Sir Thomas Beecham, Volume 1 from the Richard Itter Archive

Sir Thomas Beecham – Richard Itter Collection

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Thomas Beecham

includes Haydn: Symphony No 99 and 101 ‘The Clock’, Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night’s Dream Overture, Mozart: Symphony No 36 ‘Linz’ and No 39, Beethoven: Symphony No 2, Liszt: A Faust Symphony

ICAC 5148 @ £30.00(4-CD set) plus P&P 

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About this CD … This release has been sourced from the Richard Itter archive. The collection is very important for collectors because it has never been released before onto the market. Beecham caught ‘live’ often showed the mercurial side of his character and no performance was the same, either in the studio or in the concert hall. David Patmore confirms this in his booklet essay: ‘What Beecham sought at all times was freshness, and his unpredictability was a way to achieve this’. So here we have different and valuable alternatives to the studio performances. All the performances included here are from Beecham’s final years, between 1954 when he had fully established the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and himself as central figures in England’s musical life, to 1959 where he conducted extraordinarily memorable accounts of Haydn’s Symphony No.101 and Brahms’ Symphony No.2. Every broadcast is captured here in exemplary sound for the time. Apart from Liszt’s Faust Symphony and Haydn’s Symphony No.101, none of the performances in this set have ever appeared on CD before as far as is known. Even the Beethoven Symphony No.2 recorded here at the Royal Festival Hall on the 14th November 1956 is different to the BBC Legends version recorded a month later in the BBC’s Maida Vale Studios on the 23rd December 1956.

BBC Music Magazine “His mercurial personality was almost invariably at its most beguiling live in concert. One sense an extra degree of imperativeness in gripping performances of Haydn’s symphonies Nos 99 and 101, which by comparison with Beecham’s studio accounts for EMI dating from the same period, lean more towards vibrant authority and majestic sweep tan twinkle-in-eye breeziness and charm.”

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