Welcome To Beulah

Union Jack We're backing Britain
all products sold on this site are made in England

Beulah logo

Home page

contents

store

ring tones

greater london bus map

audio visual services

contact us

serach site

powered by FreeFind
last updated 30 January 2011
[W3C HTML 4.01]

What's New for February

Classical Recordings Quarterly review of Beulah Extra

The Beulah record label has always been one of the most idiosyncratic, and therefore perhaps most interesting, of reissue marques. While the basic character of Beulah remains the same as in its Compact Disc days, the range of its present catalogue, driven now by the ease of downloading, has been extended in remarkable fashion. Browsing the Beulah catalgue is now rather like being in a 78rpm record shop: there are plenty of recordings of short pieces available to whet your appetite for either repertoire or artist, while at the same time there are numerous full length works available if you wish to consolidate your collection with, for instance, major symphonies.

All of Beulah's transfers, as might be expected of a distinguished reissue label, are of very high quality. David Patmore writing in Classical Recordings Quarterly

The Winter 2010 edition of Classical Recordings Quarterly features review of Beulah Extra downloads. The downloads reveiwed in the article can be found here.

New from iTunes

Wood conducts British Music

3PD13 Wood conducts British Music
Sir Henry J Wood, founder of the Proms, conducted much contemporary music throughot his life. Wood, like his solist here Albert Sammons was a Londoner who loved his city and the music in this album is given a strong non nosense Londoner's touch.

  • Ralph Vaughan Williams
    • Overture to The Wasps
    • A London Symphony (Symphony No 2)
    • Fantasia on Greensleeves
  • Eric Coates
    • London Suite - Westminster - Covent Garden - Kinghtsbridge
    • London Bridge March
  • Edward Elgar
    • Vioiln Concerto
  • Henry Purcell (arr H J Wood)
    • Suite in Five Movements
Henry J Wood conducts the Queens Hall Orchestra, New Queens Hall Orchestra for the Elgar violin concerto, performed by Albert Sammons"
"The performances of the three RVW works, especially the Symphony, are well worth having ... Edward Greenfield, in 1965, was no doubt correct in thinking the Scherzo of the Symphony a little too fast, owing to the constraints of 78 timings, but I was not greatly troubled by this... The Albert Sammons Elgar is a true classic ... Beulah transfer has been very well done. I made a quick comparison with the renowned Mark Obert-Thorn transcription on Naxos Historical (8.110951, with Delius) and found little to choose between them. I suspect that there’s a very slight difference in the speeds at which the transfers were made, with the Beulah marginally brighter and faster, but that didn’t trouble me: I have no sense of absolute pitch, so I couldn’t tell which is right. If anything, the Beulah has less surface noise, though that’s not a major problem on Naxos; the Beulah seems slightly easier to live with." Brian Wilson at Music Web International

Download the tracks for only £0.79 each or £7.99 for the whole album from itunes

Britten Premieres

1PD14 Britten Premieres
Features the original soundtrack from Way to the Sea (1937) conducted by the composer and gramophone premieres of;

  • Around the Village Green; Irish Reel
  • Soirees Musicales
- Charles Brill Orchestra
  • Introduction and Rondo alla Burlesca
  • Mazurka Eligiaca
- Benjamin Britten and Clifford Curzon (pianos)
  • A Ceremony of Carols
- Morriston Boys Choir, Maria Korchinska (harp), conductor Ivor E Sims

Although no longer availabe on disc you can download the tracks for only £0.79 each or £7.99 for the whole album from itunes

New from Beulah Extra

Reviews quoted are from Brian Wilson's monthy Download reviews at Music Web International

germani plays back at the royal festival hall
Click on image for full size printable inlay image

listen and buy

germani plays back at the royal festival hall
Click on image for full size printable inlay image

listen and buy

germani plays back at the royal festival hall
Click on image for full size printable inlay image

listen and buy

germani plays back at the royal festival hall
Click on image for full size printable inlay image

listen and buy

In 1960, BWV565 was still generally regarded as genuine Bach - now its position is in considerable doubt, though that doesn’t make it less a masterpiece. After a rather odd staccato start which, at least, signals that this is no routine run-through, Germani gives us a performance in the grand style - at least, as grand a style as the RFH organ was capable of giving: my doubts remain as to whether it’s really a Bach organ, though it reproduces in this fine transfer with a nice clear sound - and clarity is the watchword for Germani’s Bach. The other works also come over well, fully deserving the critical praise which this and other Germani recordings of this period for HMV received.
bach cantata no 4
Click on image for full size printable inlay image
listen and buy
I'm extremely pleased to see an early Easter offering in the form of another 1959 Leipzig recording from Beulah Extra, originally from HMV.

