What the Critics Say
The following are reveiws by Brian Wilson at Music Web International
"You may expect the 78 transfers on the new album to sound impossibly dated but they have for the most part come up sounding very well and they will, I’m sure, appeal to the many fans of military music, catering for whom is one of Beulah’s specialities. They got my feet tapping if not exactly marching around. Tonally the recordings are secure, though some of the oldest items sound a bit crumbly, and there’s very little surface noise – reduced almost to an occasional light patter of ghostly feet without sacrificing any wanted frequencies. "
"The Beethoven Symphony receives an attractive
performance, also available from the Barbirolli Society, though it’s
hardly outstanding among the many available recordings of the work.
"It’s the from other end of Mahler’s symphonic output
that Barbirolli is best known. This Free Trade Hall recording of the
First, from a time when there was far less choice of Mahler symphonies,
is well worth hearing. It was set down a couple of years after
Barbirolli had stunned the Manchester audience with a performance of
the work designed to outdo his great rival Beecham, who had appeared
there with the RPO a few weeks earlier.
"The orchestral playing may not be of the best – even
in the opening movement, one of the most magical accounts that I have
heard – the odd phrase is slurred and the second movement may be a
little too deliberate and sentimental for the kräftig bewegt marking,
but I was surprised overall to hear the extent to which this recording
challenges my all-time top recommendation from Rafael Kubelík (DG
Originals 4497352, with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau in Lieder eines
"When the Beethoven was released in stereo (Pye
CSCL70001, with Symphony No.8), the sound was decried as inferior
tonally to the earlier mono LP. The Mahler was originally released in
mono only, with stereo appearing for the first time a decade later on
Pye Golden Guinea GSGC14074, by which time stereo LPs had fully
established themselves and the recording was deemed ‘pretty good for
its age’, albeit with some of the surface noise – even a few bumps – to
which Golden Guineas often seemed to be addicted. Beulah’s
refurbishment has worked its accustomed magic with both. "
"Both halves of this release are very desirable.
"The cream on top of the Beulah release comes in the
form of three pieces by Delius who, as the title reminds us, befriended
Grainger – remember the latter’s leap from the bushes at Grez in the
Ken Russell film on Delius? The two Beecham items supplement his stereo
Delius recordings on Beulah 3PDR4 (Recording of the Month – See below)
and Ormandy’s Brigg Fair reminds us that he, too, was a very fine
interpreter of his music. All the recordings have been very well
"Don’t be misled by the peaceful pastoral scene on the cover: neither Grainger nor Delius ever belonged to the ‘English cow-pat school’ if ever there was such a thing. "
Recording of the month - Dec 2015
"This is superb: there have been many fine interpreters of Delius but none finer than Beecham. With his EMI recordings tied up in box sets and only the 1952 Hassan excerpts available separately on Naxos Historical, this very well-filled Beulah reissue is especially welcome, especially for the Florida Suite.
"The 1952 mono items have come up sounding infinitely better than I remember from the Philips Concert Classics LP on which I first heard them – only a little thinness betrays their age. The other items have come up sounding as well as on the 6-CD set Beecham conducts English Music .
"Beecham’s stereo recordings of Over the Hills and Far Away and Summer Night on the River will be included in another Beulah release of music by Grainger and Delius, due for release shortly (9PD82 see above).
"The Qobuz downloads are also available in several lossless formats but the iTunes equivalents, at the same price, are mp3 only and are likely to be at only 256kb/s so, while Qobuz continues to hold its head above water, that is the better option for this and all Beulah downloads "
"Three classic cello concerto recordings brought
together as a download album longer than any CD: what’s not to like?
Well, I would have preferred the reverse order of playing but that’s
" With the great cellist Casals directing his
distinguished successor, for this alone the Beulah reissue would be
invaluable. The transfer is only a shade less truthful than the deleted
"It would be too much to expect hi-fi sound from the
Dvořák, recorded in mono in 1952 by Supraphon, not exactly renowned
then for the latest recording techniques. This classic performance,
however, would be worth hearing even with over a hundred current rivals
and even if the sound were infinitely worse than the very creditable
Beulah transfer. Rostropovich recorded the work again with several
other conductors but Talich was an interpreter beyond compare of Czech
music. I recently praised the Beulah transfer of the Talich Má
Vlast; if anything, this is even better.
"This recording of the Walton is also special: it was
the first recording available in the UK and, with the cellist who
commissioned it performing, it still sets the benchmark for all other
recorded versions. It’s a work which was slow to impinge on the musical
consciousness but it has surely established itself now. As I recall,
the sound on the RCA stereo LP (LSB4101) was dry and thin but the
Beulah transfer is a great improvement. The cello is rather too
prominently balanced but there was nothing that could be done about
"My review files came in lossless wav format. The Qobuz downloads are also available in several lossless formats but the iTunes equivalents, at the same price, are mp3 only and are likely to be at only 256kb/s so, while Qobuz continues to hold its head above water, that is the better option for this and all Beulah downloads "