There can be few, if any, musicians who have single-handedly done so much in the establishment of resources for musical performance than Sir Thomas Beecham. To commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Sir Thomas Beechman’s death, EMI Classics releases five sets, including one exclusive documentary, that show why he is one of the most colorful and controversial of all 20th-century British conductors.
While his repertory was wide and varied, Sir Thomas Beechman is remembered particularly for his championship of the music of his friend Frederick Delius, for his loving interpretations of 19th-century French music (particularly Berlioz and Bizet), and for his devotion to the music of Mozart, Haydn, Puccini, Sibelius and Richard Strauss. The English Collection, French Music, The Classical Tradition, and The Later Tradition contain many of his most famous recordings of works from these composers.
EMI Classics’ documentary, The Great Communicator, covers Sir Thomas’s life and career as a conductor and impresario in depth, from its outset to its conclusion. The huge influence he exerted is recalled by 25 eye-witness contributors who include distinguished opera singers, orchestra musicians, writers, critics, broadcasters, audience members, and one of Sir Thomas’s sons.