The Great Communicator

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Berlioz,etc,Gretry
WORKS: A documentary by Jon Tolansky
PERFORMER: David Cairns, Nicolai Gedda, Harry Legge, John Lucas, Paul Strang etc
CATALOGUE NO: EMI 909 9642 (4 CDS)

You’ll find out why he was adored in this companion documentary narrated by Jon Tolansky, which proves to be an engaging portrait featuring Beecham himself, in rehearsal and in radio broadcasts, and his family and critics. It also contains more than a few tantalising rarities: just four minutes of a previously unpublished Berlioz Requiem from 1947, for instance. And there’s a number from a Grétry opera sung by soprano Dora Labette, Beecham’s mistress for 13 years, recorded in 1927 and never previously published. Andrew McGregor