The virtues and defects of this recording of this Cantata No.4 are much the same as those of Karl Richter’s roughly contemporary recording: on the one hand, deep involvement from two conductors steeped in the Lutheran tradition and Bach in particular, on the other a more solid approach than would now be fashionable. With excellent solo singing and a decent transfer - the choral sound is a little thick and the solo voices are not quite as cleanly recorded as we should expect today - this is a fine reissue and well worth its modest price.
bach cantat no 170
Click on image for full size printable inlay image
listen and buy
I'm also very pleased to see the other recording with the great Dutch singer Aafje Heynis in what was rightly hailed in 1961 as her greatest Bach recording - and she had already made a few. It’s good, too, to see the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra and Szymon Goldberg up and running again...but his collaboration with Heynis here is treasurable and the Philips recording has come up well in the Beulah transfer.

You may like to follow the link to an excerpt from Aafje Heynis in BWV170:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dfu6cIx1V10
beethoven symphony number 3 erich kleiber
Click on image for full size printable inlay image

1st movement
listen and buy

2nd movement
listen and buy

3rd movement
listen and buy

4th movement
listen and buy

Trevor Harvey’s judgement that this is a performance of the utmost distinction remains valid, most of all, as far as I'm concerned, for Kleiber’s refusal to make too heavy weather of the work. I'd rate this alongside Klemperer’s mono recording of much the same vintage, far less stodgy than his stereo remake. The recording is dry and limited even for its date, but the Beulah transfer renders it well worth hearing.
beethoven symphony number 6
Click on image for full size printable inlay image

1st movement
listen and buy

2nd movement
listen and buy

3rd, 4th and 5th movements
listen and buy

Having already given us the 1947 Erich Kleiber Pastoral Beulah now follow up with the better-recorded Cluytens. Though I enjoyed the Kleiber, I thought his countryside a little too tame: after all, the storm represents the spiritual turmoil which Beethoven had been through and the calm afterwards should be all the greater if the storm is really ferocious. Here it’s pretty substantial, with pre-echoes in the scherzo, then starting slowly and building to a climax, and the calm afterwards is equally effective.

Cluytens is not the only conductor in a crowded field and, though originally issued to critical acclaim, his recordings soon drifted down to the bargain basement and then disappeared from the catalogue, most undeservedly. I'm pleased that Testament (the earlier mono Pastoral) and Beulah are restoring his Beethoven.
The early stereo on this Cluytens reissue sounds very good in the Beulah transfer.
liszt piano concerto number one
Click on image for full size printable inlay image
listen and buy
liszt piano concerto number two
Click on image for full size printable inlay image
listen and buy
These recordings of the two Liszt Piano Concertos first appeared on HMV’s lower-price Concert Classics label, but there’s nothing bargain-basement about them ... François’s playing was described as characterised by old-fashioned flamboyance even in 1961, so you might expect it to sound even more outdated now. Certainly some of the solo pianism sounds decidedly old-fashioned, with a tendency to linger where we might expect the soloist to move on, but the performances overall are still enjoyable, despite the strong competition: there’s both power and lyricism where they are called for and the finale of No.1 brings the house down in style. I thought this recording of No.2 even better than that of No.1 - it takes a little longer to get under way, but so does Liszt.

The piano tone is a little hard, but not unduly so: these recordings certainly merited rescuing and are well worth buying at so reasonable a price (£1 each).
tchaikovsky meditation leonid kogan
Click on image for full size printable inlay image
listen and buy
tchaikovsky Sérénade mélancolique leonid kogan
Click on image for full size printable inlay image
listen and buy
lalo symphonie espagnole leonid kogan
Click on image for full size printable inlay image

1st movement
listen and buy

2nd and 3rd movements
listen and buy

4th and 5th movements
listen and buy

The two Kogan/Kondrashin recordings appeared together on the Columbia label in 1961, praised for the sheer virtuosity of the performances and the recording balance but criticised for the lack of Spanish feeling in the Lalo. The Méditation, originally coupled with the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, was added when the recordings were reissued on the Classics for Pleasure label - that, too, received some criticism for lack of feeling, not entirely undeserved.

The opening of the Lalo sounds more Russian than Spanish, even putting deliberately out of mind the nationality of the soloist and conductor, but the quality of virtuosity is enough to compensate. In fact, there are not too many recent alternatives for a tuneful work which has fallen into doldrums which it doesn’t really deserve

The Beulah transfer of the recordings is good, apart from an abrupt cut-off at the end of the first movement of the Lalo. The bravura of the finale is well captured.


Buy our compact discs from Crotchet
Discs may be cheaper to buy at Crotchet than on this site.

Our CDs and DVDs are also available atamazon.co.uk



Powered by WebRing.

The items below are adverts that will take you away from this site