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Follow-up to acclaimed recording of Mussorgsky and Tchaikovsky transcriptions with José Serebrier and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

On June 20th, Naxos will release a new recording of Leopold Stokowski’s famous transcriptions of music by J.S. Bach, performed by Stokowski’s protégé, the GRAMMY-winning conductor and composer José Serebrier and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.  This CD, sponsored by the Leopold Stokowski Society, also includes arrangements of Dido’s Lament from Henry Purcell’s opera Dido and Aeneas as well as a work by Stokowski based on two ancient liturgical melodies.

The new Bach/Stokowski CD follows the June 2005 release of Stokowski’s Mussorgsky and Tchaikovsky transcriptions performed by the José Serebrier and the Bournemouth Symphony, a recording that was universally praised by critics.  David Hurwitz, in assigning the CD the highest rating on, called it “spectacular, sensational . . . this is the real deal.”  Steve Haller, writing in the American Record Guide, wrote that he “can imagine no more authoritative interpreter than Jose Serebrier."  The CD received two GRAMMY nominations, for "Best Orchestral Recording of 2006" and for "Best Surround Sound Recording" in the SACD version.

Of Stokowski’s Bach transcriptions, Serebrier has commented:

Bach was his first musical love.  He learned myriad of Bach works during his early years as a church organist in London and New York, and that overwhelming sound, a cathedral vibrating to the giant organ chimes, stayed with him and influenced the sound that eventually became his trademark.  For the Bach transcriptions and for those of other baroque composers, Stokowski tried to emulate the sound of a gigantic organ, using every available orchestral instrument, literally pulling out all the stops, as if he was still sitting at the organ . . .

The idea for the Naxos recordings of Stokowski’s transcriptions originated from the Leopold Stokowski Society itself, which approached Serebrier in 2003. After graduating from the Curtis Institute, while still in his teens, Serebrier enjoyed a close association with Stokowski, serving for many years as the Associate Conductor for the American Symphony Orchestra, which Stokowski founded; Stokowski also premiered a number of Serebrier’s own compositions, including his First Symphony, when the composer was 17 years old.

Leopold Stokowski (1882-1977), who made over 200 orchestral transcriptions, was one of the 20th century’s greatest conductors.

BACH/STOKOWSKI:Symphonic Transcriptions

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, José Serebrier


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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