Beecham in Seattle - the unheard live recordings, continued!
"I was informed there was an emergency, so I emerged..."
Transcribed from tape copies of Beecham's own original acetates
Review of this release: Audiophile Audition
Notes on the recordings:
We are lucky to have any recordings whatsoever of Beecham in Seattle - union disputes precluded any commerical recordings during Beecham's time with the orchestra. To the best of our knowledge there remain three CDs-worth of live material, captured at the start of the 1943 season and preserved first on acetate discs (since melted down), then open-reel tape (since lost), backed up onto more open reel tape (now almost unplayable) and casssette tape. Thus the humble cassette proves the best remaining source of these historic recordings, and it is from excellent transfers of these, supplied by a collector who wishes to remain anonymous, that I have worked.
Since our first volume was issued, and the recording credited to a local radio station, further information has come to light which suggests that it was Beecham himself who commissioned the recordings in order to silence his critics locally. This may go some way to explaining the lack of continuity in the present volume, where non-overlapped side changes have resulted in a number of short gaps. My guess is that these were planned for between-movement intervals, but on more than one occasion here the recording time ran out before the movement had ended.
That said, the overall recording quality, post-XR remastering, is astonishing in both works, specially given the provenance of these recordings, with clarity, frequency and dynamic ranges, and up-front vitality that any commercial producer in 1943 would have been more than proud of..
For further background information on the source recordings, see the notes to Volume One, here.
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