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Berlioz - Orchestral Works Original recording remastered


Price: £11.67 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Orchestra: BBC Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Thomas Beecham
  • Composer: Hector Berlioz
  • Audio CD (1 April 2001)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: BBC Legends
  • ASIN: B00005A3MI
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 267,188 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Le corsaire, Op. 21Royal Philharmonic Orchestra 8:06Album Only
Listen  2. Le roi Lear Overture, Op. 4BBC Symphony Orchestra15:01Album Only
Listen  3. Harold en Italie, Op. 16: I. Adagio (Harold in the Mountains. Scenes of Melancholy, Happiness and Joy)Frederick Riddle15:48Album Only
Listen  4. Harold en Italie, Op. 16: II. Allegretto (March of the Pilgrims Singing the Evening Prayer)Frederick Riddle 9:12Album Only
Listen  5. Harold en Italie, Op. 16: III. Allegro Assai (Serenade of an Abruzzi Mountain-Dweller to his Mistress)Frederick Riddle 6:14£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Harold en Italie, Op. 16: IV. Allegro Frenetico (Orgy of Brigands. Memories of Scenes Past)Frederick Riddle12:14Album Only
Listen  7. Les Troyens: Act I: Marche Troyenne (Trojan March)Royal Philharmonic Orchestra 4:30£0.59  Buy MP3 

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By John Austin HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on 22 Oct 2002
Format: Audio CD
Anyone who has clicked onto this item will already be familiar with the career and reputation of the great English conductor Sir Thomas Beecham. Complementing an extremely busy performing schedule, he clocked up a discography that possibly “created a record” amongst conductors. Those who experienced his “live” as distinct from his “recorded” work always claimed that there was even more magic, more fire, and a suppler moulding of phrasing in the latter. This claim can now be widely tested as more and more broadcasts of “live” performances are exhumed from the BBC archives.
This splendid issue allows you to hear him conducting Berlioz at concerts given between 1951 and 1956. Like the writer of the excellent booklet, Graham Meville-Mason, I was present at one of these concerts. As a very young man, I was fascinated to see how the trombone players coped with the slides on their instruments at the sizzling pace with which Beecham directed the final section of the overture “Le Corsair”.
“So what is the sound quality like, and how do these performances compare with Beecham’s studio recordings of these works?” I hear you ask. I can report that the sound quality ranges from good to outstanding. All credit to the original radio engineers, and those responsible for the remastering! The timpani might be a little too obtrusive in “Le Corsair” and the overall sound a little “dry” in the “Marche troyenne”, but there are no other defects. Indeed, the sound quality of the string playing (always reputed to be unique in a Beecham orchestra) is beautifully realized. Yes, there are audience coughs to be heard here and there.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By enthusiast TOP 500 REVIEWER on 6 Feb 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I can really do little more than agree with everything in Mr Austin's review: these are stupendous performances in recorded sound that is rarely less than good. The main course - Harold in Italy - is everything a performance of this work should be. I've heard and more or less enjoyed a large number of performances of Harold while, even with the best, feeling a little secret regret that the work does not quite deliver what I have always felt it should deliver! Well, here is my vindication: this is Harold as I always suspected it should sound! Beecham and Riddle play it very straight - you almost feel like they are explaining the work to an audience that may not know it - but the straightness is deceptive for the performance is enormously effective and a truly powerful experience. The recorded sound for Harold is very good for a live performance of its age - it was recorded in 1956 at the Edinburgh Festival - and in no way impedes our enjoyment. The other pieces are also very welcome and impressive. Highly recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Thrilling performances in generally vivid sound. 22 Oct 2002
By John Austin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Anyone who has clicked onto this item will already be familiar with the career and reputation of the great English conductor Sir Thomas Beecham. Complementing an extremely busy performing schedule, he clocked up a discography that possibly "created a record" amongst conductors. Those who experienced his "live" as distinct from his "recorded" work always claimed that there was even more magic, more fire, and a suppler moulding of phrasing in the latter. This claim can now be widely tested as more and more broadcasts of "live" performances are exhumed from the BBC archives.
