IF YOU'VE ENJOYED ANY (OR VERY MANY) OF THESE UNMOLESTED LP TRANSFERS THEN A MODEST CONTRIBUTION WOULD HAVE BEEN MUCH APPRECIATED........ https://www.paypal.me

23/06/2013

Beecham / French National - Bizet. Symphony ... Lalo. Symphony - HMV 1958 ..... Library of Congress lectures 1956/7

Georges Bizet:  Symphony in C major
I:  Allegro vivo  ~  II:  Adagio  ~  III:  Allegro vivace  ~  IV:  Allegro vivace
Edouard Lalo:  Symphony in G minor      
I:  Andante  ~  II:  Vivace  ~  III:  Adagio  ~  IV:  Allegro
2 files zip FLAC Mega Download                        
Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Francaise  conducted by  Sir Thomas Beecham  
HMV  ALP 1761    1961 LP/matrices: 2XLA 484 -1N / 2XLA 40 -1N.   Recorded: 7-10 January 1958 / 10-11 June 1958 - Salle Wagram, Paris
"Mozart and his Music"   -&-   "The Changing World of Music"                             2 files zip FLAC  Mega Download
2 edited/abridged lectures @ The Coolidge Auditorium, Library of Congress, Washington D.C.  (6 February 1956 / 25 February 1957).
EMI / World Records  SH 1008   1979 LP/matrices: 2XEA 6585 -1 / 2XYE 6586 -1  
Not on CD     (The 1958 HMV mono sessions:  stereo recordings: c.Oct-Dec.1959)     EMG review / HMV sleeve-note /additional transfer of Beethoven Sym 7>>>


45 comments:

  1. Wonderful post, Frank. Thank you!
    I would love to have more of the Beecham mono recordings from Paris, especially: (1) Berlioz - Sym Fantastique (1957 version on ALP 1633); (2) Franck - Sym in d minor (1957 version on ALP 1686); (3) Beethoven - 7th Sym (1957 version on early pressings of ALP 1748).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Byrd
      The Bizet is splendid (& the 2 lectures not available except as a '$5' dubbing of the '57).

      However, previously, it wasn't appreciated that these two (+ the Franck/Beet 7) were anything other than 'mono versions of stereos' - so were not collected (nor would I have sought them) - so only have the 'well known mono' ALP of the Fantastique; but that's on CD ...(never had the Franck, + disposed of many original Beecham ASD's).

      I might chance the Sebastian/Colonne: Dukas Symphony (UK Nixa/Urania) - only available as a 'Forgotten Records' dubbing...but turgid/blowsy 'Wagnerian' French Symphonies aren't 'really my thing'...but will see what I retain..

      Delete
    2. Anonymous24 June, 2013

      Thanks yet again, TinEar. It was often remarked in the 60s that the stereo LPs of Beecham recordings sometimes had marked differences from the mono. Beecham never really saw the point of stereo, and balanced his recordings for mono (he was an "all violins on the left" conductor), and Walter Legge pointed out that EMI came late to stereo; in the early days there was a second set of microphones for a second recording team in a second control room. I assumed that when the stereo LPs came out, usually some time later, the takes had been chosen by engineers for their sound quality, but what we have on the mono LPs are the takes Beecham approved. I have the stereo LPs and don't think I ever had the mono. I'm now delighted to make a comparison - and of course hear what TB really intended. The dates you show indicate quite separate recording sessions the following year: I knew the Symphonie Fantastique was recorded again, but hadn't realised it had happened here.
      Andrew Smith

      Delete
    3. Hello Andrew,
      I suppose this all assumes that these 2 are actually the earlier sessions...and no longer have my original White/Gold ASD - but (whilst 'investigating') see that the sleeve-rear of that ASD states 'first published 1959' (but where??)..

      I can't tell - as haven't now got a stereo edition...So, if you subject these to a Forensic Listen, maybe you can conclude whether they are 'the same/different' compared to the Bizet/Lalo stereo?

      Then there's 'a mystery' about the 'odd' matrix number for the Lalo..not a misprint.

      I don't have the Michael Gray discography (costs money!), but those dates appear/ed on RMCR, and recently on Symphonyshare - but EMI were plain late in starting stereo in France - as I see my WRC Shostakovi(t)ch PC1/2 (SH 293) is mono-only @ May/September 1958 - and I think Beecham's Haydn 'Salomons' (have the ALP box) are a similar date.

