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Overtures Import


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Product details

  • Audio CD (11 Oct 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Royal Phil Masterwrk
  • ASIN: B005LY472M
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 14 Nov 2001
Format: Audio CD
"King Lear" and the "Roman Carnival" were released on CD by Sony 10 years ago. The other overtures and the Trojan March do not seem to have been available since the 1960s. These famous and brilliant performances have come up well, in good clear mono sound, better than the sound on the live Beecham concerts from the same period on BBC Legends. Berlioz is one of the composers that Beecham conducted particularly well. Really, every disk in this reissue series is a Must Buy.
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Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
The reason for only 4 stars is there's a bit of scratch and crackle comes through the speakers, which some may find irritating. Never mind, the performances are superb. It's Beecham with the RPO, and nobody in my experience gives Hector his head like Beecham did. Berlioz was a larger-than-life character, (so was Beecham), and that's how his music needs to be played, with grand gestures and on-the-edge excitement. At the same time the playing is exemplary in unanimity and clarity. The recorded quality makes this almost an Interesting Historical Document, but settle back and enjoy some sheer entertainment.
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I entirely agree with Mr Customer's comments but would point out that these transfers rather show their age. Those who cut their teeth on Beecham's Berlioz overtures may find the mannerisms of other conductors hard to take and, for them, this is fine. For a more modern recording of 'Les Francs Juges', perhaps the Roger Norrington coupling with the 'Symphonie Fantatique' would be found to possess a pleasing gravitas.Berlioz : Symphonie Fantastique, Les Francs-Juges overture
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
TB's Brilliant Berlioz 19 May 2005
By Michael Brad Richman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Recently I have begun buying titles in Sony's British Import series "Sir Thomas Beecham: The Original CBS Recordings" and I must say I am enjoying them very much. This disc features the conductor's 1954 mono recordings of Berlioz Overtures -- Roman Carnival, King Lear, Waverley, Les Francs-Juges, Le Corsair, and the Overture and March from Les Troyens. TB was a Berlioz specialist so many of these works were re-recorded in stereo (particularly noteworthy are Corsair and Troyens March accounts featured on an EMI "GROTC" title with the Symphonie Fantastique -- see my review.) But devotees of the great British conductor will certainly want these selections as well, provided they don't own already own the Sony Import 2CD of Beecham performing Berlioz, which duplicates all of this material. (That title is not available on Amazon but is via HMV UK.) In all, "Sir Thomas Beecham: The Original CBS Recordings" is a delightful series and I look forward to purchasing (and reviewing) more of them.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Great playing and interpretation; 4 stars for sound: good but not great 19 April 2007
By Alan Majeska - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Thomas Beecham's Berlioz is famous to many listeneners from his stereo EMI French National Orchestra SYMPHONIE FANTASTIQUE, with the LES TROYENS March of the Trojans and LE COURSAIRE OVERTURE (Royal Philharmonic). These mono 1954 recordings are more exciting, with faster tempos and a more vital feeling or urgency about them. However, I would give 5 stars to all of Sir Thomas's later Berlioz recordings, too.

ROMAN CARNIVAL is one of the great recordings, as are LEAR and CORSAIRE.

This MARCH OF THE TROJANS is more swaggering than the EMI stereo remake.

The Royal Philharmonic play wonderfully, and were one of the 5 best orchestras in the world in 1954.

Highly recommended, unless you don't tolerate mono recordings in any form.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Berlioz was one of Beecham's chief passions, and it shows 18 Feb 2009
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I can't add much to the previous enthusiastic reviews. Berlioz was a central passion for Beecham. He conducted the overtures for 52 years between 1908 and 1960. When he took up a work relatively late in his career, as Beecham did with 'Le corsaire' in 1946, he sitll managed three commercial recordings and 60 concert performances. This collection lasting almost 70 min., dates from four recording sessions in 1954, except for the Les Troyens march, whose exact date is unknown.

The sound is good, solid mono without distortion, although in its efforts to reduce tape hiss and surface noise, English Sony may have scrubbed down the treble a mite too much. All the readings are vigorous and enthusiastic without quite the reckless abandon of Munch from Boston -- top-drawer Beecham in al respects. I can't imagine any lover of Berlioz not owning both conductor's versions. But the desert-island performance, at once haunting and shattering, is Les francs-juges.

Oddly, Beecham never took up three overtures that are just as inspired as the ones he favored: Rob Roy, Benevenuto Cellini, and Beatrice and Benedict. No reason was ever given; it was Beecham's nature to follow his whims where he would.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Beecham is Berlioz 17 April 2010
By Robert Mueller - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I recommend this Beecham Berlioz Overture recording to all you Berlioz affectionatos. It literally takes my breath away every time I listen ! I also especially like the Beecham-like Gibson performances, with either the Royal Phil or Scottish Orchestras (somewhat different selections). They are pungent and pack a wallop ! All bring a smile to my face.

The Beecham was recorded in good mono from 1954. What it lacks in spectacular sound, it makes up for with elan and flair in abundance. The Roman Carnival is just plain cool ! I like the Paray, Munch, and Davis Berlioz performances also, but for me, they pale in comparison to the Beecham or Gibson. Also, both the latter are priced right.
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