"If you have not yet made their acquaintance,
Beulah regularly bring
us reissues of historical recordings, from 78s to 1960s stereo,
transfers as good as any that I have heard, removing as much surface
noise as is feasible –practically all in the case of LPs, and even for
most 78s –without impairing the tonal quality." Brian
Wilson at Music Web International
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 catalogue
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
releases are available from other
suppliers but Qobuz offer them in
lossless sound for the same price
that others charge for mp3 –in some casesthat’sless than full bit-rate
Wilson at Music Web International
New for July
Many music lovers miss the sound
from vinyl pressings.
Many others have yet to discover how great the sound can be.
Most of our albums are mastered from vinyl LP pressings and earlier
recordings (generally before 1953) from 78 rpm discs. It is our ability
recreate, in the digital age, the sound from the disc era that many of
our customers find most enjoyable.
Unlike modern digital recordings
tracks in our
albums do contain some distortion, and the occasional surface noises,
but for many listeners these "defects" are soon forgotten.
Our albums are available from
many download and
recommend downloading from where you can download or stream in high quality,
same price as iTunes medium quality.
What the critics say
"For me, as I am sure it will be for many readers,
listening to these sparkling new transfers from Beulah was a trip down
"My ears kept telling me that this was great
"There is a risk, in listening to these recordings, of
viewing them exclusively as products of the artist in embryo. Instead
of treating them as interpretations in their own right, they are seen
as somehow student works. My experience, reviewing the Liszt concertos,
has been that they are anything but. They stand comparison with the
very best recordings, including the Richter ... and Brendel’s own later
"The conductor always has a surprising amount to do
with the success or failure of performances of the Liszt concertos.
Gielen (only in his 30s at the time himself) is a very positive
presence here from the first bar of the first concerto."
"Beulah’s engineers deserve considerable credit: the
sound is bright and clear but still warm and resonant. Remarkably, the
sound achieved on this release does not need to yield too much compared
to the extremely good sound produced by the Philips engineers for
Brendel in 1972.
"What really sets these Liszt interpretations apart
from the later Brendel is a freedom and fantasy for which no amount of
wisdom and experience can compensate." David
McDade at Music Web International
"The arresting opening of Brendel’s account of the
Emperor concerto sets the tone for the entire movement. The robust and
energetic nature of his performance of the brilliant semiquaver
passages in the introduction did come as rather a surprise. This is
probably the effect that Beethoven intended and must have come as a bit
of a shock to the listeners at the time. The forward thrust of
Brendel’s pianism leads to an equally dynamic performance of the first
subject from the young Zubin Mehta and the Vienna Pro Musica Orchestra.
In spite of the superb transfers, these recordings from the late 1950s
can sound a little dated and the orchestra does suffer from rather
suspicious intonation from time to time.
However, none of this detracts from the overall impression of truly
great music-making here. Brendel’s piano sound is always beautiful even
in faster passages. Very classical sounding with no over-romanticising.
The first movement is bursting with vitality and rhythmic energy, but
the pianist also treats us to passages of great delicacy and beauty.
The key change for the Adagio always sounds so beautiful and
unexpected, and even though I have heard it so many times, this is
always a moment I wait for with bated breath. The Pro Arte Orchestra,
Zubin Mehta and the sound engineers capture this moment superbly. We
are treated to a better string tone here and Brendel and Mehta keeping
the whole thing moving forward.
Following a suspenseful transition, Brendel’s entry into the ensuing
‘Rondo’ seems positively explosive, but his initial statement of the
main, syncopated theme is in measured tempo allowing for great clarity
of texture. Mehta is suitably vigorous in the orchestral response
though, again, I feel that the string department tone is rather thin,
sparse and top-heavy. Then Brendel’s crystal clear semiquaver triplets
which follow, leading to the beautifully phrased second main theme,
remind us both of Brendel’s prodigious technique and his barely
This is a truly great performance from Alfred Brendel, and Mehta is a
sympathetic partner. Beulah have done wonders with the transfer,
especially with the piano part. As well as the grandeur and
magnificence of the pianist’s playing, we can appreciate every subtle
detail of nuance and expressiveness at all dynamic levels.
" Brendel and Klien seem to play as one in the Mozart
Concerto No 10 for 2 pianos and orchestra. This performance shows how
so-called ‘authentic’ performance, with its regularity of tempo, never
too slow, can be imbued with so much expressiveness and feeling without
sounding over romantic or nostalgic. All those interested in classical
style performance should definitely listen to this.
For me, the Liszt Cantique d’amour has to be the highlight of the disc.
Brendel imbues the poetry of the melodic line with a sense of sublime
serenity. The melody is always pre-eminent, whatever may be the
elaboration or decoration of the accompanying figures. Brendel pays
great attention to every detail. This performance reminds us what a
great pianist Alfred Brendel was, even as a young man. The recording
engineers have done marvels here and the results can only be praised. I
can’t imagine a better performance of this piece.
These recordings come highly recommended." Geoffrey
Molyneux at Music Web International
The Essence of Samuel Barber contains some familiar music and some
unfamiliar. The short opening Commando March comes from the Eastman
Wind Ensemble and Frederick Fennell, whose recordings are to be found
on several Beulah reissues.
