Friday, September 12, 2014
recording studio early on. Most musicians in the early days of the record business were pretty much at the mercy of the recording engineers in terns of how their recordings sounded, but Stokowski and Ellington knew what they wanted the finished products to sound like, and knew how to achieve those results. At evey stage of his recording career, Stokowski was a pioneer. He rearranged the Philadelphia Orchestra on stage and in the studio for better balance (and later for better stereo separation). When electric recording became standard, he used the mixing board as well as the baton to achieve the dynamics he wanted from his musicians.
Stokowski's early acoustic recordings with the Philadelphia Orchestra represent the state of the art of the period, but he wasn't satisfied with them - and no wonder. The acoustic recording process could only
Here are two Stokowski/Philadelphia recordings of the same piece, "March of the Caucasian Chief" by Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov. The earlier version was made at Victor's Camden, New Jersey studio on April 29, 1922. The second recording was cut in Philadelphia on October 11, 1927. It's an interesting contrast, and reveals much about the differences between the acoustic and electric recording processes.
March of the Caucasian Chief, 1922
March of the Caucasian Chief, 1927