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Reviews are by Brian Wilson at Music Web International
the art of zoltan kodaly

i tunes


osipov russian folk instrument orchestra

i tunes


New from Beulah Extra

Brahms Tragic Overture Klemperer
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Weber Invitation to the dance
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What the Critics Say

the bartered bride

i tunes


" Originally released on 3 LPs in 1960, the Chalabala is a classic. With the Supraphon 2-CD set no longer available in the UK,  and as the Beulah is at the bargain price of £7.99 from iTunes or £7.49 from 7digital.com, this is a self-recommending reissue. The refurbished recording has come up sounding well and there’s no trace of the snap, crackle and pop for which Supraphon LPs were notorious, so all that’s missing is the libretto; that can be found in Czech with English translation here. I’ve already praised the recording of the Overture, also available separately – 1BX289 (see below) – and I enjoyed the complete performance just as much. "

music of spain volume two

i tunes


" There are two classic performances here – the two concertante works, originally released on Decca SXL2091 – and one very enjoyable filler, all in transfers that belie their age. Various inexpensive transfers exist of the two recordings with Argenta, but I think some of them are actually of the earlier mono recordings with the Madrid orchestra and I can’t imagine that any of them come close to the quality of sound which Beulah have achieved. The Soriano/Argenta recording of Noches en los jardines remains a prime recommendation even in the face of Soriano’s own later recording with the Paris Conservatoire Orchestra and Frühbeck de Burgos. Much as one might bemoan the fact that Rodrigo’s other concertos seldom get a look in, it must be admitted that the Concierto de Aranjuez is music with a very strong appeal. Narciso Yepes, who recorded it several times, has always been one of its prime advocates and this recording can stand its own against the later DG versions, at least two of which remain available on CD. Yepes’ guitar seems to fill the whole soundstage in a larger-than-life fashion but that’s my only reservation about any of the transfers, and it’s hardly a fault that can be laid at Beulah’s door. "

George Wright At His Mighty Wurlitzer amazon uk
i tunes

" This is tailor-made for those of us who remember organists like Reginald Dixon at the consoles of their mighty beasts as they rose out of the floor. There are no visuals here, of course, but an audio record of a master of his trade who recorded for the Vogue label – I think there were some later stereo LPs, too. This Wurlitzer, in San Francisco, was more powerful than any Hammond instrument. It’s all unashamedly showy, complete with fairground-organ additional noises at times and lots of smoochy portamento, but it’s very enjoyable and the recordings have come up very well indeed. I predict a best-seller and not just among those of a certain age. "

swingin at madia vale benny carter and george shearing decca sessions 1936 to 1944

i tunes


"Light Music Recording of the Month"

"This release, taking its title from the opening track, is self-recommending to fans of dance band music – and I’m one of them, despite my predilection for more serious fare such as renaissance polyphony. I enjoyed this very much and the transfers belie the age of the recordings; one or two tracks betray a degree of surface presence rather than hiss or crackle and even these are not off-putting, while the rest are almost completely noise-free. This album is choc-a-bloc with foot-tapping music well performed and in sound that is still well worth hearing.  The Benny Carter tracks, made when he was working in England with Henry Hall, cost over £1 when they were reissued on the budget Decca Ace of Clubs label in 1964 – that’s at least £25 in today’s values. Add the George Shearing half of the album – even in an era when the likes of Carroll Gibbons, Joe Loss, Ambrose and Billy Cotton were at the height of their powers his recordings were sought after – and you see what a bargain the Beulah reissue is."

music of france volume 1

i tunes


" Beulah have already embarked on an attractive series of albums of reissues of classic performances of English music. On the basis of this first volume of a similar French venture, the omens are already looking good. The stand-out on volume 1 is Solti’s L’Apprenti sorcier. The recording was hailed on its appearance as ‘excellent light music to show off your new stereo equipment to good advantage’  and it still sounds very well indeed in this transfer. Fistoulari’s Mignon Overture, from 1945, could hardly be expected to sound as well but in Beulah’s transfer it hardly shows its age and the performance was well worth preserving. By the time that Moura Lympany’s Saint-Saëns was reissued in bogus stereo on Decca Eclipse in 1974, it sounded badly dated. About the quality of the solo performance and the orchestral support, however, there has never been any doubt and Olympia produced a much better CD transfer in 1989 – now sunk with the rest of that label. I didn’t hear that Olympia version but I doubt if it bettered this Beulah reissue which has tidied the sound up to a degree that we can appreciate the Lympany’s performance. It’s still a bit thin, but much more than tolerable. Even if you have a more recent recording this Beulah reissue is well worth the small outlay. Beulah give the date 1958 for the Munch La Mer but the penultimate time that it was reissued, on an RCA Papillon CD, the date given was December 1956. No matter – it, too, has come up well and the performance, if not quite in the same league as the Lympany and Solti items, is well worth preserving."

Peter Katin Chopin Nocturnes i tunes

" There are plenty of fine vintage and modern recordings – Rubinstein (RCA or Naxos Historical, not including the Op. posth.; Katin includes one of these) and Hewitt (Hyperion, with Impromptus) to name one of each – but Peter Katin’s interpretations equal the best of them in making music to which I don’t listen very often sound attractive. The recording has transferred well: the piano tone is secure and there is only a very occasional reminder of LP surface blemish. The original review of Nos.11-20 mentioned a slight degree of tonal insecurity but I heard no trace of that on the Beulah transfer."

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