A Russian Spectacular

COMPOSERS: Leopold Stokowski
LABELS: Dutton Labs
PERFORMER: Philadelphia Orchestra
CATALOGUE NO: CDAX 8009 ADD

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 ‘Primitive’ recording techniques held relatively few fears for Leopold Stokowski, whose cinematic imagination and re-creative ear combined for a Pictures at an Exhibition that makes Ravel’s sound blandly ineffectual. There are cuts, crudities and a recording that occasionally threatens to explode; but to hear Stokowski’s hideous gnome, his garishly decorated ox-wagon, or his Spielberg-style catacombs is to experience something of a shellac tour de force – certainly by 1939 standards.