      Delete
    4. So far, having downloaded the Bizet, I am sure these are not mono reduction so of the stereo recordings, but the earlier sessions. The pitch is exactly the same, as it should be. The 1st, 3rd and 4th movements are faster (some by 30 or 40 seconds) and and 2nd movement is 13 seconds longer. I think we can safely assume that these are the real deal. Thanks for uploading these! Now in a few moments I'll capture the Lalo.

      Delete
    5. Thanks for the confirmation...and 'rather a shame' I don't have 2 of the other 3 'mono orphans'. ;~))

      For the Lalo I used a different PU Cartridge - as the recording was rather 'dense/congested' (not helped by the scoring...) and was disc-mastered @ a lower level - so that aspect was corrected...and added very slight treble.

      But, IMO, I think the greatest value here is in the 2x Beecham lectures (using yet another PU cartridge..)

      Delete
    6. Late to the downloading party - and wotta-lotta comments there used to be before $$'s were mentioned...!

      Delete
  2. And the confirmation holds up for the Lalo as well. The 1st 2 movements are12 and 20 seconds slower each. The 3rd movement times out identically, but the last movement is about 14 seconds faster.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perhaps someone else will upload (free..) the Beethoven 7/Franck Symphony.
      Have long been considering uploading the mono ALP of Cantelli/NBC Franck - as suspect the stereo tape will be used for any CD (?).
      Good sound - though the Hindemith/BLP 10" is pretty dire...).

      Delete
  3. Good news. I just discovered mono Capitol pressings of both the Beethoven and the Franck in my collection and I am in the process of digitizing them at the moment. It will take a few days to declick and decrackle them (don't worry; I do nothing radical like a certain web businessman). I will upload them and let you all know where they can be found.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's nice!
      Personally I prefer many (the majority) of mono tapings on LP (not that I have too many...) - which never get released onto CD - and one could likely find many 'variant versions', albeit with not so widely-spaced sessions as those Beecham's; though his Beethoven isn't at all good (except I was thinking of including the mono ALP of 'Ruins of Athens' [with enthusiastic chorus] here - rather incongruously.. as that is rather fine!)..and was poking around some out-of-copyright DGG's - especially the, mostly un-reissued, stereo Maazel's - which had a good Franck Symphony 'in the day'.

      I'll put a link here - unless, perhaps, they are linked via Symphonyshare - which needs membership (though I suppose most visitors here are???) - though that site prompted this post (and a follow-on to some previous emails on the subject of this LP).

      Delete
  4. Anonymous25 June, 2013

    Thanks to Alan L for clearing this up - its niggling not to be sure about it. There are one or two minor fluffs in the playing which would have given the game away. I knew that the Fantastique was rerecorded, both performances are (or were) on CD, but somebody must have persuaded TB that increased sales made new stereo recordings worthwhile - he was a tax exile so work in Paris was much more profitable. I know they all claim Ars Gratia Artis, but any history of recording shows just how much filthy lucre mattered (and TB had lost enough of the stuff to know!).
    Andrew Smith

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi again.

    I've posted mono flac files and artwork here:
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/5153050/beechbeetfranck.zip

    Since I have limited space at this location, please download the files asap. Tin Ear - you may repost the files here on your site if you are happy with them.
    Recording dates are as follows:

    Beethoven - October 10, 12-13, 1957, Salle Wagram, Paris (Royal Phil.)
    Franck - November 4,5, 1957, Salle Wagram, Paris (ORTF)

    As before, the timings are different in the Beethoven 7th, however, they are virtually identical in the Franck Symphony. The acoustisc sounds quite different, however.
    Capitol G7223 matrix numbers for the Beethoven GX1-7223-I6, GX2-7223I

    G7157 matrix numbers for the Franck G1-7157 D2, GX2-7157 D2

    Emjoy, all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Alan,
      That's very thoughtful of you
      I've re-uploaded the zip to Hotfile - the link now included above.
      Many thanks for 'taking an interest' in this Old Tommy posting.

