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MonthBeethoven nine symphonies
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.
What the Critics Say
The following are reveiws by Brian Wilson at Music
Cluytens recording of the symphony has already appeared on Beulah
24-27BX82 – 2013/13. I liked it then and I like it now – never
attempting to make the work sound more ‘advanced’ in Beethoven’s
development than it is.
Anda’s Beethoven always competed with Kempff – in mono
with van Kempen and in stereo with Leitner – and was regularly judged
to have won the contest, though even Kempff’s mono recording sounded
better. Beulah have done their best with the sound and, though it’s
somewhat raw, it didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the performance. If you
have a favourite recent recording, this would make a fine adjunct."
"I liked the symphony when Beulah released it on its own on 19-22BX82 –
November 2011/1 – and I still do. The sound remains very viable but, of
course, that of the classic Backhaus recording of the Piano Concerto
inevitably sounds thinner, though the transfer is as clean as I have
come to expect from Beulah. If you can do without the concerto, go for
the earlier reissue of the symphony, but Backhaus and Krauss made for a
very special partnership in this work and the recording is more than
tolerable – probably better than it sounded in bogus ‘stereo’ on a
Decca Eclipse LP in 1970. Back in 1953, when the concerto first
appeared on ten-inch LX3083, MM averred that the millennium would occur
when such a standard became the norm. In terms of recording quality
that happened long ago but, alas, the same cannot always be said of
more recent performances. "
"I reviewed Cluytens’ Eroica when it was released on Beulah 28-31BX82 –
2013/13. If you want a dramatic performance of the same vintage you
need Klemperer, but Cluytens is your man if you prefer a performance
which emphasises the beauty of the music.
Annie Fischer’s recording of the concerto is an old favourite – I owned
it on a budget Heliodor recording, one of the very few genuine stereo
recordings on that label at the time, and it remains one of my
favourite versions. In the Beulah transfer the sound is a trifle thin
by comparison with today’s best but it’s no great problem. "
"I enjoyed Cluytens’ account of the symphony when it appeared
separately – 2011/1 – but it’s better value now.
Regis have also transferred the Gilels/Ludwig recording of the Concerto
along with the same performers in No.5 (RRC1367 – review – review). I
liked the performances but noted the rather hard piano tone and some
end-of-side distortion: there’s even a degree of surface swish if you
listen on headphones, so there was scope for Beulah to do better, as is
indeed the case. Both have been transferred from LP but the Beulah has
been done with more care and does more justice to the authoritative
"The Pastoral remains available on its own on 8-10BX82. I liked that
release – February 2011 – but it’s better value in its new guise with
the Hammerklavier Sonata thrown in for good measure. The sonata
inevitably sounds dated but the transfer of this legendary performance
has otherwise been well managed."
"The Beethoven first appeared on HMV’s lower-price Concert Classics
label but that in no way reflects the quality of the performance or
recording. With the Classics for Pleasure CD reissue no longer
available, this is well worth having.
The Mendelssohn and Bruch first appeared on Capitol and were later also
reissued on Concert Classics when they were justly praised by Trevor
Harvey. Now Beulah offer an economical way to obtain fine performances
of these three concertos."
" In reviewing Klemperer and Beecham in Mozart on Beulah I mentioned
that Böhm’s recordings from that period have dated less than most. I
liked Beulah’s earlier well-transferred release of Böhm’s Jupiter on
10-13BX133 – 2013/3 – and the new album is also attractive for anyone
wishing to sample Böhm’s traditional Mozart at its best, but who
doesn’t want one of the multi-disc DG reissues. It’s now also a better
option price-wise than the separate Jupiter."
" Ansermet’s earlier (1948) recording of Scheherazade with the Paris
Conservatoire Orchestra is available ... Though some prefer that
recording, it’s generally agreed, not least by me, that the stereo
remake was preferable both as a performance and in recording quality
and it remains competitive, especially when the principal rivals from
roughly the same time – Reiner on RCA and Monteux (Decca) – are
imprisoned in the modern craze for bumper boxes."
"These are all performances worth perpetuating and
they come in
Beulah’s usual high-quality transfers. It’s not without reason
that Oistrakh’s Bach and his recording of the Beethoven Romances were
included in DG’s Legendary Recordings box."
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