"Berlioz’s astonishing Requiem is a work very dear to the heart of Sir Thomas Beecham. He has in any case a special sympathy for the mixture of passion and fastidiousness, elegance and sonorous curiosity in Berlioz, all indeed which poises this genius between classic and romantic ideals, and therewith made him for so long an enigma in the story of music. The Requiem, if not the greatest of Berlioz’s works, has a special curiosity appeal since it is gravely noble as well as amazingly original: the contrast of timbres and textures between movements is itself striking, and to these Berlioz adds many, many new effects whose realization gives special scope to another of Sir Thomas Beecham’s qualities, his remarkable ear for orchestral balance."
...It was a noble and beautiful performance; to have heard the Lacrymosa so performed was to understand why Sir Thomas Beecham cherishes Berlioz, and why we should cherish him too. " - The Times, 1959
This week's release brings you Sir Thomas Beecham's final Royal Albert Hall concert, so perfectly described by the Times music critic, performed just six months before his death in the spring of 1960. This new XR remastering of the BBC concert broadcast recording brings new clarity and sense of scale to this landmark performance.