      NB: Might do a transfer of my mint 1950's copies of Fontana UK 'Appalachia', etc (though draw-the-line @ 'Mass of Life' in the excellent Phiips/Fontana transfer) & Sea Drift/Paris on Philips ABL - as notice the latter is a 'bit better' than the original CBS/Columbia ML (as is the Berlioz Overtures on Phlips ABL compared to the ML)..and Beecham's Tchaikovsky:Sym.2 sounds excellent as the original ABL pressing (more 'body' than an early 60's GBL reissue, ditto other GBL/Beecham re-issues).

      Frank

      Delete
  6. Anonymous25 June, 2013

    We are indebted to Alan. The stereo Franck recording was also Salle Wagram but two years later (early December 1959) in the same sessions as the stereo Lalo, according to the CD reissue. I disposed of some ALPs and replaced them with ASDs, and I now regret it.
    Andrew Smith

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous25 June, 2013

    Thanks for all of these! Enjoyable performances, and I love hearing Beecham lecture and discuss music. He was extremely well-spoken.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thank you, Alan, for the 1957 Beethoven & Franck.
    I've just purchased a used copy of the EMI CD reissue of the 1957 Berlioz Sym Fantastique, so now I have them all.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous28 June, 2013

    Having listened carefully to the Franck, it's clear that it's a far better performance than the stereo remake. TB's control of rubato is masterly, and the orchestra is on better form, the violins especially are much tidier. I always wince at their exposed entries in the stereo version. The solo horn is wonderfully poised, and the brass play with a little more vibrato without sounding like the sort of bands heard in parks on a Sunday afternoon. I'm a great fan of French brass vibrato, but there are limits. All in all, the stereo sounds what it is - a quick (and possibly under-rehearsed) remake just to sell records, and musically it is nowhere near as good as the mono (which has excellent sound). Thanks to all who made this available.
    Andrew Smith

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I now see a 1962 EMG Monthly Letter mentioned the ASD was a new recording.

      Have sometimes thought about uploading the 1946 Paris/Munch version of the Symphony (LXT/ACL), but can probably manage without listening to that flatulent composition again...

      Delete
  10. Anonymous28 June, 2013

    ...but can probably manage without listening to that flatulent composition again...
    Reply

    now there's where we part company; I can listen to it multiple times. (it was actually in the first concert I ever attended - Halle/Barbirolli, about 1955). It was my secret passion through the years when it was written off as old hat. Try Boult and Monteux, but perhaps it needed TB to realise it was the fruit of suppressed desire. Moral: never fall head over heels for your composition pupil, you'll write a symphony like this.
    Andrew Smith

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I must have been innocent of its charms as, unfortunately, (after reading the EMG recommendation) I bought the Maazel/Cleveland - some 35years ago - and it transpired to have the 'even more dire' Symphonic Variations!
      Anyway, Maazel looked quite pleased with himself on the Decca SXL cover...

      Yes - have the Boult (original mono Readers Digest/RCA Gold Seal) - and the Monteux/Chicago (RCA SB) - don't believe I've listened to the latter..but it's too sickly-sweet a composition for me; ditto the enervating 'Requiem'.

      Despite my aversion to M.Franck, this time, last year, snagged a (*scarce) mint Decca SDD Demessieux 3 Vol Franck Organ Works - a snip @ £2.97 (?) - but will I play them: unlikely!!!

      As (I see) the single CD is no longer available might upload the 1958 FNRO/Cluytens: Shotakovich PC.1/2 - as Shostakovich/Orchestra/Engineers did a nice job (World Records SH293)

      Delete
    2. Anonymous28 June, 2013

      Franck's most worthwhile compositions are the three Chorals, you should try No. 3, you might be surprised. The Requiem would surprise me - I didn't know he wrote one. I think Cesar suffers from interpreters who take his piousness for granted - there are some hidden eroticisms, and it takes a work like "Psyche" for them to reach the surface. Mlle Holmes had a lot to answer for. Sell the SDDs to me!
      Andrew Smith

      Delete
    3. Hello Andrew - surprised me too about 'Franck's Requiem' - so you might suspect I'm not too enthusiastic about all those French LP's I have.. (though have thought of uploading Mackerras's ROHO Source/2 Pigeons - have the mono/stereo.
      But I declined to add the Franck (or was it Faure?!) side from Demessieux's early LXT of Bach T&F, etc...as it was so 'orrible (IMO)

