Notes and Editorial Reviews
Sir Thomas 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. ‘What Beecham sought at all times was freshness, and his unpredictability was a way to achieve this’ (David Patmore). All the performances included here from the Edinburgh Festival, London’s Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall and the BBC Studios are from Beecham’s final years, from 1954 when he had fully established the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and himself as central figures in England’s musical life, to 1959 when he conducted an extraordinarily memorable account of Brahms’s Symphony No.2. Every broadcast is captured here in exemplary sound for the time, and apart from the Liszt and Haydn Symphony No.101, none of the performances in this set have appeared on an album before, which makes it extremely important for all collectors of the conductor.