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28 January 2016

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New for February

The greatest musical instrument is the human voice. 2016 is the year of the voice at Beulah. Many great voices are to be featured, some well known, most however are unjustly forgotten such as Leonora Lafayette featured this month in an album of Italian opera.

great voices

Visit our Great Voices page. From here you can download great voices not yet available in our albums. This page will expand during the course of 2016 so do visit it monthly to view additions.

New from iTunes

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.


2pdr17

Coming soon



1pdr22

Coming soon



1pdr23

Coming soon



9pd11

Coming soon


What the Critics Say

The following are reveiws by Brian Wilson at Music Web International


2pd19

itunes


"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. "

Sir john barbirolli symphonies volume 1 beethoven and mahler symphonies number 1

itunes

"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 fahrenden Gesellen).

"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. "

2 friends grainger and delius

itunes


"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 transferred.

"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. "

beecham conducts delius

itunes


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 "

great cello concertos

itunes


"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 about it.

" 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 Philips CD.

"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 that.

"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 "

Listen to Beulah at Spotify

You can now listen to Beulah albums for free at Spotify.

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