Sunday Baroque



In 1969, during one of his annual trips to Europe, Leopold Stokowski gave a televised performance of his own orchestration of Bach’s Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor with the Saarbrucken Radio Symphony Orchestra. Incidentally, Stokowski was the only conductor to encourage “free-bowing” in the string sections. He felt that string players should not be regimented by playing up-bows and down-bows together but rather that they should achieve the music’s phrasing individually. This method also contributed to the famous “Stokowski Sound” as will be heard here – adam28xx

Photo by Oksana Zub on Unsplash


  1. i had never heard of stokowski before! thank you for putting it up and the details about free playing. that is the one thing i never liked about an orchestra they seem wooden. mechanical. no joy . they play beautifully but they are machines playing identical. this concert you have here is way different and so is the sound! you can hear it. amazingly beautiful and they come to life instead of being automatons these are true musicians.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Spot on, in my opinion. Orchestras, especially today, do seem wooden and mechanical. I’m always looking for performances that, for lack of a better term, kick ass. They are rare to find. But this one…you’re right, you can hear how different, and beautiful it is the orchestra can play under the direction of someone like Stokowski, and there are maybe only a couple of conductors now who can bring out such performances. Glad you enjoyed it too! Cheers!


  2. Wow, isn’t that fascinating! I think this is the first time I’ve seen a conductor that made some sense to me, like not just someone waving hands around that seemed haphazard to me (as a non-musician) and like he was really connecting to something I could hear and be a real witness to. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. i wonder if it is the glare of the lights that make them wear glasses. cuts down the glare so they can see their sheet music. just a thought. I love your take on decker and your spot on. That music sounded ‘alive’ ..and kensho is right the conductor isn’t a wood doll forcing his players to be like him..controlled. restricted. masked in a word. the music is moving alive…is the best term i can think of…though it doesn’t fit. it resonates to the core almost brings tears to your eyes for its beauty!

    Liked by 1 person

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