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24 November 2013


Our Top Ten Tracks

Hear our
Top Ten

Our Top Ten Albums

  1. English Wind Band Classics
  2. Music of London
  3. Vivaldi Concertos
  4. Bandstand Music
  5. American Wind Band Classics III
  6. American Wind Band Classics
  7. Vaughan Williams A sea Symphony
  8. Contrasts in Winds
  9. Collins Sibelius Cycle
  10. Purcell Keyborad Suites

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New for November

Britten Centenary

Composer Benjamin Britten was born on November 22nd  1913 . Visit our Benjamin Britten page for compact discs, dvd, and downloads of
Britten's music.

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Reviews are by Brian Wilson at Music Web International
theb art of johannes brahms

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" Klemperer is for me the Brahms conductor par excellence and nowhere more so than in the Tragic Overture, which benefits particularly from his rather weighty style and still sounds very well in this transfer. Not that weighty necessarily means ponderous: Klemperer’s 12:30 is faster than Marin Alsop’s 14:04 and only a shade slower than Riccardo Chailly’s 11:45 with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra on his new Decca set of the symphonies and orchestral works . Chailly makes the opening of the work sound sprightlier, which some may prefer, but this is the Tragic Overture and, for all that I’ve enjoyed hearing Chailly’s new recordings of the symphonies, I prefer Klemperer in this overture.

"The Violin Concerto comes from a World Record Club release and the performance is new to me. Tempo is of the essence in the first movement of this work, with most interpretations taken too slow for anyone who, like me, cut their musical teeth on Heifetz and Reiner, Reiner’s remake with Szeryng or Szeryng with Monteux (all RCA). Wolf and Collins take 22:51, which is around the norm, but a little too dreamy for me, despite the urgency of the solo and orchestral playing. Listen to Heifetz’s 18:51 and I think you won’t want to hear it any other way, but if you still prefer dreamy for this movement, Wolf and Collins could be your men in this good transfer. The YouTube excerpt from the first movement might help you decide.

"Beulah make up good value with the Tragic Overture and seven of the Hungarian Dances, the latter taken from a 1953 10” LP (LW5066). Inevitably the sound is several notches below that on the rest of the album but perfectly tolerable, especially as the over-bright top of the LP has been tamed. "

Peter Katin Chopin Nocturnes i tunes
George Wright At His Mighty Wurlitzer amazon uk
i tunes
the art of leos janacek
i tunes
the art of vaughan williams  volume 1
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amazon uk
i tunes
prokofiev love of three oranges
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i tunes
music of england volume 6
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amazon uk
i tunes
music of england volume5
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amazon uk
i tunes

New from Beulah Extra

Handel organ concerto number 1
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Handel organ concerto number 2
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Handel organ concerto number 3
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Handel organ concerto number 1
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"These recordings are available separately, but together they make an attractive album of the Op.4 Organ Concertos that can still hold its own in many ways against modern recordings such as that of Richard Egarr or Ton Koopman. Richter’s use of a modern full-size instrument instead of a chamber organ would be questionable nowadays, but he compensates by sensitive selection of stops and the use of a chamber orchestra. In their time these recordings were excelled only by Thurston Dart’s greater period awareness – Beulah have already given us Dart’s stylish recordings of Handel’s solo organ music and the Water Music; perhaps we might now have his recordings of the Organ Concertos. With the 2-CD Warner Teldec set of Richter’s Op.4 and Op.7 apparently no longer available, I hope that Beulah will also bring us the second set. There’s a very inexpensive Hallmark download which reproduces the original mono LP sleeve, but I can’t vouch for its quality and one user review on Amazon comments adversely on the quality of the transfer, whereas the Beulah has been done with the usual care and the quality is very good indeed for its age. Even if all other recordings of this music were to fall victim to spontaneous combustion, I’d be happy enough with these Richter interpretations."

