When the Beecham recording was reissued by Sony, Rob Barnett and
Stephen Lloyd waxed lyrical in its praise but that wasn’t enough to
defer the deletions axe: it’s utterly annihilated, even to stream or
which makes the Beulah an essential reissue for devotees of Beecham’s
" I do caution potential listeners against too high
expectations. That’s particularly a problem with the louder choral
passages, where there’s an unavoidable degree of blasting, perhaps
anticipated by the engineers in offering a more distant sound: solo
voices and orchestra sound much more up-front and more natural and for
most of the time the sound is very acceptable.
"All in all, then, Beecham works his usual magic in
the Mass of Life, as always with Delius, and helps convince me of the
value of a work which I have undervalued.
"Then go for this Beulah reissue: a convincing
performance of a work which I have never before come to terms with in a
very decent, though dated, transfer."
Brian Wilson at Music
"In the case of Sargent it has to be the 1945
version, despite the merits of his later traversal. In fact, I choose
the Sargent version not so much for the conducting as for the
performers, and Heddle Nash especially. No Elgar enthusiast’s
collection should be without this performance: Nash is simply hors
John Quinn at Music