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Extra Tracks

Below are tracks from our library that never made it onto one of our compact discs. They can be downloaded here as high quality 320kbs AAC encoded (MP3) files.

Purchasers of tracks have unlimted personal use but must not pass or sell on to third parties nor broadcast without prior permission from PPL


This piece was composed in the spirit of Mendelssohn's Baroque predecessors Bach and Handel, whose music he loved. In 1829, Mendelssohn had organized the first performance of Bach's St Matthew Passion since the composer's death, and was instrumental in bringing this and other of Bach's works to widespread popularity. In contrast, Handel's oratorios never went out of fashion (in England at any rate). Mendelssohn prepared a scholarly edition of some of Handel's oratorios for publication in London. Elijah is modeled on the oratorios of these two Baroque masters; however, the style clearly reflects, in its lyricism and use of orchestral and choral colour, Mendelssohn's own genius as an early Romantic composer.

The work is scored for four vocal soloists (bass/baritone, tenor, alto, soprano), full symphony orchestra (including trombones, ophicleide, organ), and a large chorus singing usually in four, but occasionally eight or three (women only) parts. The part of Elijah is sung by the bass/baritone and is a major role.

Mendelssohn originally composed the work to a German text by his friend Karl Klingemann, who earlier had provided him with the libretto for his comic operetta Die Heimkehr aus der Fremde. Upon being commissioned by the Birmingham Festival to write an oratorio, however, Mendelssohn had the libretto translated into English, and the oratorio was premiered in the English version.

Sir Malcolm Sargent is remembered as a great choral conductor. Many of the older generation can recall him conducting vast choruses singing Handel, Mendelssohn or Coleridge-Taylor in the Royal Albert Hall. His reputation as an orchestral conductor is marred by stories of his attitude towards the musicians in orchestras.

Isobel Baillie, born to a Scottish baker, won a scholarship to Manchester High School for Girls. Whilst still a pupil at the school she received her first solo engagement to sing in Handel's Messiah, a work she was to be associated with for the rest of her long career. Her London debut in 1923 was to be followed ten years later with a debut at the Hollywood Bowl, the first British singer to appear there. She was one of the sixteen original singers in Vaughan Williams Serenade to Music and often performed Elgar's The Kingdom and Herbert Howells' Hymnus Paradisi.

The Huddersfield Choral Society has been one of Britain's major amateur choirs for over a century. Sir Malcolm Sargent and the Huddersfield Choral Society recorded Handel's Messiah, Mendelssohn's Elijah and Elgar's Gerontius more than once in the 1940s and 50s.

Gladys Ripley was born in Forest Gate, Essex,and was educated at St. Edmund Roman Catholic School, East Ham, and at Clark's Business College. In 1925, she gave her first important concert, singing Elijah at the Royal Albert Hall conducted by Albert Coates. Ripley broadcast continually from 1926 in a variety of programmes: opera, oratorio, musical plays, and light music.

Harold John Williams was a leading Australian baritone and music teacher. Born in Sydney, he enjoyed a long and successful career in England and his native country, performing in opera, oratorio and concerts and giving radio broadcasts.

James Johnston son of a Belfast butcher, left school to work in his father's shop in York Street. He started singing in the Church choir and although he had no formal musical training he won many baritone competitions until he was discovered to be a tenor. Thereafter he was in demand throughout Ireland. In 1945 Tyrone Gutherie, then in charge of Sadler's Wells Opera Company in London, offered Johnston a leading role. He was Britain's leading tenor from 1945 until 1958 singing in more than 850 performances in 24 leading roles with Sadler's Wells and Covent Garden

mendelssohn elijah
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Part 1
Introduction, overture, Nos 1- 20
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Part 2
Nos 1- 42 (excpet for 36, 40 and 41)
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"Isobel Baillie in particular was a noted soprano soloist in Messiah and Elijah and at 52 still in good voice. By today’s standards, the female soloists sound a trifle plummy and their male counterparts a bit stentorian: ...there’s no doubting Sargent’s absolute commitment to the music. He was something of a man for all seasons, turning his hand to performances of all kinds of music that were always very competent though rarely more, but his Messiah and Elijah transcend his usual standard. Try the closing chorus of Part 1 if you want to be uplifted.The recording was thought to leave something to be desired in 1947, especially in terms of balance, so I would have expected some pretty dire sound had Barry Coward of Beulah not alerted me to the quality of what he had conjured out of the ancient grooves. Hi-fi it certainly isn’t, but it is remarkably good for its age, with just a trace of surface noise . I can well believe that those who know the Huddersfield sound think it perfectly recreated here. Thus an important historical document becomes more of a pleasure too. "Brian Wilson at Music Web International

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