BACH’s Toccata & Fugue as heard in the Walt Disney Film, Fantasia arranged by Leopold Stokowski for large orchestra on CD for £12 inc P&P – limited time offer.
In 17th Century J.S. Bach wrote his now well-known Toccata and Fugue in D Minor for Organ.
In the early 20th Century, Leopold Stokowski arranged the Toccata and Fugue for large orchestra. The piece can be heard in Disney’s Fantasia and Stokowski can be seen conducting. (His conducting style was to “shape” the music with his hands when conducting and not use a baton)
Stokowski’s arrangement of the Toccata and Fugue was now not just for an organ but played by 4 flutes, 2-3 oboes, English horn, 2-3 clarinets, bass clarinet, 2-3 bassoons, contrabassoon, 4-6 horns, 3 trumpets, 3-4 trombones, tuba, timpani, celesta, 2 harps, and strings.
What is a Toccata & Fugue? The word “toccata” (comes from the Italian toccare, “to touch”) and is keyboard piece designed to show-off the performer’s keyboard virtuosity. It was Bach’s inspiration to combine a toccata with a following fugue.
A fugue is a tightly-structured form where a theme tune is developed in different keys so that it harmonizes with itself (like the rounds we sing in childhood such as “London’s Burning”). In Bach’s work, the theme of the fugue is based on the first few notes of the toccata. In Stokowski’s arrangement, the Toccata begins at the very opening with violins and gradually moving throughout the orchestra before the toccata itself returns for a grand finale
Why did Stokoski choose the Toccata & Fugue? Well, Stokowski originally took London by storm with his uninhibited playing of the organ at St. James in Piccadilly Square and handsome and popular young man so thrilled audiences with his performances of Bach’s works that one listener described herself as “shattered” by his rendition of the Toccata and Fugue in D Minor.
After the success of the above, Stokowski decided to turn to conducting and eventually landed a position at Cincinnati, launching one of the most illustrious careers of the 20th Century. As he settled into his new role, he began making orchestral transcriptions of works for other instruments. It was inevitable that he should turn to his favorite piece of all, the Toccata and Fugue in D Minor and recorded it on His Master’s Voice Record label with the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1927. The arrangement became a favorite, and it was at Stokowski’s insistence that it was included as the opening piece in Walt Disney’s film Fantasia, which has made it so well-known today.
Hear Stokowski’s Toccata & Fugue and much more on a CD available for £12 including P&P. Order CHAN 9259 from Colchester Classics today!
In a review, the Gramophone Music Magazine, wrote “This is surely what the name Stokowski linked to Baroque music conjures up – a vast orchestra, deployed with great skill in his fabulously lush orchestrations. Beautifully played and recorded’.”
One of my favourite CDs – yours for £12 inc P&P
I look forward to hearing from you soon
Best wishes, Liz Leatherdale,Colchester Classics Join us on Twitter: @ClassicalCDs Facebook: facebook.com/ColchesterClassics LinkedIn: uk.linkedin.com/pub/liz-leatherdale
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