This splendid issue allows you to hear him conducting Berlioz at concerts given between 1951 and 1956. Like the writer of the excellent booklet, Graham Meville-Mason, I was present at one of these concerts. As a very young man, I was fascinated to see how the trombone players coped with the slides on their instruments at the sizzling pace with which Beecham directed the final section of the overture "Le Corsair".
"So what is the sound quality like, and how do these performances compare with Beecham's studio recordings of these works?" I hear you ask. I can report that the sound quality ranges from good to outstanding. All credit to the original radio engineers, and those responsible for the remastering! The timpani might be a little too obtrusive in "Le Corsair" and the overall sound a little "dry" in the "Marche troyenne", but there are no other defects. Indeed, the sound quality of the string playing (always reputed to be unique in a Beecham orchestra) is beautifully realized. Yes, there are audience coughs to be heard here and there. Somehow, they too sound so realistic and well recorded that a sense of an actual performance is enhanced.
"Harold en Italie" poses problems in recording a live performance. There are long passages requiring the solo viola player to provide soft broken chords to accompany wind soloists from the orchestra, and microphoning tends to give undue prominence to the viola. This problem has been better solved here than it was in a studio recording Beecham directed in 1951, five years before the broadcast performance found here.
I have compared all these performances with studio recordings Beecham directed, and all but the "Marche troyenne" are much to be preferred. All of which adds up to a very strong recommendation for this five star issue.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Thrilling performances in generally vivid sound. 22 Oct 2002
By John Austin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Anyone who has clicked onto this item will already be familiar with the career and reputation of the great English conductor Sir Thomas Beecham. Complementing an extremely busy performing schedule, he clocked up a discography that possibly "created a record" amongst conductors. Those who experienced his "live" as distinct from his "recorded" work always claimed that there was even more magic, more fire, and a suppler moulding of phrasing in the latter. This claim can now be widely tested as more and more broadcasts of "live" performances are exhumed from the BBC archives.
This splendid issue allows you to hear him conducting Berlioz at concerts given between 1951 and 1956. Like the writer of the excellent booklet, Graham Meville-Mason, I was present at one of these concerts. As a very young man, I was fascinated to see how the trombone players coped with the slides on their instruments at the sizzling pace with which Beecham directed the final section of the overture "Le Corsair".
"So what is the sound quality like, and how do these performances compare with Beecham's studio recordings of these works?" I hear you ask. I can report that the sound quality ranges from good to outstanding. All credit to the original radio engineers, and those responsible for the remastering! The timpani might be a little too obtrusive in "Le Corsair" and the overall sound a little "dry" in the "Marche troyenne", but there are no other defects. Indeed, the sound quality of the string playing (always reputed to be unique in a Beecham orchestra) is beautifully realized. Yes, there are audience coughs to be heard here and there. Somehow, they too sound so realistic and well recorded that a sense of an actual performance is enhanced.
"Harold en Italie" poses problems in recording a live performance. There are long passages requiring the solo viola player to provide soft broken chords to accompany wind soloists from the orchestra, and microphoning tends to give undue prominence to the viola. This problem has been better solved here than it was in a studio recording Beecham directed in 1951, five years before the broadcast performance found here.
I have compared all these performances with studio recordings Beecham directed, and all but the "Marche troyenne" are much to be preferred. All of which adds up to a very strong recommendation for this five star issue.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Historic performances, but historic sound, too 15 Mar 2006
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The reviewer below who calls this good sound must be listening to records through a paper cup. These BBC broadcasts from 1951-56 feature a deceont-sounding Harold in Italy from an Edinbrugh Festival concert (annoyingly full of coughs), but even here the solo viola sounds whiny and dim, and the other items are in dreadful sound that is boxy and shrill. After releasing several better-sounding concerts from Beecham, BBC Legends bowed to public demand for his live Berlioz. But these performances don't justify the sonic cost. Violist Frederic Riddle can be painfully out of tune, and although Beecham's orchestral reading of Harold in Italy is exuberant, we have a classic studio recording from him with William Primrose. In fact, this whole CD duplicates material that is either better performed by Beecham or better sounding, so I can't drum up much enthusiasm for it unless you are a die-hard fan.
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