Penn Library

Leopold Stokowski:
Making Music Matter

Curated by Marjorie Hassen

Otto E. Albrecht Music Library
University of Pennsylvania

Toccata and Fugue for organ, d minor

Among Stokowski's surviving transcriptions are thirty-seven arrangements of works by Johann Sebastian Bach. The D minor Toccata and Fugue, exhibited here, was first performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra in February 1926, was recorded the following year, and was subsequently published in 1952. Included among the compositions that are a part of Walt Disney's Fantasia, the Toccata and Fugue is Stokowski's most well-known transcription.

In preparing his arrangements Stokowski typically sketched his orchestration directly on an edition of the original work. He would then pass this music along to his copyist, who would write out a full score according to Stokowski's directions. This was indeed the way he approached his orchestration of the Bach Toccata and Fugue. The evidence lies in his copy of the original Bach work (below), which includes a detailed outline of his intended orchestration. That Stokowski's instructions are written in French throughout the music (e.g., "bois" for "woodwinds") suggests Lucien Cailliet was responsible for copying the work. Cailliet, with whom Stokowski conversed in French, was a clarinetist in the Philadelphia Orchestra and was one of the maestro's early collaborators.

Stokowski continually revised his conception of the music he wrote and performed, and the Toccata and Fugue is no exception. The evolution of the arrangement is discernible in his manuscript, which includes paste-overs and numerous alterations to notes, rhythms, and dynamics. Particularly interesting is a comparison of the manuscript with the published version of the arrangement (below), which highlights additional, and in many cases, more subtle alterations.

Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565 (excerpt)

Leopold Stokowski and the London Symphony Orchestra
Recorded 27 and 29 July 1974
Walthamstow Town Hall, London

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Toccata and Fugue for organ, d minor
Leipzig: C.F. Peters, [187-?]
Markings indicating the orchestration in the hand of Leopold Stokowski
Courtesy of Westminster Choir College of Rider University

Toccata and Fugue for organ, d minor
Copyist's ink manuscript score, with pencil revisions and performance indications in the hand of Leopold Stokowski

Toccata and Fugue for organ, d minor
New York: Broude Brothers, 1952
Conducting score, marked for performance by Leopold Stokowski

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