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What's New for March

New Wacky Ringtones

  • American Baldwin Prairie steam loco whistle in 1960 - New
  • American Baldwin Mikado steam loco whistle, competing with thunder in 1960 - New
  • American steam train shunting bell in 1960 - New
  • Land of my Fathers Morriston Orpheus Male Voice Choir - New
  • Hen wlad fy Nhadau Morriston Orpheus Male Voice Choir - New
  • The best known classical music in the world Beethoven Symphony No. 5 - New
  • The most famous organ music in the world Bach Tocccata and Fugue in D minor - New
  • New Greater London Bus Map

    greater london bus map number 32 Now availabe is an updated map of all the buses serving Greater London as at 19 March. The map costs GBP2.00 and is post free to UK addresses. Click on map cover to buy.

    New from Beulah Extra

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

    lumbye copenhagen steam train gallop
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    listen and buy
    If anything, Lavard Frisholm adds a small extra degree of elegance to the excursion compared to Giordano Bellincampi on Naxos/Marco Polo. The Beulah recording and transfer are good.
    die meistersinger prelude klemperer
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    Klemperer was quite a Wagner aficionado, with a fine recording of der Fliegende Hollander to his credit. This recording of the Meistersinger Prelude was made a few years earlier but still sounds well and the performance, if a little measured, is one of the best items to have appeared on three Columbia SAX LPs of Wagner in the early 1960s, a time when the Philharmonia was on splendid form.
    beethoven string quartet number 9
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    1st movement
    listen and buy

    2nd movement
    listen and buy

    3rd and 4th movements
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    This Drolc recording, issued at around the time that I was beginning to be interested in the Beethoven Quartets, seems to have passed me by, perhaps because it received a bit of a pasting when it was first released in the UK with Op.96 on the Classics for Pleasure label in the 1970s - and by then I was more than happy with the Hungarian Quartet on mid-price HMV.

    The sound, from Electrola, was described as preferable to that of the Hungarians - the latter slightly acidic as I recall, for all my enjoyment of the performance - and the new transfer certainly maintains its quality. The performances are perfectly acceptable, but they don't quite capture for me those incipient unconventional qualities which were to be developed later, including a slightly manic tendency to throw a tune away just as it's being developed. The Drolc Quartet made at about the same time a recording of some of the Op.18 quartets which received quite a degree of critical praise, but their Op.59/3 still seems to me to inhabit the world of those earlier works.

    Worth hearing, then, especially in the lyrical passages of the slow movement.

    elgar violin concerto albert sammons
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    1st movement
    listen and buy

    2nd movement
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    3rd movement
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    I reviewed this classic recording last month as part of a collection of Sir Henry Wood recordings (3PD3). I liked it, though I retain a soft spot for the teenage Menuhin's performance of a few years later, available on Naxos Historical 8.110902, with Bruch. Those few years saw a vast improvement in recording quality but the Beulah transfer of the earlier recording 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.
    Erich Kleiber Beetoven symphony number seven
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    1st movement
    listen and buy

    2nd movement
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    3rd movement
    listen and buy

