Sir Thomas Beecham Video(VHS/DVD). Here is the story of one of the great careers in classical music. Self-taught as a conductor, Thomas Beecham gave two concerts with Londonís New Symphony Orchestra before gaining access to the family fortune. Thereafter he was able to indulge his tastes: to found the Beecham Symphony Orchestra, to introduce to Britain many Russian works as well as the first English performances of Richard Straussí Elektra, Salome, and Der Rosenkavalier, and to finance the first London appearance of Diaghilevís Ballets Russes. As recording technology progressed, his talents were recognized by millions who never heard him in live performance. With Timothy West as Sir Thomas Beecham and the Halle Orchestra in performance, this program follows the career of a stubborn and highly talented man with the economic freedom to ignore the conventional and refuse to tolerate mediocrity. Nearly as renowned for his anecdotes as for his idiosyncratic but superb musicianship, Sir Thomas Beecham is deftly characterized and lovingly remembered in this moving and amusing production. (83 minutes)
Available in US and Canada only.