      Delete
  11. My sincerest thanks to you and Alan for providing these mono versions. Ever since i got Michael Gray's discography, I have been interested in finding copies of the mono recordings to compare with the later stereos. Since it appears to be very difficult to find US LPs of the Beethoven and the Bizet/Lalo (I did finally find the Franck mono), your files have been a godsend. Wonder if any discernable differences were present in the first movement of the Tchaikovsky 4. The first EMI CD reissued a mono version then later substituted the the stereo first movement. But I dont know if the first CD had just a mono mixdown of the 1958 stereo recording (Kingsway) or the original mono if it was actually recorded in Paris in 1957 when the last three movements were done. Dont know what was actually on the mono LP (Capitol G-7139/HMV ALP 1667).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Rootie
      I've the Tchaikovsky 4 which carries 'French' matrix info (but EMI UK mastered: 2XLA 442-2N / 443 -3N).
      Mine is a 1961/2 pressing - though probably the original 1959 matrices (?) - but as there was no UK stereo LP I'd thought that was because the stereo was incomplete.

      Not having seen the discography/not collected CD's then 'it's all/mostly a mystery (or 'news')' to me, but recall the Tchaikovsky 4 as having a surprisingly good finale (don't think I played the lot) - but am not certain if you're saying that there were 2 complete recording sessions for mvt.1 (ie all 4 were recorded in Paris) ??

      Delete
    2. EMI released the Stereo version of the first movement in the Great Conductors series of CD two-fers along with the mono movements 2-4. Prior to that, they had issued the complete symphony in mono as part of the Beecham Edition. Both CD disc documentation referenced the 1957 Paris (we know these were all mono) sessions AND the 1958 Kingsway Hall (this would be stereo because thats where the primary location was of stereo recording equipment) sessions. It would seem logical that only the first movement was recorded in Kingsway, otherwise there eventually would have been a stereo LP issued. But since there wasn't, my inference was only the first movement was recorded in Kingsway. They used the mono takes from the previous year for the remaining movements for the LP and CDs. We know that early practice was to do separate mono and stereo masters of the same sessions, so my question was when the mono LP was issued, where did the first movement come from? are there significant differences between the takes used to compile the mono first movement versus the complete stereo movement that was used for the Stereo/mono hybrid CDs.

      Delete
    3. I suppose 'for a laugh' I could upload the ALP mvt.1....

      As a 'PS'..
      I've just checked ALP1656 "French Ballet MUsic" - and see that was recorded in Paris - as the matrices precede the Lalo - being 2XLA 38/39 - so, possibly, that means there may be different mono/stereo versions - as some were re-issued on HQS stereo.. ?

      Delete
  12. Looking for Grays entries for ALP 1656
    Delibes - Roi s'amuse - one set of sessions - May 12 & 16, 1958 so could be the same mono and stereo unless the editing was different
    Gounod - Faust Ballet music - Oct 9 & Nov 3, 1957 - mono only on LP.
    Bizet - Roma - Oct 9, 1957 - mono only LP
    Massenet - Cendrillon Valse - Oct 9, 1957 - mono only on LP
    what else was on that LP?
    It would appear from the Gray discography that Stereo recording in Paris did not start until May 1958.
    It wasnt until 1959 I think for Berlin since the Kempe Meistersinger was done in 1958 in Berlin in mono.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's interesting: so the Lalo Symphony should/could have been recorded in Stereo in 1958 (10-11 June) if that Delibes was a 'stereo' May 12/16
      I've that in Stereo on HQS 1136 (1968 reissue) showing (P)1959 - as does ALP 1656; which also contains Gretry 'Zemire et Azore' - ballet.
      However, as mentioned above, the Shostakovich appear to be mono-only, with recording dates of 24-30 May/12 Sept 1958 - which might suggest the Delibes had widely different mono/stereo sessions.

      Delete
    2. I recall reading somewhere (don't remember where) that EMI France was still not recording in stereo when Beecham recorded the last six Haydn Solomon Symphonies and Bizet's Carmen in Paris in May/June 1958. EMI decided to send stereo recording equipment and the stereo engineering personnel over to Paris from London, just for Beecham's recordings. Apparently they returned home after Carmen was completed, so the Lalo Symphony was not recorded in stereo at that time.

