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Our Top Ten

View and hear our
Top Ten

2011
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Listen to the best of 2011
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78 Era
Brass Bands
British Music
Choral Music
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Symphonies

What's New for January

The annual New Year's Day concert from Vienna included this gallop by the Danish Waltz King Hans Christian Lumbye (1810 -1874)

lumbye copenhagen steam train gallop
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As featured on BBC Radio 3 31 December 2011
Building a Library: Tchaikovsky: Orchestral Suite No 3

Jonathan Swain survey of recordings of Tchaikovsky's Orchestral Suite no. 3 recommended Sir Adrian Boult in his 1974 recording with the LPO, but it is currently unavailable so here is Sir Adrian with the PCO (not as good as the LPO) and the recording he describes as "flakey".
boult's tchiakovsky

4PD12 Boult's Tchaikovsky

Sir Adrian Bout conducts:

  • Symphony No 3 in D major Op.29 The Polish [Listen]
    London Philharmonic Orchestra

  • Suite No 3 in G major Op. 55 [Listen]
    Paris Conservatoire Orchestra


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or phone Priory Records 01525 377566

The Suite No. 3 is also available as a 320kb/sec mp3 download.

tchaikovsky suite number three sir adrian boult
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1.Elégie
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2.Valse mélancolique
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3.Scherzo
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4.Tema con variazioni
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New Video - Walsall Trolleybuses

Walsall

This video consists of 16mm film and 35mm slides of Walsalll trolleybuses photographed between 1967 and 1971
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Due to popular demand we have extended and revised our YouTube video. It is also now available as download or DVD.


