Thomas Beecham, the unforgettable English conductor and impresario, was born on 29 April 1879 and died on 8 March 1961. Much of his assiduous work for British orchestras, Delius, and opera in the UK, was enabled by a family well endowed from the popularity of Beecham's Pills. His effect on British musical life was unique.
CD Spotlight. Subtle Colours - Gerald Fenech is impressed by another volume in John Wilson's cycle of music by Eric Coates. '... the performances are consistently joyous and exciting ...'
Light and Shade - George Colerick writes about idealised beauty alongside the grotesque in the 1951 film 'The Tales of Hoffmann'
CD Spotlight. Varied Indeed - Music for military band and chorus, enjoyed by Gerald Fenech. '... some great off-the-beaten track items that deserve to be heard more often.'
DVD Spotlight. Seldom Equalled - Michelangeli plays Beethoven, Galuppi and Scarlatti, and impresses Howard Smith. 'His relentless perfectionism allows him spellbinding precision ...'
CD Spotlight. Unaffected Restraint - Halida Dinova plays music that tells stories, heard by Howard Smith. '... a mesmerising interpreter ...'
CD Spotlight. Flight of Eloquence - Blomstedt conducts Bruckner, heard by Robert Anderson. '... opulence and splendour ...'
CD Spotlight. Robust and Spirited - James Tibbles plays J S Bach, heard by Howard Smith. '... worthy of widespread international recognition.'
Ensemble. Perfectly Measured - Bill Newman listens to Aldo Ciccolini
DVD Spotlight. Extreme Individuality - A film about Delius, seen by Paul Sarcich. '... a commendable breadth.'
A Natural Aristocrat - 'Cardus - Celebrant of Beauty' by Robin Daniels, reviewed by Robert Anderson
CD Spotlight. Consistently Solid - Kurt Masur and others conduct Mendelssohn, reviewed by Howard Smith. '... too often short on graciousness, charm or buoyancy.'
DVD Spotlight. Engaging Integrity - Mark Dexter plays Peter Warlock, recommended by Robert Anderson. '... a triumphant success ...'
DVD Spotlight. Virtuosity and Style - La petite musique de Marie-Antoinette, reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... supreme vocal skill ...'
Ensemble. Dramatic Punch - Richard Strauss's 'Salomé', reviewed by Maria Nockin
Profile. An ideal lifestyle - Remembering Sir John and others. Bill Newman visits Lady Evelyn Barbirolli
CD Spotlight. A unique achievement - EMI's golden years of the gramophone, reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... total fascination ...'
CD Spotlight. Delian subtlety - The inspired Sir Thomas Beecham, admired by Robert Anderson. '... no better than expected ...'
CD Spotlight. Un-buttoned Beecham - 'The Tales of Hoffmann' in a vintage performance enjoyed by Peter Dale. 'The recording is remarkably warm, surface noise minimal, characterisation lively, and orchestral playing spot on.'
CD Spotlight. The one authority - Beecham conducts Delius, reviewed by Patric Standford. '... a very worthy CD, remastered with due care ...'
Record box. Musical insight - Patric Standford appreciates Beecham's 1937 recording of Beethoven's 'Missa Solemnis'
Episodes from a memory bank - Gwydion Brooke. Bill Newman looks back at undeservedly neglected musicians.
Episodes from a memory bank - Basil Cameron. Bill Newman looks back at undeservedly neglected musicians.
CD Spotlight - A landmark. 'Beecham produces a performance redolent even now of passion and conviction ...' Delius's 'A Village Romeo and Juliet', explored by Peter Dale
Record box - Trawling for treasure. Bill Newman seeks out Golden Age performers now reinstated on CD. BBC Legends and Beecham