    4th movement
    listen and buy
    This is my favourite Beethoven symphony - forget about those other odd-numbered war-horses, this is pure joy - the Apotheosis of the Dance as Liszt dubbed it, dancing on the piano top to prove it. (Allegedly.) Until someone reissues the Bruno Walter mono recording - preferable to his stereo re-make - this 1950 Kleiber recording will do very nicely. All the joie de vivre is there, though not in a galumphing fashion - there's real delicacy in the second and third movements - and the recording is perfectly tolerable. Perhaps the finale could have been a little more delirious.
    boccherini string quartet number 19
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    listen and buy
    This must have been an enterprising release at a time when just about the only Boccherini generally known was the Minuet from the String Quintet in E, Op.11/5, usually in orchestral transcription, as on the 1939 PCO/Weingartner recording which Beulah have also reissued. Even now there isn't much competition by comparison with Haydn's roughly contemporary quartets. There's no question that, given a Desert island choice between Boccherini and Haydn, it's for the latter that I'd plump, but that didn't prevent my enjoyment of this recording, which enshrines some sympathetic playing, especially in the slow movement, and has been made to sound surprisingly well for its time.
    Chamber music may not have been Verdi's forte - many will still be surprised to discover that he composed a string quartet - there still aren't all that many recordings, and the work was certainly not well known in 1950 when this version was made. Perhaps for that reason, I didn't think that the Quartetto Italiano were quite in touch with the music as the Leipzig String Quartet are, appropriately coupled with Puccini's Crisantemi and other Quartets by Opera Composers (Respighi, Wagner and Humperdinck) on Dabringhaus und Grimm 3071495-2 There is also a fine version from the Alberni Quartet on mid-price CRD (CRD3366, with Donizetti), both of which have the edge on this reissue, though there's very little specifically to criticise about it. The recording is a bit clouded, though it's not at all bad for its age.
    Max Goberman was a distinguished musicologist who edited a number of 18th-century works and collaborated with HC Robbins-Landon on what was planned as a series of Haydn recordings for his own subscription record label LRM, an enterprise sadly cut short by his early death in 1962. His Vivaldi was light-textured and lively for its day by comparison with conductors such as Karl Munchinger, perhaps as a result of Goberman's association with Broadway, though it sounds somewhat heavy now alongside Venice in Mexico or even the Solisti Veneti recordings on the Warner Classics introductory CDs.

    It's doubtful, however, if modern approaches to baroque music would have been possible had it not been for the pioneering work of Munchinger and his Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra and these Goberman recordings of which Scimone's Solisti and period-instrument groups were the beneficiaries. Just consider, too, the wide variety of Vivaldi repertoire on offer here at a time when even the Four Seasons were considered excitingly unusual. Goberman's recording of the Mandolin Concerto, RV425, was employed as the soundtrack of the film Kramer v Kramer.

    With several well-known names among the soloists, including Julius Baker on flute and Goberman himself on violin, these reissues are all very enjoyable. The Beulah transcription of the recording is good - a trifle restricted at each end of the frequency range.


    verdi string quartet
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    1st movement
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    2nd movement
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    3rd movement
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    4th movement
    listen and buy
    vivaldi concerto
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    listen and buy
    vivaldi concerto
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    listen and buy
    vivaldi concerto
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    listen and buy
    vivaldi concerto
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    listen and buy
    vivaldi concerto
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    morriston orpheus welsh male choir
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    morriston orpheus welsh male choir
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    listen and buy
    morriston orpheus welsh male choir
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    listen and buy
    morriston orpheus welsh male choir
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    listen and buy
    morriston orpheus welsh male choir
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    listen and buy
    morriston orpheus welsh male choir
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    listen and buy
    morriston orpheus welsh male choir
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    listen and buy
    morriston orpheus welsh male choir
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    listen and buy
    morriston orpheus welsh male choir
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    listen and buy


    Beulah Extra Price Revision From 1 April the prices of downloads will be revised upwards. The minimum charge of GBP 0.50 remains but will be limited to tracks not exceeding 5 minutes in length. Hurry buy your tracks this month at Beulah Extra

    Top Ten Downloads

    Currently our top selling downloads are ;

    1. Sullivan - The Lost Chord - Peter Dawson
    2. Amy Woodforde-Finden - Four Indina Love Lyrics - Peter Dawson
    3. Brahms - Symphony No4 - Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra Max Fiedler
    4. Rossini/Respighi - La Boutique Fantasque - Israel Philharmonic Solti
    5. Two Burgundian chansons - Ensemble Pro Musica Antiqua de Bruxelles directed by Safford Cape
    6. Strauss - Zigeunerbaron (Gipsy Baron) Overture - LPO Erich Kleiber
    7. Herold - Zampa Overture - LPO Basil Cameron
    8. Weber - Euryanthe Overture - NSO Karl Rankl
    9. Dvorak -Symphony No. 8 - National Symphony Orchestra Basil Cameron
    10. Tchaikovsky - Mazeppa Hopak - Halle Orchestra Hamilton Harty

    Listen to the top ten.

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