is so closely identified with Stokowski and his wonderful numerous versions, but now I am delighted to have included it, and given my own personal view of this masterful, brilliant orchestration.”
Serebrier returns to conduct the BSO on 21 and 22 January 2009 in Poole (Lighthouse) and Cambridge (Corn Exchange) respectively; and will be signing copies of the new CD in Poole. The programme includes Grieg’s Piano Concerto, performed by acclaimed pianist Lukas Vondracek as well as Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet Overture and Brahms’ Symphony No 2.
This recording was made possible through the generosity of the Leopold Stokowski Society, the BSO Endowment Trust and James and Becky Daley.
Watch the video clip of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra conducted by José Serebrier performing JS Bach’s Toccata & Fugue in D Minor: