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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully clean and clear sound in these latest reissues
I just wanted to counter Allan Blonde's comments on the sound of these CDs which, in some of these recordings at least, seems to me to be rather cleaner and clearer than previous CD issues in the UK. I too have loved some of these performances for many years and still own some of them on LP. It seemed to me that some of the earlier CD reissues (of the Schubert...
Published on 12 April 2012 by innisfree010203

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15 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Splendid chance gone awry!
There is little doubt in my mind that it was a splendid idea for EMI to put together this and the other boxes of Beecham performances and we could have been much indebted to them for doing this because many of the performances are not only first rate but carry the special Beecham magic of phrasing and delicacy. Beecham has been one of my favorite conductors for the last...
Published on 22 April 2011 by Allan Blonde


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully clean and clear sound in these latest reissues, 12 April 2012
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This review is from: Sir Thomas Beecham - The Later Tradition (Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Etc.) (Audio CD)
I just wanted to counter Allan Blonde's comments on the sound of these CDs which, in some of these recordings at least, seems to me to be rather cleaner and clearer than previous CD issues in the UK. I too have loved some of these performances for many years and still own some of them on LP. It seemed to me that some of the earlier CD reissues (of the Schubert symphonies for example) were more inclined to be presented with an 'analogue' sound, (which was actually quite a relief after some early digital remasters of the 1980's, from both EMI and other companies, which were often rather clinically harsh in tone). The early remasters and transfers of these Beecham recordings are much more enjoyable, and indeed EMI have chosen to retain all of the fine remasters from the late 1980's and early 1990's in the reissues contained within this 2011 set, rather than undertake new digital remastering.

However, these 2011 transfers, for example of the Schubert symphonies, are quite significantly cleaner and clearer in sound than those of the 1989 CD transfers with which I have been able to make a direct comparison. This isn't to be confused with harshness or an emphasis on treble at the expense of bass. Indeed the bass on the 2011 transfer of the Schubert is actually fuller than in the previous transfer of the 1989 remastering. I will hold on to that 1989 transfer in case I ever want to go back to that earlier 'analogue' sound, with its nostalgic warmth of sound (and subsequent loss of detail), but I can see myself often returning to listen to the 2011 transfer too, for example to hear the wonderful, cleanly reproduced, woodwind playing - such a strength of the Royal Philharmonic in Beecham's day. For more examples of this, do try to hear the joyous performance of the Beethoven 7th - so well reproduced in a recording which is now over fifty years old. Likewise the almost sixty five year old 1948 recording of Don Quixote with Tortelier is both astonishingly clean and full in tone. Here it is clear why EMI have sensibly left the 1989 transfers to speak for themselves.

If indeed the EMI Japan issues are such an improvement over these current UK releases as Allan Blonde suggests, then we are in for a treat in years to come if they become more widely available. But in the meantime, please do not underestimate the very fine quality of these latest EMI reissues, in recording, digital remastering or transfer quality, but perhaps most importantly in the quality of the performances, which time after time makes you so very grateful for Beecham's legacy.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Collection of Excellence, 14 April 2011
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This review is from: Sir Thomas Beecham - The Later Tradition (Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Etc.) (Audio CD)
This set offers incredible value but more importantly it contains some classic performances including some incredibly restored 78's. I especially rate 'Ein Heldenleben' and Liszt's 'Faust Symphony'-old favourites on vinyl!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb box set, 7 Nov 2011
By 
P. F. Matthews "Paul Matthews" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sir Thomas Beecham - The Later Tradition (Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Etc.) (Audio CD)
Do not be put off from buying this great box set from reading Allan Blonde's review.
The quality is excellent, even though the recordings date back more than 50 years. It is a really good purchase, 8 cds at an attractive price.
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15 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Splendid chance gone awry!, 22 April 2011
By 
Allan Blonde (London & Sapporo Japan) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sir Thomas Beecham - The Later Tradition (Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Etc.) (Audio CD)
There is little doubt in my mind that it was a splendid idea for EMI to put together this and the other boxes of Beecham performances and we could have been much indebted to them for doing this because many of the performances are not only first rate but carry the special Beecham magic of phrasing and delicacy. Beecham has been one of my favorite conductors for the last 50 years, so when the boxes first appeared I was eager to acquire all of them, but the little voice inside of me -unfortunately a residue of past experiences- told me to buy only one of them to discover the kind of attention that has been given to the digital processing. What I discovered was most disheartening. The sound ranges from barely acceptable to miserable which, when compared to many other performances with great sound, does much to eclipse the Beecham magic.
I live in Japan part time where Japan EMI has issued some of these wonderful performances in much better sound. Why did EMI in the West think it fit not to give the same attention to the recordings of one of the great conductors in recording history when they were issuing them here??? Why weren't they released with the new plastic, in HYBRID form, or at least in 24bit? This issue is a reminder that EMI dragged its feet 55 years ago by not joining the other labels coming into the stereo era. After listening to these processings the first time I am now more ready to reach for a box of Beecham's headache pills before reaching for these CDs. All told, a huge disappointment of what might have been!
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