Stokowski: Bach Transcriptions

Stokowski: Bach Transcriptions

by José Serebrier


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Orchestral transcriptions of J. S. Bach's music became rather unfashionable with the rise of historically accurate performance practices, but if you are determined to follow that orthodox line, you're cheating yourself out of some sumptuous listening. Perhaps the 20th century's best-known arranger of Bach was the conductor Leopold Stokowski, whose many musical achievements are eternally overshadowed by his appearance in Disney's Fantasia, which featured -- among other things -- a Bach transcription. This thoroughly winning survey of Stokowski's Bach from José Serebrier and the Bournemouth Symphony is a follow-up to their highly acclaimed recording of Stokowski's Mussorgsky arrangements. These transcriptions are no less boldly colorful, but the Baroque originals -- some for organ, others for small orchestra, still others for vocalists -- are always accorded due respect. Still, Stokowski was so attuned to the possibilities of orchestration that each piece takes on a newly rich and monumental life, full of subtle shades that are effective and moving even in the absence of any claim to historical authenticity. Serebrier also gives us a glimpse of Stokowski's other symphonic transcriptions, including some based on medieval chant, but "Dido's Lament," from Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, is the profoundly moving highlight among these works. Like Stokowski's Bach arrangements, it uses the expressive breadth of the modern symphony orchestra to translate its source with undeniable emotional honesty.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/20/2006
Label: Naxos
UPC: 0747313288328
catalogNumber: 8557883
Rank: 136410


  1. Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068: Air

    1. Air  (05:39)
  2. Cantata No. 208, "Was mir behagt," (Hunt Cantata), BWV 208 (BC G1, G3): Sheep may safely graze

    1. Sheep may safely graze  (05:39)
  3. Fugue for organ in G minor ("Little"), BWV 578 (BC J66)  (03:40)
  4. Komm, süsser Tod, for voice & continuo (Schemelli Gesangbuch No. 868), BWV 478 (BC F227)  (04:09)
  5. Cantata No. 4, "Christ lag in Todes Banden," BWV 4 (BCA 54): Chorale

    1. Chorale  (03:48)
  6. St. John Passion (Johannespassion), BWV 245 (BC D2): Es ist vollbracht!

    1. Es ist vollbracht!  (08:46)
  7. Wir glauben all an einen Gott (I), chorale prelude for organ, BWV 680 (BC K12)  (03:33)
  8. Nun komm der Heiden Heiland (I), chorale prelude for organ (Orgel-Büchlein No. 1), BWV 599 (BC K28)  (05:07)
  9. Two Ancient Liturgical Melodies, for orchestra  (06:07)
  10. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Pastoral Symphony

    1. Pastoral Symphony  (03:47)
  11. Dido and Aeneas, opera, Z. 626: Dido's Lament

    1. Dido's Lament  (04:23)
  12. Passacaglia and Fugue, for organ in C minor, BWV 582 (BC J79)  (13:07)

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Stokowski: Bach Transcriptions 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of the most rewarding recordings to appear in many years, this Bach-Stokowski has great warmth and sound quality. The music making is very special, something unequaled in modern recordings. Highly recommended. C.L.