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21 July 2012


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What's New for August

london bunting

London The Modern Babylon

Benjamin Disraeli's description of London is the title of a film by Julien Temple that goes on general release in cinemas  thoughout the UK on Friday August 3rd. We have supplied background music for this film in the form of A London Symphony by Vaughan Williams in a performance conducted by Sir Henry Wood, founder of the proms Listen.

We have also created a page featuring music associated with the city.

Music from the Proms 2012

The Henry Wood Promenade Concerts held over eight weeks from July to September is London's biggest annual music festival. Visit our Proms page where we list music being perfomed this year that is availbale from us.

New at Beulah Extra

Reviews quoted below are by Brian Wilson at Music Web International


Bach Cantata No 211 Peasent Cantata Karl Foster
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Bach Cantata No 212 Peasent Cantata Karl Foster
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"I didn’t catch up with these two cantatas until Emma Kirkby and Christopher Hogwood recorded them for Decca Oiseau-Lyre , but I knew Karl Forster as one of the conductors who broke the mould of po-faced Bach. The great asset of this reissue is Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, even more convincing as Herr Schlendrian than David Thomas on the O-L recording of the Coffee Cantata. I’d hate to have to score these two wonderful versions against each other; I greatly enjoyed both, so I’ll merely note that my preference for Fischer-Dieskau is slightly offset by one for Kirkby as against Lisa Otto. With considerable justification the cover of the Beulah release names the accomplished flute, cello and keyboard soloists. The Peasant Cantata is less immediately appealing and without libretto and translation the rustic dialect is pretty hard to follow but it also receives a lively and appealing performance. Even in 1962 Jeremy Noble was asking for a smaller ensemble and that would be more the way to perform these works now, but I wasn’t troubled by the size of the BPO. With recording quality that’s still much more than acceptable and with the two cantatas available separately for those who want only the better-known No.211, these reissues may well be more appealing than the Oiseau-Lyre, especially as they can be yours for just £1.75 each, as opposed to £7.49 for the O-L."

Beethoven Piano Concerto No 5  Richter Haaser height=
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1st movement
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2nd and 3rd movements
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"One obvious rival is Solomon’s mono recording with the Philharmonia and Herbert Menges and I’ve used that as my benchmark here. The recording is dry but tolerable, despite the very low bit-rate which emusic.com habitually employ for these vintage recordings. The Beulah transfer is more stable and considerably more rounded than the emusic.com of Solomon. Solomon and Menges polish off the first movement with expedition without ever sounding too hasty. There isn’t as much difference between the two as EG’s review had led me to expect, but Richter-Haaser sounds just a shade less adventurous and free-wheeling; in many ways, this is a safer bet, though slightly more staid and you’re less likely to deduce from it how the nickname came into being. Both slow movements are delectable; here and in the finale there’s little to choose, though the better recording from Beulah tilts the balance decidedly in its favour."

Beethoven Rondo in C Op 51 No 1 Richter Haaser
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Beethoven Piano Sonata No 8  Rudolf Firkusny
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1st movement
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2nd movement
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3rd movement
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"Despite the intense competition now in the Pathétique Sonata, this performance remains recommendable and the piano tone betrays its age only by a slight hint of harshness and lack of ambience. I’m pleased to see Firkušný’s recordings returning to the catalogue."

beethoven string quartet number 3
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1st movement
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2nd movement
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3rd movement
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4th movement
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beethoven string quartet number 4
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1st movement
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2nd movement
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3rd movement
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4th movement
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"These performances are not as special as those of the late quartets but at the same time they are less controversial – there’s none of the wiry string tone here, for example. If you’re looking for sound performances of these two quartets in recording quality which is still much more than acceptable, these downloads could well fit the bill."

Brahms Wie Melodien zieht es Op 105 No 1 Lisa della Casa
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Brahms Immer leiser wird mein Op 105 No 2 Lisa della Casa
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Brahms Von ewiger Libe Op43 No 1 Lisa della Casa
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Brahms Ständchen Op 106 No 1 Lisa della Casa
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"They offer a useful reminder of the delicate sweetness and purity of della Casa’s voice but, to be honest, there are other recordings from which I prefer to hear those qualities ... My pick of the bunch is Wie Melodien and the great advantage of this Beulah release is that the tracks can be purchased separately."

brahms tragic overture
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debussy noctures
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Complete
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I. Nuages
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II. Fetes
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III. Sirenes
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"I enjoyed these performances; the Beulah release is especially welcome since the Philips Duo and European Eloquence reissues seem to have disappeared. Has Nuages, especially the opening, ever been performed with greater delicacy? The flip side of van Beinum’s gentler approach is that Fêtes sounds just a little tame until things get going, while Sirènes is evocatively performed, with the ladies’ voices of the Amstel choir doing their stuff. The recorded sound is not exciting, but it’s clean and clear and it’s come up well in Beulah’s transfer."

wand of youth suite number one
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wand of youth suite number two
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"I remember these recordings sounding very fragile on their Ace of Clubs LP reissue, so I’m delighted that Beulah have been able to restore them so very effectively, with very little of the shrillness that I recall. The performance of Cockaigne is jaunty and lively and those of the Wand of Youth Suites delightfully idiomatic. In spite of the availability of more recent recommendable recordings these are gems from the past which remind us of van Beinum at his impressive best. At the price these are irresistible."

goldmark rustic wedding symphony
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I. Wedding March
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II. Bridal Song
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III. Serenade
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IV. In the garden
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V. Dance
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"This is one of those good second-rate works that Tommy knew how to make sound great, a feat which others have emulated but without quite the same success in the case of this tuneful symphony. The recording, from May 1952, is not exactly new-minted, but the transfer is much better than I recall from its last LP appearance, on the Philips Classical Favourites label – so good that the ear soon adjust to any slight thinness. There’s a Past Classics transfer from amazon.co.uk, which doesn’t sound too bad, but the Beulah transfer is preferable and works out slightly less expensive."

Coming soon

yeomen of he guard
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Buy the overture now
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The whole operetta will be here soon

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