New digital audio restoration
London Philharmonic Orchestra cond. Sir Thomas Beecham
Royal Albert Hall, London, Royal Philharmonic Society concert, 26th
To play these MP3 files on a PC: (909 KB) - for full online documentation click
Transfer and restoration ©2000 Andrew
Copyright notice: The copyright of the original broadcast recordings
has now expired, and this is why these music files can legally offered.
However, copyright does exist in these transfers and restorations
and this is held by the webmaster. The files are provided for educational
and listening use only, and are not to be used for any profitable
Sir Thomas Beecham
Lionel Hill, whose
book "Lonely Waters" is currently unique in its portrait
of Moeran in the later years of his life, went to great lengths
to make recordings of particular radio broadcasts in the 1940's.
These were the years before tape recorders made such a venture a
relatively straightforward and inexpensive operation. Hill had to
hire a recording studio to record the broadcast and then cut acetate
78 rpm discs. Each such recording cost Hill £25 - these days
that's more than £2000, or perhaps $3000.
In addition to the recordings available on the
Symposium CD of the Violin Concerto, the Fantasy Quartet and
the Serenade in G, Hill also recorded a broadcast concert
performance of the Sinfonietta. This took place in the Royal
Albert Hall on 26th April 1947.
Beecham was also to conduct Moeran's Serenade
in G at a Prom concert three years later, and, as Lionel Hill
recalled some years afterwards, Moeran was somewhat publicity
shy on the night: "...we went with [Moeran] to see Beecham
conduct the Serenade. For some reason or other he didn't sit
with us, he went on into the balcony on the first floor, and
I could see him up there. Beecham gave a lovely performance,
and then got terrific applause. Beecham turned round and pointed
to the composer. I can still see Jack going like this - ducking
down into his seat - typical Jack!"
This particular recording came to me on a cassette
Hill had made from the discs, so in addition to the disc noise
and scratches there was an additional need to remove tape
hiss. I've tried to maintain the full musicality of what was
a superb performance as closely as possible, so a small amount
of low hiss remains. Note how much slower Beecham takes the
piece, especially the opening movement, by comparison to Rumon
Gamba's recent recording with the BBC Philharmonic for Composer
of the Week, which comes in more than 30 seconds shorter.
page at Moeran.com.