      Delete
    3. I might get confused with such a Sherlock Holmes Mystery; so unless some other 'definitely not on CD' mono sessions can be identified (I assume there are no 'variants' with the 'Carmen': have original HMV mono/stereo sets) I'd best leave it at this!

      Delete
    4. Anonymous29 June, 2013

      There is the possibility that the Paris end of EMI didn't have enough equipment to start recording everything in stereo, and that for a while certain recordings were still made in mono only due to unavailability of the stereo equipment, so chronological order of sessions may not be a precise guide.
      AS

      Delete
    5. Maybe someone will write A Treatise on that era, as I now see that Silvestri's 'Bolero' (Paris Cons. - mono only ALP 1684: got a new copy for 99pee last year..) recorded 7 Feb 1957 is described as stereo (on Disky CD/s) by a Fanfare reviewer: Mr.Lipscomb..!!

      In any event, mono LP's invariably sound superior to the 'stereo version' and far superior to 1970's coagulated 'Dolby' recordings - especially (by comparison) the shockingly-bad Deccas (invariably described by reviewers in glowing-terms at the time; rather like a certain persons 'Pristine' debasements!! (not me, honest, guv)

      Delete
  13. Gretry - Zemire et Azor - Ballet Suite - RPO recorded 10/12/1956 Abbey Road (entry says mono-only) and mentions ALP1656 and HQM-1162 but not HQS. Since it was recorded in London, there is a higher chance that there actually might have been stereo recording equipment around at that date but Have to go look at my Beecham CDs to see if there is any "newly issued stereo version" notation on it.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thank you very much. All of you!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anonymous22 July, 2013

    Beautiful album. Thank you so much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Will 'soon' be uploading a new/original 1959 HMV ALP (mono) copy of the Franck Symphony; possibly also the ALP Fantastique - despite the latter being on CD..

      Delete
  16. Interesting additional twist on the Beecham mono/stereo issues. In the CD of the Beethoven 7 & Ruins of Athens Incidental music. The booklet text refers to the stereo re-recording of the Beethoven 7 after the mono recording was made the previous year. But also in the notes on the Ruins of Athens music, Recording date of March 29, 1957 in Abbey Road Studio #1 is given for all the pieces EXCEPT the Turkish March, which shows October 9 in Paris. We know that March sessions were in Stereo because all this music was released in Stereo on LP along with the Symphony 2. But EMI didnt have stereo equipment in Paris in 1957, so, if the Turkish march included on the CD is truly stereo, it had to have come from the London sessions, not from Paris. I have listened to the track and just am not sure. I didnt think EMI could do stereo simulation back in 1957-58 when the lp (S35509) was issued. So is it just mono or is it real stereo? The CD doesnt say it is mono. Or is the Turkish march track actually from the London stereo sessions and EMI's notes are just messed up?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Due to the sheer heat I've not done the Franck ALP mono yet.
      Funnily, I was going to upload the Beethoven 'Athens' with this - then decided to do the Lectures instead - as have a new ALP mono copy - and the performance/sound is quite compelling (the Beethoven Sym.2 isn't...) - also have the HQS stereo reissue of that LP - so I could compare (also trying to figure which cartridge 'is best') - and might upload the ALP Dvorak 8 (c/w Meistersinger - both BBC 1959) - possibly with the earlier Symphonic Variations; and the mono XLP of the Balakirev Symphony sounds lovely; and Thamar is the coupling for the Dvorak Sym,Var): however, all the editing hours have led to the demise of one of my Laptop screens- and retro-fitting a new flourescent tube is apparently a nightmare..so will see the end-result of that before any more editing...

      Delete
    2. Well the Turkish March, on re-listening, seems to be in stereo and has an acoustic similar to the other tracks.

      Delete
  17. The Lalo apparently is a 'dull and undistinguished' piece, and on first listening i almost would have agreed - but on second try 'got it'. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  18. In the comments there are mentioned mono recordings of Franck and Beethoven. Nevertheless, the dropbox link is dead and I cannot find another link for these recordings on this website. Maybe I can get some help?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I no longer retain my downloads of those 2 files (due to storage limitations - also the Franck file was maybe anyway superseded by my slightly later ALP upload on 12 August 2013 - available above) - and don't have an email address for 'Alan L' - but perhaps someone-else may be able to help?

      Delete