Stokowski and Transcriptions
Pencil manuscript score in the hand of Leopold Stokowski
The issue of ownership of Stokowski's orchestral transcriptions was not clearly-defined during his early years with the Philadelphia Orchestra. In a 1918 letter written to the Orchestra's Manager Arthur Judson (see below), Stokowski raises the matter of payment for music copying and questions whether acceptance of this financial responsibility should be equated with ownership of the orchestrations.
The works to which he refers are most likely a group of Lieder by Brahms, Schubert, and Schumann that were subsequently performed the following year by the contralto Margaret Matzenaer (see program below). In the letter, shown below, Stokowski writes, "I do not know whether you think it best for the singer to pay for the copying of these orchestrations, because then the singer would have the right to take them away, which would be good neither for the Orchestra nor for me." Stokowski appears to be soliciting support for his position as "owner," and while Judson's response is unknown, it is interesting to note that the title page of the orchestration of Brahms' Ever lighter grows my slumber (see at top) reads: "Orchestrated by and Property of Leopold Stokowski."
The Philadelphia Orchestra; Leopold Stokowski, Conductor
14 & 15 November 1919
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