Don't know about Ormandy, but Stoki did perform and record Schoenberg
repeatedly over a long span of his career. Not just the 'easy' stuff,
either. In the notes to a Bridge CD of performances recorded at the LOC, Jon
Newsom summarizes a story from Oliver Daniels's 'A Counterpoint of View'
regarding Stokowski's premiere of the Piano Concerto.
He had heard the work initially at Schoenberg's home, subsequently studied
it with the soloist and another pianist playing the accompaniment; this
probably at his own expense. After many rehearsals with the NBC Sym, the
pianist and Felix Greissle, Arnold's son-in-law, felt the need to point out
many remaining mistakes. With trepidation, they presented Stoki with twelve
sheets of corrections. Though fearing that he'd been offended, the conductor
proceeded to work though the notes faithfully with the orchestra. After
hearing the broadcast, the composer sent praise for the performance, a
gesture priceless for its rarity. It also marked the end of Stokowski's
association with the NBC Sym until many years later.
Newsom states that, "Stokowski's response supports the view that his first
concern was the music and not his image as an infallible musician." This is
'Counterpoint' to many other views of him. I've just read a mid-80s
collection of critical writings by Robert Craft, 'Small Craft Advisories,'
where, reviewing a Klemperer bio, he refers to the generally accepted notion
that Stokowski, for all his conductorial brilliance, was deficient in
musical culture. Maybe. His gift seemed instinctual. But he earned the
biggest A for effort, often at the cost of his own career (with
Philadelphia, NBC, Houston), way past the time when he needed to make any
self-promotional statements. Perhaps by pushing himself beyond his limits he
believed he could push his audience there, too. How rare and priceless is
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of David Lewis
Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2012 12:39 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] truth or myth -- RCA claims about first digital
It is not my desire to load up Dennis' inbox unneccessarily, but I wanted
to submit a revision. I think the DG screed to which I was referring claimed
that Karajan covered more repertoire than any other conductor. How he could
have beaten Stokowski and Ormandy in that regard, I don't know, and
the way in which he covered some of it was disingenuous. I remember long
ago attending a music class where we examined the score of Webern's
Opus 1 "Passacaglia" along with Karajan's DG recording of it. The recording
was not even close. He disliked the Second Vienna School lit and resented
being asked to record it, and sabotaged it deliberately. Stokowski and
Ormandy would have just said "no," and of course Ormandy made some very
nice recordings of some of that literature.
On Thu, Nov 29, 2012 at 9:06 AM, Don Cox <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> On 28/11/2012, Aaron Levinson wrote:
> > I believe Johnny Hodges may have as well but I cannot be absolutely
> > positive about that. Acoustical era to digital that is. Perhaps Eubie
> > Blake did too...
> Hodges died in 1970, so cannot have made digital recordings.
> Eubie Blake died in 1983, so might have.
> Don Cox
> [log in to unmask]