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Monday, June 5, 2017

Georges Bizet - Carmen; L'Arlésienne (Leopold Stokowski)


Composer: Georges Bizet
  • (01-05) Carmen, opera suite No. 1
  • (07-10) Carmen, opera suite No. 2 (excerpts)
  • (11-14) L'Arlésienne, incidental music suite No. 1
  • (15-17) L'Arlésienne, incidental music suite No. 2 (excerpts)

National Philharmonic Orchestra
Leopold Stokowski, conductor
Date: 1977
Label: CBS (Sony Classical)



Leopold Stokowski was a marvel, plain and simple. He retained his interpretive powers undiminished until well into his 90s--in fact, he died with several projects still on the boards. Among his classic later recordings were a series of projects for Sony, including Sibelius's First, Brahms's Second, and this sterling collection of Bizet suites. There have been entire books written about Stokowski's ability to get his characteristic "sound" from just about any orchestra, as well as his interest in recording technique, and all of these qualities come together here in performances that are simply the last word in brilliance and vitality. Extraordinary.

-- David Hurwitz

More reviews:


Georges Bizet (25 October 1838 – 3 June 1875) was a French composer of the romantic era. Best known for his operas in a career cut short by his early death. After his death, his work, apart from Carmen, was generally neglected. Carmen, his final work, has become one of the most popular and frequently performed in the entire opera repertoire. After years of neglect, his works began to be performed more frequently in the 20th century. Later commentators have acclaimed him as a composer of brilliance and originality whose premature death was a significant loss to French musical theatre.


Leopold Stokowski (18 April 1882 – 13 September 1977) was a British conductor of Polish and Irish descent. One of the leading conductors of the early and mid-20th Century, he is best known for his long association with the Philadelphia Orchestra and for appearing in the film Fantasia. He was especially noted for his free-hand conducting style that spurned the traditional baton and for obtaining a characteristically sumptuous sound from the orchestras he directed. Stokowski made his official conducting debut in 1909 and continued making recordings until June 1977, a few months before his death at the age of 95.


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  3. Amazing share man, been looking for this particular one for long time.
    Would be great to see more of this CBS series, as the headline says they are just great performances.
    Thank you!