Over the past 25 years Beulah has
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
New for March
Many music lovers miss the sound
from vinyl pressings.
Many others have yet to discover how pleasant the sound can be.
Most of our albums are mastered from vinyl LP pressings and earlier
recordings (before 1953) from 78 rpm discs. It is our ability to
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
recommend downloading from
Qobuz where you can download or stream in high quality, for
same price as iTunes medium quality.
What the Critics Say
" Alto Rhapsody, Op.53, is the
main work on
BEULAH 1PS8, sung by Aafje Heynis (contralto) with the Concertgebouw
Orchestra conducted by Eduard van Beinum on what must have been one of
his last recordings. Sadly, the
sound is little if any better now than I found it then: non-one can get
out of a recording than was originally there and this is very sub-fusc
Philips’ engineering of the time. Heynis’s many admirers, of which I am
one, however, will probably persevere for the sake of the performance.
"The other items are works by
Arias from Judas Maccabæus, Samson and Messiah, and Johann Sebastian
BACH – Arias from the Christmas Oratorio and the two Passions, with the
Vienna Symphony Orchestra conducted by Hans Gillesberger in 1961. Not
first-rate accompanists, but with stylish performances, especially from
Heynis, this neatly supplements the Bach on 2PS8 above ."
"These are pre-authentic
performances, recorded in
stereo 1957-1960, but they were highly regarded in their day and remain
well worth hearing in these very good transfers. At the time, the
comparison was with Kathleen Ferrier, but I prefer Heynis to Ferrier.
My own comparison is with Dame Janet Baker with the ASMF and Neville
Marriner in Cantata 170. Baker is the contralto for me, but Heynis is
not far short – a touch more plummy and the diction less distinct, but
not much in it. Szymon Goldberg, a conductor whom I have always thought
under-rated, takes the music at a pace slightly faster than Marriner
and not much slower than Robert King. Gillesberger is a slightly less
stylish accompanist in the arias but that’s a small price to pay for
the two very fine cantata recordings.
" A new reissue on BEULAH 1PS25
[72:19] comes from
a slightly earlier period: a 1956 recording entitled Tangerine,
containing the title piece, Cover the Waterfront, Squatty Roo, Collard
Greens and black-eyed Peas, The Girl Friend, Stars fell on Alabama, and
eight pieces from My Fair Lady in lively performances. Previn is joined
by Shelly Manne (drums) and Leroy Vinnegar (bass). The first half was
originally entitled Shelly Manne and his Friends, but Previn is really
the star, albeit with some fine support.
"The audience for this album is
I predict, large. They will not be disappointed with this enjoyable and
well-transferred release. Only those with a hard-line definition of
jazz will demur. There’s more where this came from on Vogue and Philips
LPs; may we have more, please?"
"Hardline jazz aficionados will
be much more taken
with a selection of recordings made by Bessie Smith entitled Me and my
Gin and recorded between 1925 and 1928. Naxos Blues Legends cover this
period in her career on three CDs, around three hours in total, but
those looking for a shorter selection should be more than happy with
the self-recommending Beulah release. Even the earlier recordings are
well transferred, but 78 technology was advancing even during the
three-year span of this album."