Classics of the Phonograph

Sir Thomas Beecham

A sparkler as decoration on a christmas tree

Wikimedia Commons

The famous British maestro Sir Thomas Beecham had three shots at a “complete” recording of Handel’s oratorio Messiah. His first recording was made in 1927, just a year or so after the introduction of electrical recording. Although this recording sounds now very traditional, in its day it sounded modern, because Beecham avoided the gigantic choruses of the past which turned Handel’s text into a vast drone. On this week's Classics of the Phonograph, Saturday at 11 am on WILL-FM, we will hear Beecham’s take on the Christmas section of Handel’s masterpiece.