Borodin Polovtsian Dances
Beecham Choral Society; RPO/Beecham
Warner 566 9832
Thomas Beecham conducted the Ballets Russes’s stagings of these two Russian scores, and his zest for these ‘exotic’ works is infectious.
Delius Appalachia; Hassan etc
Jan van der Gucht (tenor); LPO/Beecham
Appalachia captured Beecham’s imagination and devotion to Delius‘s music. The sinew and exuberance of this performance transcends the late-1930s sound.
Mozart The Magic Flute
Ema Berger, Gerhard Hüsch, Tiana Lemnitz, Helge Rosvaenge; Berlin Philharmonic/Beecham
Most of Beecham’s Mozart recordings are unavailable, but this charming 1937-38 Berlin recording of The Magic Flute shows his affection for the composer.
Strauss Elektra (final scene); Ariadne auf Naxos (final Scene)
Erna Schlüter, Paul Schöffler, Ljuba Welitsch, Walter Widdop; RPO/Beecham
Recorded in 1947 after his broadcast performance of Elektra before the composer, this dramatic account affirms Beecham’s Strauss credentials.
Berlioz Grande Messe des Morts
Richard Lewis (tenor); RPO and Chorus/Beecham
BBC Legends BBCL 40112
This extraordinary live performance, with flawless orchestral playing and choral singing, was recorded not long after Beecham’s 80th birthday.