Sir Thomas Beecham

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Sir Thomas Beecham

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Sir Thomas Beecham


God Save The Queen


Symphony No. 4 in A minor, Op. 63

Symphony No. 7 in C major, Op. 105

Pelléas and Mélisande Suite, Op. 46

Tapiola, Op. 112

Dance of the Nymphs


The Finnish National Anthem

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Great Britain [God Save the Queen, "God save our gracious Queen …"]

Great Britain [God Save the Queen, "God save our gracious Queen …"]

Fredrik Pacius: Finland [Maamme (Homeland), "Our land, our land, our native land…"]

Finland [Maamme (Homeland), "Our land, our land, our native land…"]

Jean Sibelius: Swanwhite Suite, Op. 54

I. The Peacock

II. The Harp

III. The Maidens with the Roses

IV. Listen! The Robin sings

VI. Swanwhite and the Prince

VII. Song of Praise

Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 4 in A minor, Op. 63

I. Tempo molto moderato, quasi adagio

II. Allegro molto vivace

III. Il tempo largo

IV. Allegro

Sir Thomas Beecham on Sibelius

Jean Sibelius: Pelleas and Melisande, Op. 46 (version for orchestra)

I. At the Castle Gate

II. Melisande

III. A Spring in the Park

IV. The 3 Blind Sisters

V. Pastorale

VI. Melisande at the Spinning Wheel

VII. Entr'acte

VIII. The Death of Melisande

Jean Sibelius: Tapiola, Op. 112

Tapiola, Op. 112

Jean Sibelius: The Tempest Suite No. 2, Op. 109, No. 3

Sir Thomas Beecham Announces an Encore

The Tempest Suite No. 2, Op. 109, No. 3: III. Dance of the Nymphs

Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 7 in C major, Op. 105

Sir Thomas Beecham Speaks to the Audience

Symphony No. 7 in C major, Op. 105

Gramophone Classical Music Guide


“In a broadcast concert to mark Sibelius's 90th birthday on December 8, 1955, the RPO under Sir Thomas Beecham (one of his doughtiest champions) played to a capacity Royal Festival Hall. The inclusion here of the British and Finnish national anthems, both stirringly done, recreates the necessary sense of occasion. In the delightful, too rarely encountered Swanwhite suite, from which Beecham omits the powerfully sombre fifth movement ('The Prince alone'), one may at first miss his characteristic concentration and charisma, but his leisurely, affectionate rendering grows on one. Orchestral discipline takes a dip with the Fourth Symphony, but far more disconcerting is the all-pervading air of loose-limbed impatience: the opening Tempo molto moderato,quasi adagio is wayward and fussy. There are glimpses of greatness in the third movement, as well as some effective dynamic emendations in the finale, but overall it's a curiously uninvolving display.
Only in the concert's second half does this legendary partnership really begin to show what it's capable of. The Pelléas suite distils a poetic enchantment (try the ineffably touching 'Mélisande') and tingling sense of atmosphere that not only make you forget about the maddeningly bronchial audience, but also act as a timely reminder that these artists' glorious studio recording dates from exactly the same period (EMI – unavailable at present). Tapiola is even finer, a performance of giant authority, devastating emotional candour and towering humanity – indeed Beecham's most powerful Tapiola currently available. As an encore, the fetching 'Dance of the Nymphs' from The Tempest is delectably done. As a substantial bonus there's a radiantly moving Sibelius Seventh from the 1954 Proms, and a personable, at times entertainingly scatty talk on Sibelius and his music by the inimitable maestro recorded for the BBC's Third Programme two weeks before that 90thbirthday concert. A mandatory purchase for the frequently spellbinding contents of disc 2 alone.”

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