Knoxville – Summer of 1915 is much more familiar, though I don’t recall
hearing this recording from Eleanor Steber (soprano), the Dumbarton
Oaks Orchestra and William Strickland before. This beautiful 1947
evocation of small-town life before the US entered WWI was commissioned
by Steber, and this recording, from US Columbia, apparently dates from
1950 – it has come up extremely well in this transfer. There are more
recent performances with more beautiful solo singing, notably from Dawn
Upshaw, and in better sound, but this performance by the soprano who
commissioned the work is special.
The Cello Concerto (1946) – Zara Nelsova (cello), New Symphony
Orchestra of London conducted by the composer is also fairly familiar
Barber territory, as is this recording, which also dates from 1950,
this time for Decca and released on a 10” LP. With a soloist who was
already associated with the work, the composer conducting, and a good
transfer of the recording, this is the highlight of the reissue.
The album is rounded off with a powerful performance of Andromache’s
Farewell, Op.39 – Martina Arroyo (soprano), New York Philharmonic
Orchestra and Thomas Schippers (1963, but not released in the UK at the
time, perhaps a little too much like film music) – and the least
familiar item (to me) the Souvenirs Suite, Op.28 (Philharmonia
Orchestra/Efrem Kurtz). Like Knoxville, the original Souvenirs ballet
inhabits a pre-WWI world, this time in grand society. There is no other
current generally available recording, so this reissue of one side of a
1956 HMV 10” LP is welcome, though I can’t claim that this is music of
the same quality as the two central works; it’s a bit like Ravel’s la
Valse without the irony.
" Though mostly of somewhat venerable origin, these
transfers really are worth purchasing from Qobuz in lossless sound" Brian
Wilson at Music Web International
Thurston (Bob) Dart 1921-1971
Saturday 6 March marks the 50th anniversary of
the death of Thurston Dart.
Robert Thruston Dart(known as Bob) was born in
Surbiton on 3 September 1921.
He studied keyboard instruments at the Royal College of Music.
In 1944 while convalesing from an air crash he met Neville Marriner.
After leaving the services, he studied for a year with Belgian
musicologist Charles Van den Borren, returning to England in 1946 as
research assistant to Henry Moule, a music lecturer at Cambridge
In 1947 he was appointed assistant lecturer in music
in the University of Cambridge, subsequently lecturer (1952) and
professor (1962). During this time, Dart was the most effective British
supporter of the modern early music revival, in part through his
influence on those who ultimately formed such groups as the Early Music
Consort of London. In 1964 he was appointed King Edward Professor of
Music in the University of London (King's College).
As a continuo player, Dart made numerous appearances
on the harpsichord and made many harpsichord, clavichord and organ
recordings, especially for the L'Oiseau-Lyre label.
During the 1950s he participated in annual concerts
featuring four harpsichordists, the three others being George Malcolm,
Denis Vaughan and Eileen Joyce. In 1957 this group also recorded Bach's
Concerto for Four Harpsichords, an arrangement after Vivaldi, with the
Pro Arte Orchestra under Boris Ord, released on HMV CLP 1120. They also
recorded Malcolm's Variations on a Theme of Mozart.
Dart later worked with Neville Marriner on a
recording of both the Brandenburg Concerti and the four Orchestral
suites though Dart died from stomach cancer on 6 March 1971 before this
Beulah has released Dart's recordings of keyboard
music by Handel and Purcell.
The Music of Richard Stanbrook
Beulah is proud to release the first album of
music by Richard Stanbrook.
Richard Stanbrook was born in Newbury, Berkshire
in 1954. Upon leaving school he enlisted in the Army and served with
the Royal Corps of Transport Staff Band. In October 1977, he
transferred to the Royal Military Academy Band Corps, Sandhurst and was
its music arranger until July 1981. Stylistically, Stanbrook does not
belong to any school of ‘ism’ and eschews modernity for its own sake.
Sinfonietta No. 2 for Orchestra.
This was composed during 2016 was planned to have
been a light, even frivolous work took on a far more serious mood
following that year's European Union membership referendum.
Nocturne for Violoncello and Strings.
Originally for Heckelphone, the Nocturne was composed in Autumn 2016
and is more a "song of the night" rather than "things that go bump in
Thorncombe Beacon for 2 Horns and Strings.
Although overshadowed by its loftier neighbour, "Golden Cap," the view
from Thorncombe Beacon (on the "Jurassic Coast" in West Dorset),
sweeping Lyme Bay in its entirety - from Portland Bill to Start Point -
is one of the finest seascapes in Britain.This piece was composed in
Three Pastorales for Orchestra.
These do not relate to any specific locations. Listeners may say they
evoke their favourite landscapes but, of course, personal choices vary.
Fragment for Wind.
The remains of an orchestral piece written in 1986. Short and, maybe,
Pilsdon Pen for Oboe and Strings.
At 909 feet. Pilsdon Pen is the second highest hill in Dorset, with
wide, airy views encompassing four counties. Composed in 2013.
Concertino for Oboe and Strings.
Written during 2018, this, in the composer's words, "is my farewell to
the England I once knew and revered."
Read Brian Wilson's review at Music
Web International in which he writes "On the basis of the Beulah
album, do I want to hear more? Given that Stanbrook describes himself
as not belonging to any school of ‘ism’ and eschewing modernism for its
own sake, I could almost have answered that in the affirmative before
hearing a note of music, and the experience proved most rewarding.
"All concerned, composer, performers, and recording
engineers deserve credit, as does Beulah for bringing it all to us. I
hope that the experiment will be successful and that we have not heard
the last of this enterprising partnership, which has brought us some
very worthwhile first recordings."
extracts from Richard Stanbrook's album.
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