New from Beulah Extra

2 russian folk songs alexander kipnis
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" Despite the age of the recording, on which the orchestra plays only a background role, Kipnis’s voice comes over well, especially in his powerful rendition of Kalinka. I had expected to rule this one out on grounds of the age of the sound but I’m pleased to report that I didn’t have to. " Brian Wilson at Music Web International
bach double concerto menhuin and enescu
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1st movement
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2nd movement
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3rd movement
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bach violin concerto number one menhuin
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1st movement
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2nd movement
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3rd movement
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" These recordings, remarkable for a teenager, not only in terms of technique but also for his rapport with the music, remain available on an EMI Great Recordings CD but their separate and inexpensive reissue by Beulah is very welcome. The performances still sound stylish even by current standards, with Enescu as one with his student as conductor and fellow soloist. The sound is bright and thin but far from intolerable in these noise-free transcriptions; I thought it slightly preferable to the EMI and Naxos transfers." Brian Wilson at Music Web International
jonel perlea berlioz symphonie fantastique
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1. Rêveries - Passions
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2. Un bal
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3. Scène aux champs
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4. Marche au supplice
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5. Songe d'une nuit de sabbat
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chopin polonaise number 3
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chopin polonaise number 6
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"Askenase was a most under-rated Chopin performer and I’m pleased to see these recordings returned to us in a very good transfer. The playing is perhaps not as full-blooded as some other performers produce but there is ample compensation in its refinement." Brian Wilson at Music Web International
jeanne demessieux clarke trumpet tune in d
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delius irelmelin prelude szell
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"I was impressed how much other than English conductors could get the idiom right; I should have remembered what a stickler Szell was for getting things correct ... check it out on YouTube and you’ll fall for it, too. It’s slightly slower than Beecham’s classic performance, which it could never replace, though it makes an attractive adjunct to it. " Brian Wilson at Music Web International
dvorak the golden spinning wheel beecham
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Dream of gerontius prelude boult
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in the south boult
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sospiri boult
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elgar symphony number two
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1st movement
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2nd movement
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3rd movement
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4th movement
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"It’s probably not too surprising if I give pride of place to these Boult recordings of Elgar or that I make the Second Symphony my Reissue of the Month. Though Boult now seems with hindsight to have been the greatest interpreter of Elgar, it was not always so – one correspondent to The Gramophone in 1938 avowed that his interpretation of the Second Symphony had put him off the work for life. The first three recordings listed above go so well together that they fit comfortably onto one CD – burn them yourself or have Beulah do it for you for a little extra – and the 1944 sound in particular has come up sounding remarkably well ... this 1944 recording has a great deal going for it in such a fine transfer. The inwardness which I find so much in evidence in Alassio is, perhaps, the one element least developed in Boult’s wartime recording of the symphony ... but I don’t want to make too much of that and the passion of the performance goes a long way towards making up... In the South and the Second Symphony were recorded in Bedford during the BBCSO’s wartime sojourn there. The sound is inevitably a touch dry but the transfers make it sound miraculous for its age. There’s just a trace of surface noise. The Gerontius Prelude is not often played on its own but it, too, receives a sympathetic performance and the recording sounds excellent for its date. " Brian Wilson at Music Web International
Frescobali toccata cromatica cochereau
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"I had anticipated finding this performance rather too heavy and with registration too thick by modern standards; both those expectations were met only minimally. This is a little more weighty and reverential than would now be thought stylish in many quarters, but there’s no harm in bringing out the emotional power of music written to accompany the most sacred moment of the Mass, the elevation of the Host, a powerful moment in an age when the consecration was celebrated sotto voce in a language which few understood. When Cranmer drafted his English liturgy for all to understand exactly when the consecration took place he forbade the elevation as no longer necessary, but Frescobaldi was writing for a very different counter-reformation audience and Cochereau captures the mood very well. The recording is still very acceptable." Brian Wilson at Music Web International
hall officer of the day aldershot tattoo 1933
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arrival of the queen of sheba beecham
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"Though this can hardly now be described as ‘buried’ Handel, as it was in 1933 anything by Beecham is still special; we wouldn’t now use the epithet ‘capital’ any more, either, but it is. The performance is lively and stylish and the recording has come up very well indeed for its age ... a performance as fine as this has a permanent appeal." Brian Wilson at Music Web International
haydn symphony number forty
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"Beecham was a distinguished Haydn interpreter, as witness his complete set of the London Symphonies, and this symphony benefits from his touch. A few repeats are omitted to conform to 78 side lengths – modern performances run for a couple of minutes longer – but that’s not a great problem. The recording sounds well, with very little surface presence. Complete on one track, it’s a notable bargain." Brian Wilson at Music Web International
holtzmann blaze away aldershot tattoo 1932
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jeanne demessieux liszt
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" Demessieux’s recording of Liszt’s Fantasia and Fugue on Ad nos, ad salutarem undam, S259, was made on the organ of Victoria Hall, Geneva in 1952. This Decca recording was, it seems, the first ever made of the full work and it was rightly hailed at the time as ground-breaking; there are more overtly exciting performances out there – though all guns are really blazing by the end – and better recorded – the mono sound is a little restricted but not seriously so – but this was well worth reissuing." Brian Wilson at Music Web International
meister le grenadier du caucase
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mozart araia suzanne danco
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mozart araia suzanne danco
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"Mozart sopranos don’t come any better than Suzanne Danco; her Cherubino is one of the many reasons why the vintage Erich Kleiber recording of Figaro remains my version of choice. That was still seven years in the future when she essayed this version of the countess’s Voi che sapete (sung by Lisa della Casa for Kleiber) and the aria from Così; the result was described by one original reviewer as ‘pleasant and competent if unremarkable’. By 1986 John Steane was much more enthusiastic, finding it almost impossible to fault the French Decca LP which included these two items. Perhaps it was a case of distance lending enchantment – now an even greater factor – but for whatever reason I’m with JBS in enjoying Danco’s singing. The recording is nowhere near as fresh as recent transfers of Kleiber’s Figaro but the lack of body is not a serious hindrance to enjoyment. Surface swish is a virtually non-existent ghost in the background of Come scoglio, but there is some occasional light rumble and there’s the odd spell of light crackle in Voi che sapete." Brian Wilson at Music Web International
puccini vissi d'arte ljuba welitsch
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samson and deliah ballet music
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"The music, which doesn’t get out as often as it used and ought to, really needs to be pushed a bit over the top... it doesn’t quite receive that OTT treatment here but it’s lively enough. The recording is perfectly acceptable for its age but sounds a little veiled." Brian Wilson at Music Web International
schubert octet
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1st movement
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2nd movement
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3rd movement
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4th movement
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5th movement
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6th movement
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"The stylish recordings which the Vienna Octet made from the 1940s to the 1960s contain models of performance of the classical repertoire and beyond: I’m thinking particularly of the Trout Quintet which they recorded with Clifford Curzon and the Mendelssohn Octet, both of which Beulah have reissued in good transfers. This recording of the Schubert Octet is almost as fine – in many ways it’s still a benchmark, well worth having as an adjunct to more recent recordings unless you are one of those who think it a little too stylish. The Vienna Octet re-recorded this work for LP and again in stereo – both available on Decca Eloquence – but this 1948 recording has worn well, with only the horn sounding less than realistic. There’s very little surface noise." Brian Wilson at Music Web International
schubert arpeggioone sonata
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1st movement
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2nd movement
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3rd movement
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" We’re not short of good modern recordings, but Feuermann sounds very special, especially as Moore backs up the proceedings with his usual expertise. The recording has come up extremely well for its age: immediate in impact and with minimal surface noise." Brian Wilson at Music Web International
sousa stars and stripes for ever aldershot 4attoo 1932
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tchaikovsky hamlet overture albert Coates
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"We’re hardly short of recordings of this impassioned music – my favourite has to be Stokowski at budget price on Everest , with Francesca da Rimini – but this vintage version was well worth reviving. The recording sounds dry but the transfer is very good considering its age, with almost no surface noise, and the passion of the performance comes through clearly." Brian Wilson at Music Web International
tchaikovsky tatiana's letter song ljuba welitsch
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verdi ritorna vincitor ljuba welitsch
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Wagner Gotterdammerung Zu neuen Thaten Coates Austral Widdop
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warlock capriol suite
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serenade for frederick delius
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"These two reminders of the valuable recordings of English music which the Boyd Neel Orchestra produced in the 1940s and 1950s were first released on a 10" LP with music by Ireland. The Capriol Suite belongs to a genre popular in the mid-20th century of baroque and earlier music arranged for the modern orchestra. It happens to be a genre for which I have a great liking: Respighi’s Gli Uccelli and Ancient Airs and Dances, Stravinsky’s Pulcinella and Walton’s The Wise Virgins to name but a few. Boyd Neel and his orchestra give an excellent performance – just the right scale for the music, which can sound too well- upholstered in large orchestral versions. Boyd Neel is not quite as lively as Constant Lambert or William Boughton. On the other hand, I’d rather have Neel’s considered pace . The Serenade for Delius, a pretty close approximation to that composer’s own music, is less well known and there is only one modern recording in the current UK catalogue (Vernon Handley on Chandos) so the Beulah reissue is doubly welcome. Both performances are thoroughly idiomatic and the recording is vintage Decca/Culshaw early LP. Though Capriol sounded ‘considerably tubby’ in the ACL reincarnation, Beulah have brought up the sound well. " Brian Wilson at Music Web International
weber leise leise ljuba welitsch
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jeanne demessieux widro tocatta
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" A fine performance of the Widor Toccata from Organ Symphony No.5 ... The recording has come up well." Brian Wilson at Music Web International

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