Hanydn symphony number 96 miracle
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1st movement download
2nd movement download
3rd movement download
4th movement download
Hanydn symphony number 97
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1st movement download
2nd movement download
3rd movement download
4th movement download

"Eduard van Beinum’s Haydn is stylish – more stylish than Sir Thomas Beecham’s of a slightly later vintage – and it’s still very enjoyable, but it just lacks that last degree of magic that Beecham, for all his deliberate avoidance of the most accurate editions and period style, brought to the music. There’s no disguising that these are early-1950s recordings, but the sound is as listenable as the performances."

What the Critics Say

the art of rachmaninoff amazon uk
i tunes

"We are already in Beulah’s debt for reissuing another Melodiya recording of Rachmaninov, the Third Symphony (Svetlanov) and Symphonic Dances (Kondrashin) ; now they bring us Kondrashin’s Bells, equally well restored... the result is a miracle indeed, with nary a hint of the surface noise which afflicted MK pressings even worse than Supraphon LPs, but not at the expense of the sound which is luminous and clear by contrast with anything that I could ever get out of MK LPs; there’s just a hint of strain in loud passages. While some of the singing may strike Western ears as unsubtle, this is a performance with an impact such as I’ve never heard before. I’ve been somewhat ambivalent about The Bells, but Kondrashin convinces me.

The virtues of Michelangeli’s performance of Piano Concerto No.4 are too well known to need rehearsing here. If you thought this the orphan among Rachmaninov’s concertos, this should make you think again. The Beulah transfer sounds a trifle dry at first but the ear soon adjusts. "

Rob Barnett Music Editor of Music Web International writes:-
"There had to be a follow-up to Beulah’s similarly exalted Kondrashin Symphonic Dances and Third Symphony. If you must have smoothly produced modern sound then this Kondrashin conducted The Bells from the 1960s is not for you. There are compensations for accepting Soviet analogue sound, a bit of pre-echo/print-through before the massed choral entries and a modest degree of evidence of 50 year old LP provenance - you can hear the occasional scuff and rumble - quite rare really. The plus points lie in this recording's overwhelmingly neon-lit passion and its Russian fervour only just under steely control from Kondrashin. This is a roaringly glorious account of The Bells which moves with rapidly acquired eruptive speed from hypnotically still and tender to climactic paean. The singing has the whole-tone amplitude familiar from Alexander Sveshnikov's RSFSR Choir LP of the same composer's Vespers. Of the three fine soloists the soprano is magnificently potent in riding the orchestral furnace blast yet gentle too.

"Given its age and our current obsession with digital perfection this piece of Soviet rapture is not as well known now as the more smoothly recorded Piano Concerto No. 4 (Michelangeli/Gracis). The Michelangeli is a classic of the gramophone. It shares the kinetic excitability of the Kondrashin Bells.We end with three of John Ogdon's Preludes. I had forgotten how good is his Op. 23 No. 5 - the epitome of romance havering unstably on the tipping point between tears and impulsive action."

russian masters volume 2 amazon uk
i tunes

"The selling point here is Stoki’s recording of the Shostakovich symphony, a work of which he conducted the first Western recording in 1939 ... I was surprised to find this version at first sounding a little under-powered – is it that music that once sounded ‘difficult’ and earth-shattering has become so much part of the repertoire or is it maybe that the recording, though a very good transfer, has less impact than the Prokofiev which precedes it? In any event, by ten minutes into the first movement there’s all the power and drama that you could want and that’s true of the finale, too. It wouldn’t be my first choice – it’s not just the recording that makes the strings sound rather thin – but the maestro’s many fans will wish to have it. You wouldn’t buy this for the fillers but you wouldn’t be disappointed if you did. The Prokofiev was originally the filler for Kondrashin’s recording of the Sixth Symphony. The dashing account of the Festival Overture came with Prêtre’s recording of Symphony No.12 and the much quieter Borodin was part of a concert of Russian music."

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