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3 Apr 2014

Sir Thomas Beecham conducts... Richard Strauss. Don Quixote - RCA 1932 / Wagner. Faust + live at Covent Garden - EMI 1936

Richard Strauss:  "Don Quixote"    (Alfred Wallenstein, 'cello  -  Rene Pollain, viola  -  Mishel Piastro, violin)   
The New York Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra  conducted by  Sir Thomas Beecham   
Richard Wagner:  "A Faust Overture"   
London Philharmonic Orchestra  conducted by  Sir Thomas Beecham                
2 files zip FLAC  Mega Download    
HMV  HLM 7154    1979 pressing/matrices: 2XEA 6532 -1 / 2XEA 6533 -1  
Richard Wagner:  "Gotterdammerung"  - Act.2. 'Hoi-ho!'    - Ludwig Weber, Bass  -  Herbert Janssen, Baritone    
Richard Wagner:  "Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg"   - Act.1 - Church scene   /   Act.3 - Prize Song    (with Ralf, Bockelmann, Lemnitz)
3 files zip FLAC  Mega Download
Royal Opera House Chorus - London Philharmonic Orchestra  conducted by  Sir Thomas Beecham  
EMI World Records  SH 1004 (1979)  /  HMV  ALP 1870 (1961)  /  HMV  RLS 7711 (1983 set)  Rec: 29/20 May 1936 - Covent Garden: 'live'    HLM 7154  Sleeve-note >>>
http://www.arsc-audio.org/journals/v12/v12n3p240-257.pdf   - A comprehensive review of the 1979 Beecham LP issues by David Hall.   







12 comments:

  1. Thank you very much for this chance to hear Beecham earlier on.
    I have a number of the Griffith transfers. I wonder what you think of them compared to his successors?

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    1. Have never heard any later transfers - and have avoided most Beecham 78>LP, as they may be Griffith transfers on the CD's (ie Delius 2x box-set) - though, apparently, they get 'tinkered with'...not to their advantage..Hardwick 'tinkered' with the tapes very early-on - but the CD's are 'a mystery' to me.

      I noted, in the French Orchestral album, below, that I thought the results sounded 'filtered' (certainly Griffith transfers became 'less lively/noisy' through the '70's)- and later found an ARSC pdf review of all the 1979 Beecham's - where that comment also was made.

      However Griffith did have the advantage of vinyl copies of metalwork to transfer from (the 'Faust' here is very quiet) in many cases - and avoids the ruinous noise-reduction required, in varying degrees, with shellac..though he was using 'Packburn' in the later 70's; but basically the 'signal' was cleaner to start with...

      So.... as Quixote has just appeared elsewhere (you know where..!!) I decided to transfer it (not exactly easy, as there were very substantial numbers of 'blip residue'/clicks + a few bad edits to correct...I also very slightly brightened the transfer (by an extra dB on top of the Faust, including compensating for the treble characteristic of the PU Cartridge) - as overall it was a bit dull' - though the recording is inconsistent in quality between sides in any event

      The post-war R.Strauss (Heldenleben/Gentilhomme) I have (+the RCA Elektra/Ariadne) - and the 'Gentilhomme' as a new 78 set - with which I could compare, I suppose..

      I was going to include the exciting 1936 'Gotterdammerung' ROH excerpt from another 1979 WRC LP - also the 'Meistersinger' track in the Wagner 7 LP set from 1983 + the rather feeble bit in the 1961 HMV LP album - but decided to leave it at this (do have some LPO/Wagner on 78- listed previously)..

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    2. Thanks for the chance to hear this Don Quixote in honest sound! Given its age it seems a lot of detail was captured successfully by the original engineers. As a performance I prefer Beecham's later version with Tortelier. The other Beecham excerpts you write about do sound intriguing.

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    3. If it was in 'dishonest sound' I'd have to make a charge!!

      I've already transferred to CD-RW the other 'live' Wagner so could easily edit/upload it - although short-measure unless I can add something more..not sure what...

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  2. The Wagner is very enjoyable and shows how effective live recording could be.. The Gotterdammerung is really splendid. Beecham kept the music flowing rather than going for stodginess which some modern conductors seem to want to do. Thanks for making these excerpts available

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    1. TBH it was the first time I'd heard it - and now see that Mr Hall thought likewise..

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  3. Thank you very much for these Beecham transfers... Very nice/interesting music-making, and the sound is not bad for such old live recordings.

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    1. The EMI's sound pretty good - RCA not - as usual; so presumably my Stokowski 78's (lots of them) are mostly 'write-offs'.

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  4. Replies
    1. I wouldn't mind having some vinyl pressings of old 78 metalwork to 'play around with..'...

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  5. I was looking forward to hearing the Strauss and Wagner but the download link is broken. The Rossini transfers are very good. Thanks for all your work.

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    1. Probably too late to screw anyone for a donation for this; so as I had one yesterday - here's Quixote, et al...plus the French album

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